15 May How To Optimize Your Facebook Page For Local Search
Hyperlocal marketing — once the domain of inky handbills and lonely flyers tucked under the windshield wipers of parked cars — has now gone digital.
And it’s awesome!
The raw power, increased targetability, and pure efficiency of hyperlocal marketing in today’s world gives every business, regardless of size, the ability to find consumers right at the moment they’re prepared to purchase.
How’d it happen? It’s partially thanks to everybody’s favorite handheld tech: the smartphone. Almost nine out of ten Americans are now online — but the smartphone has enjoyed an absolutely meteoric rise in popularity. In 2011, only 35% of people had smartphones in their hands. Five years later, that figure more than doubled! Now, more than 70% of consumers keep their smartphone within arm’s reach even while they sleep!
The second big factor is the rise of social media as an indelible part of the American lifestyle. In 2005, only 5% of the country even bothered with it. Today, 69% of people have social accounts. That figure escalates when you’re talking about just folks under the age of 50. Among those aged 30-49, 78% are on social media, while 88% of people aged 18-29 are there.
What’s it all mean? You no longer have to have deep pockets for a big marketing campaign. You’re fine without it — assuming you start to leverage the power of your own social media accounts to make yourself easy to find.
Start Optimizing Your Facebook Account First—Here’s Why
There’s a lot of wisdom in this. While there’s been a bit of negative press and public disenchantment toward Facebook, its overall popularity hasn’t suffered. Facebook is still the most popular social site in the country, racking up a whopping 164.58 million unique users on mobile every month! To top it off, it’s rapidly becoming a search engine that heavily favors businesses.
While Google is still the go-to for a lot of searches, Facebook is poised to take over local searches and local search marketing. It already serves as the point of first contact for a lot of consumers who are looking for recommendations or exploring a new business. In addition, while a buzz on Facebook won’t directly affect your Google rankings, posts do show up — and they can help you rank for keywords and build brand recognition organically.
Don’t miss our other How-To articles about optimizing your social accounts on:
Follow These Steps—They’re Easy
If you’re just building your Facebook page, use this as a guide. If it’s been a while since you built it, it’s time to take a fresh look. It probably needs an overhaul from your early days. (The good news is that you’re probably a lot more comfortable on the platform then you used to be — which should make this easier.)
- Complete your name, address, and phone number on the page description. Followers can’t use your services or buy your product if they can’t find you!
- Fill out the About page. You probably have your website linked. However, you’ve also got space for your email, your Twitter handle, a mission statement, a company overview, and a list of products. If you skipped any of those when you first signed up, you’re missing a big opportunity to sell your brand to visitors.
- Include any additional information that customers need to know. Think about the things you want to know or what people call your business to ask. At a minimum, add in your company’s hours and days of operation.
- Change your URL. You may not realize it, but you don’t have to keep that jumble of incomprehensible numbers that Facebook stuck you with when you first signed up. As long as you have 25 likes or more, you can change it to something that’s relevant to your business. Try for your brand name, or something close to it!
- Add relevant keywords to your page’s subcategory. That’s the only way to come up in Facebook’s search results. Just go to the “Edit Page” menu and click on “Update Info.” Locate the About box under “Basic Information.” Add in a keyword-rich description of your brand.
That’s really all there is to the basics. However, next comes the part that keeps everyone busy:
Social platforms are, by definition, social. You can’t have success unless you’re out there socializing with your potential customers, drawing attention, driving up interest, and generally engaging with people.
To really get going, you need to follow you basic optimization tasks with a lot of activity. Post photos of yourself at your desk or behind the counter. Put up pictures of your employees. Post teasers about upcoming products or specials. Send coupons out to Facebook followers and tantalize them with special offers — whatever it takes to get a little interest going.
Take steps to encourage your existing customers to follow you — and encourage their friends to do the same. Run contests that encourage people to spread the word (and your brand name). Ask for reviews and offer a coupon or a discount for anyone who leaves one.
The more engaged you become, the more you’ll start to organically rise in the local SERPs. Just make certain that you keep adding locators to your posts — that name, address, and phone number are critical to all those “near me” searches people do on their phones!
Ideally, you want to make Facebook only one step on your “journey toward optimization.” It’s a big one — but it’s still just one step in an ongoing process. As you add Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to your social efforts, you’ll see your results improve.