Do you know what type of messaging strategy works best on your Facebook Page? Most Page administrators might look at Facebook Insights every so often and may drill down to the per message detail to get their answers. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough to truly measure the effectiveness of your messaging strategy. Some element of test and target must be done, in my opinion, to effectively measure how well your messages are really doing.
Unfortunately, with Facebook it’s pretty much impossible to set up split testing and if you’re thinking about multivariate testing… then forget about it. That is, not in the traditional sense anyways. As an administrator of a page you have the ability to control certain things on your wall. Targeting messages to certain fans and not others, hiding messages from fans, testing message type or time of day, etc… all possibilities on Facebook.
When you drive traffic to your wall whether it’s through ads or referral traffic from other sources like TV or radio ads, testing can be made easier. You can control traffic a bit easier, allowing you to manually perform a split test. Whats the first message going to be that they see on your wall? This is all the more important with Facebook Timeline. No more landing pages! Figure out which message strategy is the most effective for your goals to maximize the traffic going to your wall. Without the call to action of a landing page, or the lure of additional content, coupon, etc… you very well could be less effective at getting your brand noticed, “Like”d, and shared.
With Facebook Timeline, testing the waters with different messaging strategies just got a bit easier. The ability to pin and star posts allows administrators of a page to dictate the effective size and placement of status messages – well the important ones anyways. Use this feature to test out your messages as well as provide a solution to that pesky no default landing page option.
Pinning a post will place that status message at the top of your wall for 7 days. You can choose to take it down sooner than 7, but the post cannot stay up longer than 7 days. The key here is that you’re able to control one of the first places your visitors land now: the top of your page.
Pin a post for a promotion you’re doing, but hide one message and switch out with another to test new traffic coming in from an ad you’re running elsewhere. Pin a similar post to the top of your page consistently for several days to test the content types effectiveness or the time of day. Depending on your data size (fan count), it can take quite a while to start seeing trends.
Starring a post expands the post to fit a larger area on your wall. This is great for status messages that contain preview images or are themselves images. This feature in essence calls out the status message and highlights it to your fans when viewing your wall. Use this feature to test out content types and time of day as well.
To me there seem to be a lot of potential options for this type of testing on Facebook. What type of messaging test and targeting would you like to do on your page? Tell us in the comments below!
Interested in learning more about the new Facebook Timeline and how it affects your Page? Attend my webinar on April 12th – register here: bit.ly/AprWebinar
You’ve seen the Facebook stats: 845 million active users (161 million active US users), 2.7B daily likes, 60% of all internet users in the US and UK are on Facebook, and 2 billion total registered users. The social media site we’ve been use to for the past 5+ years has grown and evolved – and your marketing strategy should as well.
Improving your Facebook marketing strategy over time requires a bit of trial and error. Heavy testing is involved and is my – 1st T: TEST. If you aren’t testing now, you’re missing out. Having your social media team utilize Facebook Insights is crucial to your success. Test and monitor your messaging strategy in the following ways:
- Time & date of successful status message updates
- Type of content and it’s success – pictures, video, etc…
- Trends in weekly total reach – look for cyclical patterns and spikes
- Friends of fans count – look for spikes to help you determine your most influential fans
- # of engaged users and reach per message
There are key sets of data you can obtain by testing, as you can see above. Utilize this information to target your messaging in a better way to your audience – T #2: TARGET. It makes sense that messaging strategies that target your demographic are going to be the most successful, but surprisingly many Facebook admins update their status messages ‘willy-nilly’, often forgetting who their real target market is.
With T #1: TEST, you’ll get a good idea of how your current fans engage with your page. Use this information to target your messages. Do Q&A type of posts work better? This type of messaging, when asking the right questions, can target users in certain buying cycles and help push them over the edge to make purchases. Is more engagement on posts targeted to a certain type of fan? Status messages catering to a female demographic, if you have more female fans than male, can produce higher engagement scores. Do you have a lot of international fans? Page admins can target messaging by location or language. Look at the data and target – enuf said!
And on to – T #3: TAG. It’s surprising to me how few brands actually use tagging. This is one of the best features on Facebook that allows you to cross promote your page and engage as a brand with other pages. Start using tagging in status message updates to highlight business partnerships, give shoutouts to employees, highlight an awesome charity or shed light on a new cause. Start using tagging to engage with other pages and you’ll find the fans of those pages will slowly follow.
Something else to remember when using Facebook to market your business is – T #4: TRENDS. I use Facebook both personally and professionally, so it seems I’m logged in quite a bit. Over time you start to notice trends in the messages of your friends. Whether it’s things they’re talking about, types of questions they’re asking, events they’re reporting about or even content they’re sharing – these are all opportunities as marketers to get great ideas for your business page.
For example, the “meme” trend and caption photos are pretty hot right now on Facebook. As a business page you can utilize this trend and make your own memes or caption photos. If you weren’t following the trends, however, you may have missed this type of messaging on Facebook. The “Doppelgänger” fad from a few years ago is another example. Using these trending topics to engage with your users can help improve engagement and the effectiveness of your efforts.
Well there you have it, the 4 T’s to help improve your Facebook marketing strategy. Can you think of a few more T’s to add to the list?
Sure, the Facebook Share button is no longer officially available from Facebook. But that doesn’t stop sites from finding the code and using it. The question is – why are people (like myself) still using it and how does it affect your actual “like” count?
Customizing Shares with the Facebook Share Button
The main reason I still use the Facebook Share button on my blog over the Facebook Like button is for the way it works. When you click on the Facebook Share button, you will get the chance to do the following.
- Change the privacy of your shared post to Public, Friends, Custom, or only to be shown to specific lists.
- Post the share on your own timeline, on a friend’s timeline, in a group, on your page, or in a private message.
- Add a comment on why you are sharing the post.
- Change the thumbnail to one you like the best.
- Click on the title and description of the link and edit it to suit your needs.
When you click on the Facebook Like button, however, you only get the chance to add a comment.
It will then automatically show up on your Timeline as a public post with the thumbnail Facebook chooses and the default title and description.
The tradeoff with using the Facebook Share button over the Like button is that the people who don’t care how the post appears on their profile might be miffed at the fact they need to take the extra steps to customizing the post before it goes on their profile. You can satisfy everyone’s needs by placing both buttons on your website, but then you have less room to add other social sharing buttons. Since I have mine in a neat row at the top of posts, I would have to trade off my LinkedIn, Google+, or Buffer button.
Counting Shares vs. Likes
The next question about the Facebook Share button is what the difference is when counting shares vs. likes. I had the same question, so I used the links.getStats console for Facebook developers which you can only use if you have developed an app on Facebook. I only use the Share button on my blog posts, so I got the stats for one of my most popular Facebook posts on the new Timeline profile.
It shows the total count of Facebook shares as 467, Likes as 294, and comments as 276. Whenever I plug my post’s URL into the Like button code box, I get a total of 1,037 likes.
This means that whenever someone shares, likes or comments on your post on Facebook that it all will be totaled up as likes toward your post!
Getting the Code
Before adding the Facebook Share button, I will give you this disclaimer – although it is working now, it might not be for long since Facebook has redirected the page for their Share button to the Like button. If you choose to use it until it stops functioning, you can do so by placing the following code into your website’s template.
If you want the code for the Facebook Like button instead, you can get it via the configuration tool on the Like button plugins page.
Do you use the Facebook Share or Facebook Like button? Which one do you prefer using when going to someone else’s site? Please share your thoughts in the comments!
There are so many marketing options available for brands that it’s especially hard during the holidays to decide where your efforts should go. After reading a blog post on B2B marketing on Foursquare I thought about options for any brands that might be looking to use Foursquare this holiday season. With a bit of creativity there are many things you try out this holiday season.
Offer a Special
Increased foot traffic in malls or shopping plazas can mean more people near your business. By offering a special on Foursquare you stand a chance of having someone within range of your business visit your location, check in, share their location with friends, and of course possibly purchasing something to get the discount.
It’s surprising to see that so many businesses offer specials to their customers through varies medias but don’t put that same exact special on Foursquare. During this time of year especially, specials and discounts can get more traffic into your doors. It doesn’t take much to set up on Foursquare and to let your staff know about the special.
Make One-On-One Connections
If someone is checking into your business shouldn’t you say thank you? Having someone on staff monitor check-ins at your location during the holidays can help give an added personal feel to the experience at your business for a customer. Try welcoming them while at the store, offering assistance, or asking how their experience was.
Don’t Forget the Mayor
Have a few regular customers battling it out to become mayor of your establishment? Continue the battle across multiple platforms and create a contest over the holidays on Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook. This can help spark others to get in on the game, coming back to your establishment often. Have a leader board posted at your location and keep tally. Aren’t in the mood for a game? Simply offer a discount to the mayor and thank them for their patronage – few businesses do it.
Craft and art fairs, bizarres, and holiday markets are all great places to sell your wares during the holidays. Monitoring the users who check into the event and directing them to your booth is easy to do through the use of Foursquare and other social media platforms. But why stop there? Try connecting with people before they go to the event by setting up a search on Twitter, or connecting with them afterwards too. Use this opportunity to help build your client base to take you through the new year.
Offer After-Holiday Discounts
By setting up a Twitter search of all the mentions of your brand name or store on Twitter, you can be notified when someone checks into your store or mentions your brand (even if they aren’t using Foursquare). Not only should you thank them for checking in but offer them a discount code (via DM) for the next time they stop in. You have the possibility of turning that one time sale or one time visit into more. Don’t forget – it’s not just about Black Friday deals. Customers are likely to appreciate a non-black Friday deal too, so get them to come back into your store after the holiday rush.
Discussed in the post I mentioned previously, B2B marketing can be done using Foursquare quite easily. Most of the suggestions offered will require businesses to allow their employees to use social media. Limiting employee social media usage is a trend that has been decreasing over recent years. A recent “Robert Half Technology” study shows social media permitted in the workplace for business purposes becoming more common. If you happen to be in a B2B market and allow your employees to use social media try out this suggestion to use Foursquare to market your brand.
Events – Foursquare can help you promote holiday and company events, and pre-buzz through other social channels can help as well. Igniting conversation about your brands activities, involvement in the community, or camaraderie can sometimes boost sales. If you are hosting a holiday party set up an event and have your staff tweet, Facebook, and check-in on Foursquare. Encourage them to take pictures too.
These are just a few of the ways you can use Foursquare this holiday season. Have more to add? Feel free – in the comments below!
Andy at SmartBlogs.com wrote a great post about how to use Foursquare for word-of-mouth campaigns. Check it out!
Caution: The opinions in the following blog post represent my own as a guest blogger—not necessarily Search Engine Marketing Group’s or Gerald Weber’s. Just sayin’…
Okay, I’ve got to get something off my chest here. It’s been building and building and if I don’t scream it from the mountain tops, my chest is going to explode. So here it is. Are you ready.
GO TO HELL, GOOGLE PLUS!
Wow. There. I said it. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Who cares. Big deal, so you hate it. You’re a Facebook groupie. Or a Twitter Tweeter. Or whatever. Big deal, join the club.”
Ah, but see, it’s different for me. Why? Because I’m busy trying to pull my foot out of my mouth. Not sure what I’m talking about? Checkout this post I made on my blog a few months back, in which I said that Google Plus was basically going to murder Facebook.
Here’s the deal. I wanted Google Plus to be our savior. You know, the one to topple the world system (i.e. Facebook) and bring revolution to the social media world. I prayed that it was true. I hoped with everything within me. In fact, I wanted it to be the case so badly that I wrote a post daring people to argue otherwise with me.
But here I am, a few months later, barely even blinking when I see my Google Plus notifications box pop up. Why? Here’s what I’ve narrowed it down to:
- My friends aren’t into it. Well, a couple of them maybe. But most of the updates I’m reading are from people I barely know. And quite frankly, I could care less what most of them have to say.
- People keep adding me and I have no clue who they are. Not sure what the deal is, but I sear the last million people to put me in their circles—I don’t know them. No clue at all. And let’s face it, I don’t really feel like getting to know them.
- I’m in too deep with the other social networks. My worst fear. I’m too tied into Facebook and Twitter to quit. I’m an addict. Sad, yet so true.
Now, am I saying Google Plus won’t beat them out in the end? Not necessarily. When you compare Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus you can definitely put together a solid argument in Google Pluses favor. But as for now, as for me…sorry Google Plus. I just don’t have the time or the patience.
Business and Social Media – How Not to Manage Your Campaign
Up until recently, Yo Sushi was one of my favourite restaurants. Yes, I know, there’s better Sushi out there, but I live in Nottingham and as it goes, we’re pretty limited in choice when it comes to Japanese fare.
Unfortunately, as the dedicated Yo Sushi lover I am, I made the mistake of being roped in by Yo’s ‘Super Sumo Sunday’ all-you-can-eat deal.
I’ve always been a sucker for all-you-can-eat restaurants yet this time; I was well and truly suckered.
Yo Sushi charges £18.50 a head for their ‘Super Sumo Sunday’ deal. Sounds pretty reasonable at first, when you consider how quickly the cost of those little coloured plates adds up.
Yet this deal comes with rules. You have to finish everything on your plate (fair enough, I hate waste too), you have two hours in which to ‘enjoy the deal’ and most importantly – you can’t make orders.
So, you are stuck with what’s on the belt. And on this occasion; it wasn’t much.
Seriously, if I ever see edamame beans or fish stick rolls again it will be too soon.
Granted, you were allowed to make ‘requests’ for food to appear on the belt but seeing as I was made to feel like a naughty child for doing so, I instead waited patiently for something new and interesting to roll round.
And guess what – it didn’t. Those two hours can pass surprisingly quickly when you’re splitting your time between staring at the belt; just in-case you might miss something good, and checking the clock to see how long you have left to actually grab and eat something good.
And these tense two hours came in at just over £40 for two, with a drink each, for an evening meal on a Sunday.
Now – I’ll get to the point.
Following Yo Sushi boasting about the continuation of Super Sumo Sunday’s on their Facebook page, I took the opportunity to air my views.
I posted a not entirely impolite summary of my experience and waited patiently for their response.
And waited, and waited.
Yo Sushi kindly took the time to respond to another ‘fan’ who had posted excitedly about the opening of a new branch. They even addressed her by name. Yet I went ignored.
Yet shortly after, I wasn’t the only person expressing my dissatisfaction. Others had joined in too, so I posted again.
Finally, I got a response. And I must say; I wasn’t pleased.
Apparently they ‘appreciate my thoughts and feedback’; yet they don’t acknowledge me as a person and they don’t mention my complaint.
In fact, this is one of the most corporate, impersonal and simply insincere attempts at social media I’ve seen yet.
Anyone who knows anything about social media knows that when you place your company in the ‘social sphere’ you are setting yourself up for both good and bad publicity.
And thus, you have to handle this publicity properly.
Speak to the dishevelled customer as an individual. Demonstrate that you care about their complaint and want to ensure the company resolves the issue for the future.
Up until this point, I had always quite admired Yo’s social efforts. Yet this is the first time I have seen them tested. And they failed – badly.
I won’t lie – I did have a slight hope that my complaint might lead to the offer of a free meal. I had of course wasted over £40 on some of the cheapest food they have available.
Yet what I wanted most was a response that made it clear Yo Sushi genuinely took my complaint on board and would take steps to ensure their Super Sumo Sunday deals were more satisfactory in future.
But I got neither.
Instead, they have not only ensured that myself and my friends will never take Yo Sushi up on the offer of this ‘deal’ again, but they have left me with a sour taste in my mouth and an uneasy feeling towards Yo Sushi in general.
Businesses take note; Yo Sushi’s handling of this matter has lost them a regular customer.
Remember that this is the digital age, and people won’t just be talking about you down the local pub with friends.
It’s a tough world out there and when you want to succeed in business, it’s not purely about profit – it’s about pleasing your customers too.
And I’m sorry to say, but right now, Yo Sushi is not pleasing this one.
Yo Sushi –Yo clearly don’t care about yo customers.
If you want to strengthen your personal or business brand’s visibility, then one of the top things you will want is to have strong social media profiles that rank in the top results for your name along with your website and blog. Having a strong online reputation that is comprised of nothing but content that highlights the best about your personal or business brand will allow you to keep undesirable results at bay, such as bad online reviews or mentions.
You’ve probably read lots of posts talking about how to properly optimize your social media profiles for search, and they’ve probably all sounded a little like this.
- Be active – Yes, this is true. Just like Google loves regularly updated blogs and websites, they equally love regularly updated social profiles.
- Optimize photo filenames – This only works on some networks, which I will mention below. It doesn’t hurt to upload photos with your name or keywords in the filename, but networks like Facebook rename the photo filenames anyway, so for some networks, it’s useless.
- Engage with your followers, fans, and connections – This is a good thing to do regardless of the SEO value of it. Engaging with others will keep your profile updated often, and being helpful will also lead to other’s recommending you to their audience. Search #FollowFriday to see what I mean.
- Vanity URL – From what I can tell, the URL does not count for anything but branding except on specific networks. For example, my Facebook fan page name is Kikolani, and the username for the URL is artofblogging. The fan page does not rank for art of blogging, but does rank for Kikolani. But again, it all depends on the network.
While these are great tips for your overall social media strategy, they are not the end all of SEO for your social network profiles. Certain networks use specific elements of information that you supply in your profile to optimize each profile on their network. The following will guide you to the right fields to optimize for the best possible search optimization of your social networks. The best part is that all customizations noted are using each site’s free accounts – no need to upgrade to Pro if all you’re looking for is optimization!
Quick and Dirty Onsite SEO 101
Before we get started, here are some key things to keep in mind about the following mentioned SEO elements of your social profiles. The order of importance is generally SEO Title, Meta Description, header tags (H1, H2, H3), image ALT tags, image filenames, and bolded text. Also, when it comes to search results, the typical result will look like this with the SEO Title as the linked information and the Meta Description as the details beneath it:
But what if you don’t care about the SEO?
That’s ok – this post still has some great information for you! Usually the parts of your profile that are used for search optimization are also used for the network’s own search results. So if you don’t want to think of it as SEO work, think of it as simply social optimization!
Let’s start with the hottest new social media network of them all – Google’s own Google+. Whenever you are filling out your Google+ profile, be sure to note the following areas of information that will enhance the search optimization of your presence on this network.
SEO Title: Your Name – Google+
Google+ is all about the personal branding, and they insist that you use your real name for your profile. So don’t try to stick keywords or business names in your profiles – not yet at least!
Meta Description: Your Name – Your Headline + Your Occupation
The Meta Description for your Google+ profile is a combination of different pieces of profile information, starting with your name followed by your headline (the line below your name), your occupation, your first employer listed, and then your introduction text. So make sure that the first 160 characters count by writing a great headline and occupation title. Also make sure those areas are set to be seen by anyone on the web.
Extra Search Tidbits: Your Links
From what I can tell, the links within the introduction content as well as the ones under other profiles, contributor to, and recommended links are all dofollow. So don’t shy away from anchor text as this is a prime Google property!
Assuming that not much changes when Facebook decides to revamp the fan pages as they have recently with the personal profiles, the following areas of information contribute to your fan page SEO.
SEO Title: Your Page Name | Facebook
If you didn’t consider keyword optimization when you created it, and you have less than 100 fans, you’re in luck. You can still change your page’s name. What you will want to keep in mind is that your branding may be more important than your keyword rankings, especially if you want people to be able to find you if they are searching your brand.
Meta Description: Your Page Name + Your About Description | Facebook
To edit your About information to make a great Meta Description, go to your page and Edit Page > Basic Information, and fill in the About field with a 140 character description like you would with any website Meta Description.
Extra Search Tidbits: Your Fan Page Updates Have SEO Value
Did you know that each of your status updates on your Facebook fan page have a page of their own (click the timestamp of one to see). If you’re posting a standard status update, the SEO Title for the individual page of your updates will be pulled from the first 18 characters (though sometimes it is a bit less). If you’re posting a link to your fan page wall, you’ll have an option to “Say something about this link…” – the first 18 characters of what you enter in this field are going to be the SEO Title of that status update.
If you’re concerned about optimizing your updates while considering them as individual pages under the umbrella of your fan page, then you might want to consider sticking some keywords right at the beginning of your comment. So if you’re posting an update about keyword research, just start the update with keyword research. It is a simple, effective way to keyword optimize each update.
Twitter doesn’t have much in the way of traditional SEO elements for your public profile, but it has a few important things to keep in mind.
SEO Title: Your Name (username) on Twitter
On Twitter, your name under the Profile Settings and your username are the title tags for your profile. So keywords in your username might just be worthwhile if they are still available.
Profile Image: Filename and Your Name as ALT Tag
When it comes to your profile image, be sure to optimize it by using your name as the filename. Twitter will automatically use your name under the Profile Settings as the ALT tag for your profile image as well.
Extra Search Tidbits: Keywords in Your Bio
While they may not come up in the standard SEO elements for your profile, your bio information is key. Services like Klout pull your Twitter bio information as your Klout profile description. FollowerWonk, Formulists, and other Twitter search engines use keywords in your bio in search results when people are looking for similar tweeps to follow. You can also include a link or another Twitter handle if applicable.
LinkedIn Professional Profiles
LinkedIn, the leading professional social network, has the most user-controlled SEO elements out of any other network I’ve checked out. Here are the areas you can customize!
SEO Title: Your Name| LinkedIn
While some people suggest adding keywords to your name field, the LinkedIn terms of service discourages this practice. Be confident that your personal branding is strong enough not to need the extra keyword stuffing that you can do later in your profile.
Profile Image: Filename and Your Name as ALT Tag
Just like Twitter, you should make sure you use your name as the filename for your profile image. LinkedIn will use your name as the ALT tag for your image as well.
H3 Tags: Your Job Titles
Are you ready to get some keywords into your profile? Make sure your job titles for current and previous positions include some great keywords and those keywords will be in your profile page’s H3 tags. Mine include freelance writer, blog marketing expert, photographer, and guest blogging contributor.
Extra Search Tidbit: LinkedIn Search Optimization
According to the LinkedInfluence program by Lewis Howes, if you want to rank well for keywords searched within LinkedIn’s people search, you will want to include your targeted keywords in the following:
- Your Professional Headline
I also think that belonging to some industry appropriate groups that are publicly listed on your profile can add to extra keyword usage on your profile. So choose your groups wisely!
YouTube offers a lot of great SEO options, from the channel to the videos. Here is what you’ll want to make sure you include in your profile.
SEO Title: Your Username’s Channel – YouTube
This is one of the cases where your username which doubles as part of your URL counts in terms of the search optimization, so make it count – just be sure you do so with your branding in mind more so than keywords. It will be a lot harder for people to find you if they search SEO company vs. Your Uniquely-Named SEO Company.
Meta Description: Your Channel Description
Whenever you are setting up your channel, pay extra attention to the Channel Description which is under the Profile > Edit settings. This will be your channel’s Meta Description!
Extra SEO Tidbits: Your Website & Your Videos
Ever wanted a backlink from a PR 9 domain? Then your search is over – whenever you create your YouTube channel, be sure to fill in your website link. Granted it has no anchor text, but it’s a dofollow link sitting on a strong Google property.
When it comes to videos, the reason they do so well in search is because the video title doubles as the SEO Title and the video description doubles as the Meta Description. And even though Google doesn’t supposedly care about Meta Keywords, they do use the video’s tags in that space – just group multiple keywords in quotations. My search story uses the tags “kristi hines” “freelance writer” “online marketing consultant” scottsdale arizona. Keep these fields in mind to rank well in both the YouTube and Google results.
Also, be sure to get your video-specific keyword ideas using YouTube’s own keyword tool. It looks at what is searched the most on YouTube itself.
Biznik Professional Profiles
Biznik, another popular professional social network, has some areas that you can customize to optimize your profile for SEO.
SEO Title: Your Job – Your Location – Your Name
The SEO Title for your Biznik profile combines three important parts of your profile – your current job title, your city and state, and your name. It’s perfect for keyword optimization, local search optimization, and personal branding!
Meta Description: Your Google Summary
Unlike most profiles where you have to condense your About Me information into 140 characters, Biznik allows you to have a What You Do description for visitors and a separate, optimized Google Summary for your Meta Description.
H1: Your Name + Your Job
In case the SEO Title and Meta Description are not enough, Biznik also uses your name and job title as your profile’s main H1 Tag. Nothing like a little extra optimization!
Profile Image: Filename and Your Name as ALT Tag
Just like Twitter and LinkedIn, you should make sure you use your name as the filename for your profile image. Biznik will use your name as the ALT tag for your image as well.
Extra SEO Tidbits: Your Website
Your Biznik profile allows you to add one website link with your preferred anchor text (you can have two if you go Pro for $10 / month) . It’s dofollow, so don’t miss out on adding it for visitors and for search engines!
Quora, one of the hottest question and answer networks, offers a little SEO optimization for users who join their community.
SEO Title: Your Name – Quora
As is the trend for most networks, Quora uses your name in your profile’s SEO title.
Meta Property: Your Long Bio
Quora is a bit unusual in the sense that they use the Facebook Developer’s Meta Property=”og:description” instead of the traditional Meta Description for search results. For this, they pull the information that you include in your Long Bio which should be one to two sentences long. If you search your profile in Google, however, you will see that it pulls your name, your Short Bio, and then your Long Bio as the actual Meta Description snippet.
H1 Tag: Your Name + Your Short Bio
The H1 Tag for your Quora profile will be your name plus your Short Bio. It unfortunately cuts off your tag at 50 characters, so be sure to get your main keyword into your short bio first.
Extra SEO Tidbits: Including Your Websites in the Long Bio
Although the links are nofollow (and mashed up into some crazy looking code), one thing I have noticed about Quora is that you can generate a lot of views and followers fast by answering questions. So SEO value or not, be sure to include your main website links in your Long Bio box. Just type out the URL – it will automatically hyperlink.
About.me is one of my favorite online business card sites. It allows you to compile your social profile links, blog, and a short description all on one page. The nice part is that it is a well-optimized page!
SEO Title: Your Name (Your Username) on about.me
About.me is another network where both your name and your username count heavily in the optimization of your profile.
Meta Description: Your Biography
Although you can write as long of a biography as you want on your profile, remember that the first 160 characters count for your Meta Description. This also means if you use a link in your biography, it will be counted as part of the Meta Description, so try to save the links until after the first 160.
Extra SEO Tidbits: Website Links
There are two ways to add website links to your About.me profile. One is through the biography mentioned earlier. The other is through the Services as Flat URL’s. I prefer adding them in the biography because not only are they dofollow, but the coding within the biography is cleaner than the coding used for the Flat URL’s. It may not make much of a difference, but since every bit of link juice helps, it doesn’t hurt to use the most cleanly coded HTML possible.
Bonus: How to Check Your Profile’s SEO
Curious about more networks than the ones listed? Check out your social profile’s SEO by doing the following in Google Chrome using the SEO Site Tools extension.
- Logout of the network. You want to see your profile like a search engine sees it with whatever information you have made public and accessible to anyone, not just those logged into the network.
- Click on the SEO Site Tools magnifying lens button and look under Page Elements. Here you will see your SEO Title, Meta Description, and Meta Keywords.
- Scroll down through the Page Elements for additional information such as Img Tags, H1 Tags, H2 Tags, H3 Tags, and H4 Tags.
Chances are you will see elements in your social profiles that you can control in those tags – be sure to optimize your profile accordingly from there!
I hope you enjoyed this post! Please be sure to share it with others so they can also reap the benefits of a SEO optimized social media profile for better personal and professional branding! If you’re curious about the SEO optimization elements of other social networks, feel free to ask in the comments and I will check them out for you! And let us know what profiles rank the best for your name or brand!
This is a guest post from Lewis Austin. It is part of The 2nd annual “Bad Ass” SEO Guest Blogging Contest.
I don’t know about you, but I believe that all those one-time satisfied social networkers are FINALLY beginning to stem the hysteria that’s been surrounding the craze for a number of years now.
The original concept of social media is dropping dead, partly because more and more people are beginning to pick holes in its design and influence. Those who were quick to jump on the social bandwagon have found that the fast-growing phenomenon can only plod along for so long until it hits a big, brutal brick wall.
A lot of web users wouldn’t even have been interested in the launch of Google +, even though it is supposedly a revolutionary platform that will change the social media landscape irreversibly, because it’s automatically been compared to every other network of its kind (*coughFACEBOOKcough*). The reality of it all is that none of the features behind the best-loved social networks are new. Everything in the social media world has been done before and I’m clutching at straws trying to find anything that’s blown me away recently. If you look at the major networks and question what sets them apart from the rest, you really start to find more similarities than differences. And often the underlying reasons causing the introduction of each feature are much more flawed than you, being a fierce social networker, would care to admit.
The new features that have been released are simply expansions on what we already had. Take, for example, Facebook Places. Essentially, Facebook Places has just ripped off Foursquare and Gowalla. And for those who don’t know, Foursquare and Gowalla are location-based social networks that revolve around their ‘check-in’ feature. This means that if you’re meeting up with friends you can announce your new location to a select list of friends. Facebook decided to kill their app off, as they realised that only 6% of users had actually bothered trying it, so now the Places feature has been integrated into status updates. Which in itself is just irritating.
I’ve got a couple of burning problems with this system. Firstly, there is no need to dish out your latest physical location on a digital map for everyone to see. What purpose does it serve? Facebook makes all sorts of personal information available to others anyway, so essentially any nosy soul is set up to become your stalker; they can already look up your email address and phone number but now have the opportunity to track your current location too.
This feature is obviously raising concerns for safety of the younger generation of Facebook profilers. Despite the rules there are a lot of kids on Facebook who are clearly under 13 (a whole separate issue for a whole other blog!). Although some may argue that FB can’t be responsible for those who break FB law, these fledgling users have created a danger for themselves because their entire list of friends has full access to all of their information. It’s all too easy to imagine how less-than-scrupulous members of society would go about getting in touch with those who are slightly more impressionable.
You need to ask yourself if you want all of your Facebook friends to know exactly where you are 24/7. This isn’t a trust issue but more of a case of TMI. Quite frankly, being constantly bombarded with details about someone’s whereabouts is dull.
Anyway, the crux of the matter is, Facebook Places was not an original idea. Fact.
Now here’s one you may have spotted. Google Circles is just a developed version of Facebook’s Groups. This Google+ feature allows you to organise your contacts into particular groups, or Circles, and lets you choose how you share your data. Basically, this means you can separate dignified posts from slightly less savoury updates and distribute different types of information to different groups of people in your life. But, however well Circles took off initially, once I waited for all the Google+ hype to die down it became clearer to me that there was definitely a primitive version of Circles already available to app-starved socio-lites.
Facebook Groups were clearly the inspiration for the big G’s ‘pioneering’ feature. It must be said that Google has used this idea as a crucial building block for its platform and developed the initial idea significantly, which is highlighted in comparison to the lacklustre reception of Groups – in fact, it has to be said that many Facebook users did not really know about the feature and found no valid use for it. (…Myself included).
THE TWITTER-PATTER OF TIRED FEET
Twitter is the micro-blogging social network that has acquired 200 million users since its launch and it is safe to say that in terms of popularity, this site has literally exploded. The whole concept of Twitter is just a squished-down version of Facebook, taking all of the good qualities that Facebook offers to networkers, simplifying them and condensing them all together to create the hassle-free conversation platform that we all know and love. The process of befriending one of your peers consists of the click of a button and once you’re deemed a ‘follower’ you gain access to their status updates as and when they happen.
There is a bare minimum of information that is actually shared between users. All that’s required is a profile name, your general location and a paragraph about yourself. One of the most appealing things about Twitter is the simplicity of it all, I suppose. Updates are only 140 characters long, so all information that is shared is short and to the point (a concept that Facebook never really understood right from the beginning, with their fancy lists and whatnot). You don’t need to read through a novel of uninteresting information to find something useful. However, what is happening on Twitter is not new – the idea of ‘following’ others and checking out their updates is practically a simplified RSS Feed.
There is a mentioning feature which allows you to let someone know you are talking to/about them, but again this is a meeker version of the status tags on Facebook where you can tag someone in a post. The recent addition of the promoted Tweets feature leaves a lot to be desired, too. Allegedly set up to give businesses the opportunity to stick a short ad up alongside their relevant search terms, the idea is a spin-off of Facebook paid search advertising, which itself is an adaptation of Google’s highly successful Pay Per Click model. Despite its good intentions (for the profitability of businesses if nothing else), the feature seems to have slipped right under the radar and remained so unobtrusive to the point that many users have wondered whether its introduction was worthwhile.
THE MARRIAGE OF FACESPACE AND MYBOOK
Yet the classic case of feature-swapping is best explained by the rivalry between Myspace and Facebook. These networks were both possibly the biggest international social networks going at any time. I remember when Myspace was big. Myspace drew in the younger generation of networkers through its clear focus on custom pages and entertainment, but the novelty soon wore off as users began to migrate over to Facebook. I had a lot of fun on Myspace myself but when all of my friends began flocking to Facebook I had no choice but to join – after all, what is a social network without any friends? You’re just talking to yourself on a pretty little platform.
In an attempt to win back some users, Myspace introduced the same features that helped Facebook win users, such as photo tagging and of course the infamous like button.
We do need to remember, however, that this brutal method of prising users from the arms of the musclier, more exotic newcomer is not uncommon. Resorting to copycat tactics has always been a last ditch effort to win people back.
IT’S BUSINESS TIME
More and more businesses are flocking to social networks in the hope of building brand awareness and generating leads, but this trend isn’t a new one either. In the past, businesses simply had to go it alone. There was a distinct lack of professionalism and strategy behind social media management, with companies stabbing users in the dark with half-arsed promo campaigns, but now social media management has expanded into an actual occupation. Proof of this is that SEO companies and the like employ dedicated social media marketers (such as myself!) to manage the successful manipulation of platforms like Twitter and Facebook. We handle everything, from the basic layout to the select information we share with fans. Companies will invest in this service because, as long as their chosen social marketer knows their stuff, social networks are the equivalent to free advertising – it just takes some time to determine the methods that will work best. But despite starting every social campaign with the best intentions, we have to ask ourselves this simple question from time to time: have those very users we’re looking to influence cottoned on to our efforts? Are they so used to being ‘sold to’ that they simply shake off all our attempts to amaze them? Social networks weren’t set up to cater for big money-hungry brands.
LOCKING YOUR DOORS AND LEAVING NETWORKS THE KEY
Privacy is an issue that’s constantly niggling at the back of our minds. It’s simply human nature to want to keep our information safe and secure; hold our cards close to our chest. The on-going disputes about each user’s right to confidentiality are going to eventually determine the way in which we communicate. We need to understand that the net was made for sharing, yet still have some say in the way in which our personal information is used. Unfortunately, it’s a debate that’s not going to get resolved anytime soon, and here’s why.
Google caused uproar with its real names policy. Even though Plus was still in its beta stages, if Big G believed you were posing as someone else, you got promptly kicked off. Such was the case of Violet Blue, a renowned author and blogger who’s so highly regarded that she once appeared as a guest on Oprah. Violet was invited to the network by Big G itself, yet once the fake names policy was put in place, her account was suspended. Work that one out.
Teething problems, perhaps? I don’t think so. The Google+ team have stuck to their guns and are of the opinion that you need to pay for the privilege of joining their network by surrendering your identity. Using fake names makes it impossible for your closest friends to find you and therefore goes against the entire principle behind SOCIAL networking. But for many, the issue is this: if you’ve been using a make-believe persona throughout your entire cyber life, why should you need to disclose your true identity now? Many enjoy venting their frustrations or meeting other like-minded tech-heads completely anonymously. This ‘real name’ palaver caused problems for many and turned G+ from a convenient communications platform to a definite hassle within a matter of weeks. I reckon all the effort put into restricting usage should have been put into creating a safer, more secure environment for all networkers.
There are hugely popular conspiracy theories related to Facebook and its privacy policies. Many believe that the CIA use Facebook as a data mining system, which sees them flaunting the fact that many of us have become dependent on it and will happily choose convenience over security any day of the week.
The well-known ‘hacktivist’ group Anonymous have warned that they’re planning to take down Facebook sometime around November 5th. This group of free radicals is being targeted by the FBI and have already infiltrated many government run websites that they consider against their cause. Better back up your favourite pics just in case then, hey. Targeting Zuckerberg’s crowned jewels is no coincidence, though; group leaders were furious after sussing out that Facebook will desperately hold on to your personal information, no matter what you do. If you decide to throw in the towel and delete your profile, FB will ‘hold on’ to your info, just in case you decide to return with your tail between your legs. They won’t just cling to your name and email address; they’ll make sure they store all of your activity history. If I’d have known this when I first set my profile up, I would have avoided joining completely!
Surely, the only move that will truly ‘revolutionise’ social networks would be giving users full control over their own privacy settings. Not just the ability to decide who’s allowed to tag you in their album or who’ll be able to track down your late-night video-sharing – proper, true control of your online footprint. Finding a way to make it harder for close friends and complete strangers can dig through a past that they weren’t involved in. My personal opinion is that having that information available is practically advertising it to be read, so I guess the best way to fight FB’s policy is to be extra careful about what you release.
PROFIT ABOVE PRIVACY
So, keen to overturn this dismal perception of network privacy, Google+ launched with the admirable intention of making sure everyone was upfront and honest about their identity and used their profile for the right reasons. What they fail to tell you is that, once you’ve set up a Gmail account, the bots crawling their servers can pick out keywords from your messages and use what they find for targeted advertising. They’ll pick out frequent topics from your conversations and send you useful (*cough*) ads and tailor-made discounts from relevant companies. Now, if we received our post already hacked to pieces by an over-eager mail man, we wouldn’t be best pleased, would we? So in terms of the way your account is manipulated, is this purely a case of ‘what I don’t know about can’t hurt me’? One step forward, twenty gigantic strides back, big G.
Microsoft actually took a stab at Google’s prying eye and created the GmailMan video to promote their new, slightly more ethical email service. It’s an exaggerated stab, granted, but the root of the problem is clearly raised.
REALITY AND WEB-ALITY
There used to be a clear line drawn between reality and web-ality. In real life you pop off down the pub for a pint and a catch-up; in web-ality you connect with those you never would have met were it not for the internet. Yet it seems that as time goes on the web still strives to become as realistic as possible. It’s important to remember that once you’ve ‘friended’ someone on the web, they’ve generally got unlimited access to your online movements. This isn’t like real life. In real life, if you meet a new friend, you don’t tell them everything about you. Some things they just won’t want to know.
With each ‘convenient’ update released, with each development launched, we’re told that we become closer to the ‘ultimate’ social networking experience. These platforms were set up to make it easier to connect with people, but what if we’re just victims of a communication overload?
This could be said of the latest changes that have been proposed for the Facebook layout (which, by the way, haven’t been received particularly well). The design updates, which were revealed by founder Zuckerberg at the annual F8 convention, include plans to encourage each user to share as much media as possible, allowing each of your friends to watch your online life almost in real-time. To replace traditional profile interfaces, Zuckerberg wants to roll out a vis-audio timeline of your activity, replacing streams with a mish-mash of videos, photos, audio and statuses. Facebook has received criticism from the masses – many have protested by describing the new look ‘too cluttered’ and ‘too complicated’ and are of the opinion that the site has become ‘too difficult to use and enjoy’. There’s too much going on, quite frankly, and users have been put off by the inability to easily shut off particular aspects of their life from certain friends.
The Likely Aftermath
Trying to tie together all these issues in what was supposed to be an upbeat article has been a mammoth task. But at the end of the day, I feel that many of us are still blinded by networking’s glory days and refuse to accept that the networks’ foundations are crumbling. Unless we can break down the barriers that stop social media REALLY progressing, we’ll simply keep getting fed the same ideas over and over until we fall off the wagon completely.
Listen and learn, social networks. Your users don’t want real life, they want freedom, optional anonymity and, above all, choice – three aspects of social media that are quickly slipping out of their reach. Major turn off; major brick wall.
But what do you think? Are you still enjoying social networking as much as ever, or do you feel the concept has been exhausted too?
This is a guest post from James Adams. It is part of The 2nd annual “Bad Ass” SEO Guest Blogging Contest.
Facebook may be the perfect way to keep in touch with friends online, but it’s also an increasingly important venue for businesses to engage with customers. As the social network becomes ever more prevalent, the marketing sector of the site has exploded – although many businesses have been thrown aside during the boom.
Find out which businesses have a handle on Facebook marketing with our top 5 pack leaders.
You might say iTunes has got it easy, it a business with plenty of content to share and give away by its very nature, but where this Facebook page really shines is in its ‘Featured’ tab. There users find everything from free music podcasts and the option to share tunes with friends to exclusive offers, just the kind of things that tempt them to click like.
A brand well known for its quirky adverts, Redbull has managed to bring much of the same feeling of fun to its Facebook page. The killer move has to be the relationship the drinks company has built with athletes – and the way it allows sports fans to connect to their favourite stars. Exclusive content, Redbull TV and a range of its own games and apps, this is a page easy to lose hours to.
A flight comparisons site that certainly doesn’t have its head in the clouds, Skyscanner is leading the way when it comes to functional Facebook offerings. Users can post a flight request on Skyscanner’s Wall and receive a price quote and flight details back in seconds – all without having to leave the page or download an app. For example, if you were thinking of flying from London to New York in November, you would just type something like ‘London NY November’ and it would ping you back a best price and a link to the website to continue your booking. Other fun functions include a regular ‘where in the world’ where users are asked to place a holiday snap by country as well as thought provoking Q&A sessions and polls.
Film studio Pixar knows how to do something right, and the Facebook page for Toy Story is a perfect example of this. Not only is their page crammed with cute content, such as the excellent Toy creator’ app, it’s also nice and functional. When Toy Story 3 was released, fans could buy tickets without ever leaving their Facebook page and the same can now be done for DVDs.
Ben and Jerry’s
Already well loved for its inventive ice creams, this brand has brought the same innovative approach to its Facebook page – and with great success. With campaigns such as the app that let users turn their text upside down to celebrate ‘Flipped Out’ ice cream to apps offering free tubs, there’s something there for anyone with a sweet tooth.
Having a Facebook presence is about more than just having a Facebook page. It’s about engaging with people. It doesn’t take much work either. Could you host a monthly Q&A session? It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, where that’s marketing, construction, publishing – the important thing is to establish yourself as an expert and thought leader, or if you already have that status to use it to build a stronger social media presence.
This is a guest post from Sarah Nelson. It is part of The “Bad Ass” SEO Guest Blogging Contest.
While many brands are taking advantage of Facebook pages for online marketing campaigns and customer service, many people question of how to create real engagement as well as what metrics to measure.
Each brand may have their own ideas about Facebook optimization (FBO) but here are three social metrics to help you plan your strategy.
1. Production Metrics
Tracking the number of posts and types of content you put on your page is critical because it allows you to see how often you should be posting and the types of content that resonates with your fans and prospects. For production metrics, I track the following each week:
- The number and types of photos that I upload
- The number and types of videos that I upload
- The number and types of status updates that I publish on the brand page
Keep your posts fresh. For example, you may write a status update about an upcoming event in the morning, and in the afternoon, you could post a picture or give a valued customer some special attention. I try to follow the 80/20 rule for creating Facebook content. 80% is value added content for the fans and 20% is promotional content for the brand. If you aren’t posting often, you are not building and nurturing relationships. I recommend creating a Facebook content calendar to help you plan some of your posts and events in advance.
2. Engagement Metrics
Measuring your engagement metrics will help you get to know your community and have a better understanding of how to attract more likeminded people to your page. I recommend testing dozens of variations of content to see what ranks the best. The engagement metrics I frequently track are:
- Comments made by fans
- How many people “Like” your posts
- The number of new Facebook Fans
- The number of weekly page visits
- The number of active users
The bottom line for FBO is whether you are fully engaged with your community. If your fans are writing updates on your page, write back to them to show you are listening. You should be able to analyze your engagement metrics and use this as a forecasting tool for creating more meaningful interactions.
3. Brand Building Metrics:
Using brand building metrics, you can understand how Facebook users feel about your brand and how to manage your brand presence in relation to your competition. I analyze how often people talk about the brand, what people are saying about the brand, as well as what is being said about other brands in the industry. The metrics I use are as follows:
- Brand Mentions
- Sentiment Analysis (track positive and negative)
- Share of Conversation (how many times does your brand name appear vs. your competition)
- Content reputation
You can see from the above lists that there are a variety of easy to track metrics that you’ll probably want to monitor and analyze, depending on your brand’s Facebook objectives.
Remember, monitoring data is only valuable if you track and analyze your metrics and apply what you learn toward improving your brand’s content, engagement, and overall Facebook strategy.
Have some favorite Facebook Optimization metrics of your own? Let me know in the comments.