Traditional search marketing holds that there are two ways to get search engine traffic. The first is to pay for it via pay-per-click advertising, and the second is to earn the traffic with optimal search engine placement. In the earned search marketing business of search engine optimization (SEO), a Facebook fan page is merely a web page, just like any other, except that it has the built-in benefit of residing on a very powerful domain. The same goes for YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Smart optimization, combined with the strong domains that house them, can propel your social media pages to the top of search engine results for relevant searches.
With that in mind, here are tips for optimizing your Facebook initiatives, as well as some brands that are getting it right.
Quick tips for optimization:
Provide regular updates. Like most social media, a Facebook page is only as good as the content available for fans to interact with. Generally speaking, the more digital assets (videos, photos, etc.) the better. Provide regular updates (at least daily and preferably more, though this will depend on your niche) that encourage user participation. Respond to user feedback. To keep from falling behind, consider creating a calendar of updates at the beginning of each week or month.
Choose a good name for the page. The name of your Facebook page is arguably the most important early decision you will make because this is the very first thing the search engines will see when they visit your page. At the very least, you should include the name of the business. You might also include targeted keywords if appropriate.
Choose a good username. A username allows you to have a "clean" URL. For example, if you choose "dwaynejohnsonrocks" as your username, your page URL will be "www.facebook.com/dwaynejohnsonrocks." These URLs look nicer on business cards and letterhead, and they are easier to remember.
Vanity URLs, as they are called, also provide an opportunity for further optimization with your business name or a selected keyword. Given the choice between the two, the business name will be more appropriate in most cases.
Take advantage of the "about" box. The "about" box is a great place to include relevant content and keyword-rich descriptions. This is one of the only places on a page's "wall" that allows for fully customized copy to be written. Many pages use this space to simply provide a link back to the corporate website or place their tagline, but it is an ideal place to help the search engines understand more about your page.
Customize your page. Facebook allows for a moderate amount of customization. You can't change backgrounds or otherwise skin the page, but you can completely customize other things. For example, you have a large degree of control over how your tabs appear. In addition to adding unique content inside "boxes," you can frame a page hosted elsewhere, which allows for full control over the look and feel of that particular tab (within the confines of the Facebook page that surrounds it, of course).
A customized page immediately communicates credibility to the user and also shows a commitment to your brand's involvement with not only Facebook but also social media as a whole.
Who did it great
The online T-shirt company Threadless has been active in social media since its inception. Its business model of printing user-submitted and user-voted designs requires an environment that encourages feedback and user interaction.