Facebook Search - How to Use it For Business
Thursday, May 5th, 2016
Those mysterious web skills that baffled you are now coming to Facebook – fortunately our PR agency can help you master them
EARLY Harry Potter books are punctuated by a series of temporary teachers stepping in to teach the young wizard and his schoolmates the vital ‘defence against the dark arts’ class.
The recurring theme was that those temporary teachers were inept, secretive, or distracted – building a sense that the young hero was missing out on part of his education that was likely to be vital to his long term well being.
This picture painted by Edinburgh-based J K Rowling is actually painfully similar to one that many businesses grapple with every day – in the murky world of search engine optimisation (SEO).
For most of us SEO is a mysterious dark art; a baffling set of codes and signals that tell Google what our business does. Yet it is vital to the well-being of any business since a good ranking in Google search can be the difference between success and failure.
Just like Harry Potter, trying to find a trusted teacher to guide us through this complex dark art can seem an exercise in frustration and disappointment for many businesses. Understanding always seeming to hover just beyond reach. Little wonder that some businesses simply give up. I’m here to be your Professor Lupin…
Well, the time for ignoring SEO is past, because something similar is now coming to Facebook. In fact, it is already here and is only going to grow in importance.
Facebook has been trialling graph search, a way to search all the data that Facebook users allow to be shared and accessed. Businesses can now access the videos that people like, the posts they share, the restaurants and bars they visit and what groups they are involved with – we’ve never been able to know as much about consumers as we do now and it’s amazing. In fact, several news outlets have published warnings this week that you can now view the images people like.
Of course, all this data coursing through Facebook is like the tide, it’s no use if you don’t know how to harness it and have to guess when the tide comes in and goes out. This data can be used in many positive ways but there can also be major disadvantages, if you don’t take the right precautions.
Sounds as murky as ever, right? You still feel like you are groping helplessly in the dark, yeah? Well let us wave our PR wands, utter the magic word, ‘Lumos!’ and provide some helpful illumination and understanding. You’re welcome 😀
1 – HOW DOES FACEBOOK SEO WORK?
Well, it’s pretty wide ranging across all the searches you can carry out meaning Facebook is predicted to become the world’s second most popular search engine. Unsurprising then, that it works in a similar way to Google.
When you insert a search term in Facebook, the social network’s algorithm will weight up a host of factors and serve you up what it believes are the most relevant results – based on what your friends and contacts have rated, your location, wider ratings from people you may not know and other factors.
But here’s the important part for business – the results will also depend on how well and actively a business maintains its own Facebook presence. Which means you have your hand on another lever, by posting the kind of content that is likely to be shared, encourage links and engagement.
We’d encourage you to try it for yourself. Here’s a selection of the typical kind of searches Facebook users could be making – and everyone will see different results.
- Restaurants in Edinburgh
- Hotels near The Hydro in Glasgow
- Property for sale in Edinburgh
Pretty straightforward – but it can go even further than that. How much further? Well, take those three searches and let’s drill down on them a little bit.
- Restaurants in Edinburgh my family have visited
- Hotels near The Hydro in Glasgow my friends have visited
- Property for sale in Edinburgh near Edinburgh Castle
That’s not even half of it – as interesting as that is – and in fact it’s the way a lot of social brands are moving, it can go even further.
- Restaurants in Edinburgh that serve steak
- Hotels near The Hydro in Glasgow with a bar
- Property for sale in Edinburgh near Edinburgh castle offers over £100.000
Not all users will search to that depth or beyond, but what is clear is that the same terms that you’re probably looking to mention on your website for search engine rankings are now going to be just as important on social media.
2 – WHERE IS THIS GOING?
All of this is in aid of Facebook’s aim to pretty much take over the world. They will soon start to host listings where you can look for restaurants, see which friends have visited, what they have on the menu and what their ratings are.
This means there are several areas that you and your business need to tap into.
When a user searches for Restaurants in Edinburgh that their friends have visited, this is what they’re faced with.
They can see where it is on the map, what the reviews are like and photos uploaded by the page, out with their main profile and cover photo. They can also see which of their friends have visited.
Powerful stuff – and this is just one example. This is getting close to fulfilling of what Facebook’s social graph has promised for many years. Think how much more likely you are to make a purchasing decision if you can see what your nearest, dearest and most trusted contacts have been enjoying.
3 – HOW DOES MY BUSINESS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS?
Without telling a horse how to whinny, sometimes the oldest options are the best. Great customer service, top quality products and a great level of customer support. Businesses have often been afraid of what customers might say online. But the truth is that most customers appreciate honest effort and won’t be shy about patting a business on the back when it is deserved.
However, just being great isn’t always enough. The history of business is littered with ventures which offered superb service, yet still failed. You also need people to be reviewing your venue, to be uploading their own photos and to check in.
These are all features that Facebook used to place a lot of emphasis on and has done so less in recent years – it’s about to come back and in a big way.
If you want to get in on it, before it becomes that much more difficult due to the sheer number of competitors you need to be creating a buzz around your brand online and giving customers an incentive to engage with you – because if they do, they may just bring in some more custom for you.
Find out how our award-winning PR agency can help you master the dark art of social media SEO
Hopefully you’re looking at this and thinking: “That sounds amazing – sign me up!”
Well, you’re on the right website. We’d love to speak to you about creating a strategy to engage with your customers and potential customers online. We are experts in the PESO model of paid, earned, shared and owned content that will help you win on social media, while also turbo charging your website and your media profile
It couldn’t be easier to get in touch with us and find out how to trump your competition, by being ahead of the curve when it comes to embracing the newest tools on social media. Phone us on 0131 561 2244 or fill out the simple form, below and we’ll get straight back to you.
Private: Kenny Murray
Kenny Murray is part of the expert PR team at Holyrood Partnership, an award-winnning Scottish public relations agency, which offers media relations, social media, photography, video, crisis management and PR in Edinburgh.View Private:'s Profile
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