Are You Making This Dumb Mistake With Your Facebook Marketing Strategy?
Facebook is like this mysterious and wonderful utopia filled with buyers that have money and are willing to just come right out and tell you what they want through Facebook wall posts and their info pages. At least, this is the way marketers sometimes look at Facebook. However, cracking the Facebook code has proved to be difficult. Many advertisers walk away from Facebook ads with their tails between their legs.
What's more, some businesses are using Facebook as an SEO strategy to help improve search engine rankings. Businesses are convinced, by SEO companies, to set up Facebook pages to advertise their company. Then, these businesses try to advertise their Facebook page so that people will stop by, and click a little button that says "like" on their page. The more "likes" they get, the better. This is supposed to help them increase their search engine rankings in popular search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. It doesn't.
Wait a minute. Did you think that those Facebook "likes" on your page were actually helping you in the search engines? Let's analyze this for a moment and then look over some examples of why this doesn't work the way you think it does.
First of all, don't think that having a Facebook fan page is a bad idea. If you have one set up for your business, then you're on the right track. Facebook business pages can help you connect with potential clients and customers, provided you have something to share with them, and you can effectively market your website. You can give away freebies, and even share "insider" news if people agree to "like" your page. However, there is a school of thought that says that getting Facebook "likes," in and of itself, will help boost your search engine rankings.
Somehow, all of these "likes" are supposed to be counted by search engines, and then taken into account when figuring out where to rank you in the SERPs. Well, if that's true, then you should just rush out and hire monkeys to sit at a computer all day and create sock-puppet accounts and "like" your Facebook page. After 3 months of this, you should be nailed to the first page for your keyword, or a keyword that should logically fit your business. Let's see if this theory holds true.
Get on Facebook, and search for "Jenny Craig." Now search for "Sensa." Those are two pretty popular weight loss programs. Those companies should have really great marketing departments. Getting people to "like" them on Facebook should be a snap.
If you look at their Facebook pages, you can see that they do have a lot of people who "like" their page. Jenny Craig has over 75,000 "likes":
Sensa has over 122,000 "likes":
Now, fire up Google, and type in some keywords to try and find either of these two companies in the SERPs. If you were looking to lose weight, what would you type into the search engine's search box? Perhaps you would start with "diet plan" (or you could use the plural, it doesn't really change the results much).
This is what you'd see:
Where's Jenny Craig? Where's Sensa? They're nowhere to be found. Even though the image cuts off part of the first page, you can verify this for yourself by typing in the search yourself. As of this writing, they are nowhere to be found on the first page. They're not even listed in the paid ads. Uh oh. That can't be good for business. Maybe they chose a better keyword to target. Let's try "weight loss plans":
Still no good. Let's try "weight loss program":
Zip. It's understandable if a company doesn't come up for every keyword related to their business. But, Jenny Craig's website and search engine listing say "weight loss program" right on their own page. Sensa's failure is equally embarrassing. Oh well.
I guess those Facebook "likes" aren't helping them in the search engine results pages. That's a shame. Are you making this same mistake? Are you chasing "likes" for rankings? There's nothing wrong with getting people to "like" your facebook page. However, "likes" don't necessarily translate into higher rankings.
Instead of using Facebook as some kind of weird backlink or SEO strategy, use facebook as part of your social media marketing strategy. Sure, "likes" may not help you rank well in the search engines, but who cares? If your business relies that much on search engine traffic, maybe it's time to think about diversifying your traffic sources. What happens if Google updates its algorithm and your site's traffic suffers as a result?
It would be nice to have other methods of generating leads. A good example of how to use facebook is Perry Marshall's page. He sells info products targeted to businesses that sell to other businesses (B2B marketing). His page is a genuine marketing page. However, look on his wall. He posts updates that are not overtly promotional. Yes, he does post up product and service offerings.
He also posts up personal stuff. Notice how he talks about his trip to China and how he's adopting a child? That shows people that he's a real human being and not a faceless corporation. He digs down into the heart of social media and understand how Facebook works. Then, he intelligently uses it for profit. It's not difficult to construct Facebook pages that will help promote your business. However, you do have to understand the nature of social media.
First, and foremost, sites like Facebook aren't necessarily made for businesses. Yes, they allow you to construct business pages, and fan pages, and public figure pages. However, the site is really about social interaction. If you cannot connect with your potential customers, you're sunk.
Don't make the dumb mistake of using Facebook to try to boost your ranking in search. In a way, it's insane. You have a bunch of potential customers right there in front of you. Why are you worrying about your search engine rankings?