March 5, 2013

What’s the value of a Facebook like?

Facebook likes

Increase your fan base with an SEO approach to social media marketing

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, businesses, nonprofits, Facebook administrators, anyone with a Facebook page.

Guest post by Rowan Casey

RowanCAseyEverybody with a Facebook Page wants to have millions of likes, but unless you are a celebrity or the owner of a famous business, you’re probably still working on increasing your fan base.

However, even if you are among the least famous of people, your chances of having thousands — or even tens of thousands — of likes is still within reach. For many Facebook Pages, this is because there are a variety of methods of buying likes or obtaining Facebook fans through paid advertising and promotional methods. Still working on upping your ‘like’ count? Keep reading.

Facebook was recently valued on the stock market as a $10 billion company. As you’re probably aware, Facebook makes its money from paid advertising.

Apart from the immediate actions like making a purchase of a product, signing up for an email list or visiting the site, one of the major things these companies want people to do is take action and ‘like’ the Page.

If the amount of money that companies spend on increasing their likes is a gauge, a targeted ‘like’ is worth anything from 50 cents to $10. (Need I say that if you’re paying at the higher end of that scale, you’re overpaying?)

Facebook ads aren’t the only way to get targeted likes. You can also use search engine optimization (SEO) methods to rank the page higher in a Google search or in a Facebook search.

Another way of increasing your page’s fan base is to send your existing readers or followers to the page. Many organizations do this by offering special deals, coupons or competitions to encourage new activity.

The SEO approach to social media marketing

The approach I’ve spent the most time on myself is the SEO approach. The key with the SEO approach lies in choosing a title that is a keyword phrase; one that has potential for a high volume of exact matches (on both Google and Facebook) on a monthly basis.

There is no Facebook keyword tool, but you can expect that if hundreds of people a month are searching for the phrase on Google, then at least some will be searching on Facebook as well.

HFH - Facebook Search

Links within Facebook to other Facebook pages are DoFollow, and it is a PR9 site. With a bit of skillful cross linking, some relevant back links, and lots of likes all built consistently, you can rank a Facebook Page for any search.

There’s no real reason a Facebook Page can’t rank as highly as a Wikipedia page

Yeah, that’s what I said: There’s no real reason why a Facebook Page can’t rank like a Wikipedia page. They can, and do. It’s just a matter of getting all the signals right. (Contact if you’re interested.)

It’s still hard work, but it’s fair to say that if you know what you’re doing with the cross links, and you know normal SEO well, a Facebook page is the easiest way to rank for a tough phrase, with the exception of a YouTube video, as long as you’re lucky.

There are some searches where Google likes to show video results and some where it doesn’t. If you search for pizza, you’ll get 10 Google Local reviews. It’s also very likely that you will get a video on the first results page without tons of back links compared to a new WordPress website.

Social pages just have more immediate authority and this can be improved upon, taking it to places you might never have thought were possible — places that wouldn’t have been possible with your website alone.

You may need an expert in social media marketing to help you with a social SEO campaign, as there is a lot to it. As I said, most people have to start from scratch with a new page after doing a proper keyword research, but it can be done.

Facebook likes, Twitter followers, Google Plus followers, tweets, shares — all of these components are a part of the whole social SEO big picture and all have value in many different ways. It’s all interconnected. So start thinking about how you can put Facebook likes and SEO to work for your business.

Rowan Casey is a social media marketing expert with over five years experience, specializing in Facebook likes and a whole range of other social connections. He lives in Hobart, Australia. Follow him on Twitter at @rowanman28.
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