Is Facebook Marketing Wasted SEO Effort?

Facebook is a huge social networking site by anyone’s measure: more than 500 million users strong and a high percentage of those people log onto the site regularly.  Talk about a captive audience! Many people and small businesses think that advertising on Facebook will skyrocket their SEO rankings. However, it is not as straightforward as building links, but more an indirect effect on your SEO due to your increased popularity in some instances. This assumes that you do things the right (spelled social networking style) way.  Here are a couple of ideas that will make Facebook worth the time you spend on it.
Indexed Facebook Pages
Now that Google is indexing Facebook Pages, organizations, businesses, bands, and public figures can make regular updates to their Pages and have them be part of Google’s search results.  (Google also indexes FriendFeed,, Jaiku, and MySpace.) Twitter was the first social networking site indexed, way ahead of the others, and still seems to pop up on top in today’s search engine results.
Be sure your page is indexable by choosing the correct settings. Some default settings could prevent indexing by Google, which in turn can cost you a lot of traffic and users for your page and website. If these settings remain incorrect, your Facebook Page is pretty well invisible and is visible only to the small number of fans that your page has. Open it up to a much wider audience by clicking the “edit page” link at the top of your page and setting the “Country Restrictions” and “Age Restrictions” settings that appear to take full advantage of the massive traffic on the Facebook site. Be sure to publish the page as “Publically Visible” and save the changes you have made.  Your page is now indexable, including photos and new posts, so you will want to update regularly.
Link bait to Drive Traffic
Linkbait is something that is incredibly witty, controversial, compelling, or downright informative—an article that many other sites and bloggers will link to and it is what you should aspire to post on your site.  Once you have a large Facebook network on your Page, you will want to put your best linkbait on Facebook to garner the most interest in your website or blog (which you should always consider your home base.) Write something that gives people something of value that they can use, and they WILL share it with their friends on Facebook. Do not be shy, either, and ask friends and family to post some links for you so that their Facebook friends will see them in their news feed. Remember: exceptional content is paramount.
You will need to generate kick-butt content for your site that will attract links from other Facebook pages, as well as links from the general cyber sphere. After all, once you begin to capture some of that massive traffic on Facebook, you need to have great content to keep them on your site for a while, and compel them to return.
Facebook SEO Effort
In terms of the return on your investment in time spent on SEO and other marketing, how much effort should you put in to advertising on Facebook? To answer that question, you need to take into account that Facebook searches equate to about 3% of all searches today, even less than those for the Yahoo and Bing search engines do. Most marketers spend the vast majority of their time optimizing for Google, and it is still the major engine available with over 60% of total searches.
However, putting some effort into Facebook will pay dividends when it comes to trust. For every 10 hours you spend on SEO, devoting an hour to Facebook is about right. Most people are leery of trusting someone blindly, and a referral from someone they know helps immensely. There is a great value in referral linking on Facebook, and people will patronize businesses that their friends recommend, whether online or offline.
Facebook is NOT a waste of your SEO time, but marketing on Facebook should not be labor intensive. Spend the majority of your time working with Google, but do create some exceptional content for your blog or website readers to share with all their friends, and it just might go viral! If they love what you write, they will go to your site, spend some time there—and even link to some of your other work.


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