Facebook: World's Largest Social Network - Social Media Stage
Facebook is a Social Networking service connecting people through the sharing of photos, videos, links, and instant status updates. When it launched in February 2004, Facebook was initially intended for Harvard University students only, but gradually increased its membership range and in September 2006 this Social Media Website was opened to everyone 13 years or older. On February 1, 2012 Facebook filed for an Initial Public Offering and began trading on May 18, 2012. There are more than 300 million photos uploaded to Facebook everyday, 3.2 billion likes and comments per day, and more than 125 billion friendships on Facebook as of the end of March 2012. With an astounding 901 million monthly active users, it may be hard to stumble across someone who hasn't heard of Facebook.
Facebook is the perfect place to engage with people who are interested in your brand. The newsfeed is the best place to interact with your fans. Be sure your content is compelling enough to entice user engagement; open ended questions are a great way to encourage fans to share their thoughts and opinions. Facebook's unique Insights feature allows you to track users' responses to your content and gauge your social influence. Count the number of likes, comments, or shares a post receives and use that information to identify the types of posts your fans respond to most. Contests and give-a-ways are another fun way to encourage interaction between you and your fans! Take note of Facebook's Promotion Guidelines so as not to violate the Terms of Service.
According to Alexa, Facebook is the second most trafficked Website in the world; Google is ranked number one. With that, Facebook is clearly an excellent medium for just about any type of business to receive quality brand exposure! Brands can create a professional Facebook Page for free, and promote content, share pictures and interact with their fan base. As the popularity of a Facebook page grows, your brand's exposure and audience increases as well. The more active you are on Facebook, the better your chances for increasing the popularity of your page. Facebook offers a huge potential for brands to increase their online exposure and shouldn't be ignored as a Social Media option.
Content sharing on Facebook is on the fast-track, providing both traffic and exposure to Websites. Including a link to your Website or blog in a status update is an easy, yet effective, way to drive traffic to your site. Typically, people respond well to 'how-to' posts and posts that include statistics, so write a summary of a blog post or share a fact from a page on your Website and use a call-to-action phrase such as "click here to learn more" to tell readers what you want them to do next. Directing fans to your site while sharing your industry knowledge through a Facebook status update not only increases traffic to your Website, it establishes your brand as an industry resource as well.
Facebook buttons are another great feature to take advantage of. Add the 'like' button to your blog posts, either at the bottom or at the top (or in both spots!) of the post, and set it so it displays the names of a visitor's friends who have already liked the post; this will make readers more compelled to take action themselves. Although, the share button doesn't give the option to display friends' names, it does display a counter which tells users how many people have already shared the post. If you haven't done so already, give it a shot and add the 'like' or 'share' button to your posts. The results may pleasantly surprise you!
You should not rely on the likes and shares of content alone to directly affect rankings; they'll only take you so far when it comes to SERPs. Instead, you could measure the likes and shares of content to gain an understanding of your customers, and use that knowledge to build a stronger SEO campaign.
Have you created a Facebook page for your brand yet? How are you using this Social Media platform, or what's holding you back? Let us know by using the #SocialMediaStage on Twitter, posting a comment to our Facebook Page or leaving a comment below!