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Facebook Graph Search – The third pillar

Facebook has launched a new feature (still in beta version) “Graph Search” on 15th January 2013 to allow users to filter through the posts, images, messages in a way that will transform complete user experience of using social networking sites, as claimed by company’s founder Mark Zuckerberg it is the third pillar of Facebook after timeline and news feed. Zuckerberg added that their new product is a completely new way for people to get information according to their search queries. The functionality is designed initially to let users to search four categories; people, images, interests and places, and this search will expand in coming days.

Initially the dynamics of Graph search involves answers to very specific queries like “Who are my friends in London?”, “photos of my friends taken in amusement parks”, “people who like cycling and from my home town” etc. It allows us to use natural language terms to quickly search through all the people, places, images listed in your network. Other information for a particular query will be delivered through Bing search engine which has a partnership with Facebook.

We all know size and influence of Facebook is huge, and industry experts claims that, this step of the company will be a threat to search leader Google and other social sharing sites such as Yelp. It is important to note that Facebook will not rely on back links or any other metric related to traditional search engines algorithms. It integrates the data from its own social circuit and renders results accordingly. For example if a user searches for “Hotels in London”, Google will render the best results according to their own algorithms based on number of back links or website structure. If same query is fired in “Graph Search”, Facebook will integrate data from the user’s social networks and render best results from the user’s network only. However, this is a two way situation for us as end users that what set of results are best for us; results from world wide web or results from our friends recommendations.

The big question revolving around is that users will migrate or change their searching from traditional search engines to “Graph search” which looks more trustworthy than traditional “Googling”. No doubt this is just the budding age for Facebook; it has to move a long way to capture the market.

Facebook fan page optimization – How, what and Why?

According to latest stats there are many companies who are using Facebook fan page as an integral part of their social media campaign. But, what elements help a Facebook fan page to generate large followings and what can brands do to manipulate the success of other brands using the same medium? I have listed some specific elements that are suggested by industry experts and have helped create fan pages with large, engaged, followings.

  1. Fan Pages are very easily indexed in the search engines. People who are not using Facebook can still see your Facebook fan page in search results.
  2. The most basic and important step for getting into the world of social media is to create a best name for your Facebook fan page. You are representing your brand here so it is required to create a great fan page name to showcase your brand’s strength.
  3. When you get minimum 25 likes for your fan page, Facebook gives you a utility to create a unique URL for your fan page. This is also vital step in the process as the URL will be a key factor in ranking your fan page in search results so use it wisely.
  4. Facebook offers a great utility to use your targeted key phrases to place on your fan page. It is similar to On-Page optimization of a website like using Title tag, Meta Description, etc. In SEO Title you can use your brand name to place on the fan page and in description you can use the best description that describes your business. It is important to note that in description field do not stuff the keywords, use it in a natural fashion. Refer below image from our fan page for the same.

  1. If you are optimizing your fan for local market, it is suggested to include all the contact details such as address, contact numbers, etc. in the fan page to improve the local visibility.
  2. As we said above, your fan page is like your business website and it requires same On-Page and Off-Page factors to go hands in hand. It is suggested to get some good back links for y our fan page to improve the brand reputation. Always include your fan page URL in the blogs you are writing or any other social site you are getting involved with.
  3. Creating a fan page and optimizing it is not the end. It is required to be active on the fan page consistently. You should update the status couple of times in a single day and share your work, experience, updates, etc. regularly. Social sharing is crucial at this stage.
  4. Get involved with other fan pages of same niche. This is an era of network building so the strong network wins. Engage socially with other businesses and like their pages. This will help in getting a like back to your fan page and if you like other pages than your page will get status updates of others from news feed.
  5. You can update your status with the offers you are planning so that potential customers can get the information regarding that and will contact you. It is a great source to communicate with your customers and get some business out of it. You can also post some contests or quiz on this page to increase the engagement.

So, as a conclusion we would like to say that 2013 is coming and the year will be more competitive and as compared to past. It is high time to pull your socks up and get involved with social engagement to generate some good traffic for your business.

SOCIAL MEDIA – TIPS

We understand social media is constantly growing and businesses want more recognition through their social media networks.

This article outlines the different ways you can get more of a following base and likes through social media.

A need to be popular not only on Google through SEO by getting top positions is important but companies feel there is a great importance after SEO to be popular on Facebook and Twitter. Below we have outlined ways to get more followers and also more likes.

How to increase likes on Facebook 

Facebook advertisements

Ask questions on your Facebook – stir up discussions

Constantly update information- whether it in your industry or something you have a keen interest in –

Update the latest news about your company and what you are doing gives it a personal touch and allows customers to feel they know about your company

Interact with customers – comment on any messages or questions they may have asked.

Post pictures

Facebook activity should be daily

Ask friends to share your page amongst their friends. Join groups that you feel your customers will have similar interests to.

If you are still trying to get to grips with the new Facebook they have a guide on how to manage your Facebook pagehttp://ads.ak.facebook.com/ads/FacebookAds/Pages_Product_Guide_022712.pdf

How to get more followers on Twitter -

Similar to above it is all about content and quality

Engage with your customers

Tweet more throughout the day peak time are during the daytime

Direct message follows with any promotions you have and also make it clear you are on Facebook as well.

There are many apps out there which can help you with twitter.

Write Questions get followers to retweet anything you have said

Write about anything trending, using # for topics

Follow those who have a similar interest or are within same industry

Follow Friday #ff showing why you should follow the user.

Thank users who follow you with a mention and others will see this and think to follow you as well.

FACEBOOK VS GOOGLE+

In recent weeks Google + has been launched to the public.  Fighting against its rivals, Facebook, it is a social platform which seems to deliver all. So will Google + catch on? With recent changes on Facebook and its on-going battle against the public with the relationship of their customers fizzling away it seems like a strong contender for the social media top spot.

Below from those who are not familiar with the network you will find an outline of all the features.
Firstly all those who have signed up to Google+ need a Gmail account. Circles enable you to group your contacts in to specific circles, such as friends, following, family etc. This allows you to help organise your contacts and give you the ability to control your privacy settings more easily. Stream has all the updates of your contacts, giving you the ability to +1a post, similar to the ‘like’ button. There is a Games section which gives you the ability to play games such as Angry Birds if you need a break from it all, a great way of keeping customers hooked on to Google +. Google Chat, you can chat with your contacts similar to Facebook chat. Hangouts you can hang out with specific people or circles sharing information and so forth through either webcam or voice plugins, you can add a number of contacts, for example you are able to have a four way chat. Instant upload allows all videos and images to be uploaded automatically and swiftly.

The one feature that seemed interesting was Sparks which enables people to share what they are reading watching etc. This can be grouped different interests for examples websites you like, your favourite blogs etc. However, searching endlessly on Google + this is not easy to find and may have been removed from the earlier stages of testing the platform out.  Huddle allows turning texting into a group chat making it easier to convers ate in one chat, once again this may have been removed from that first stages of testing Google +. These are some of many features that are on this social media platform, it has many more such as add location etc. Google + seems to be set to grow with more features being added later. Recently Facebook as also announced they are offering some big changes on their existing platform to come in recent weeks, is this to rival their competitors? Regarding Facebook it seems to have gone outdated and the changes will make Facebook more exciting and ‘new’ to the customer. Maybe something bigger and better is about to come from Facebook that will limit the success of Google+.

Social Media Optimisation

Social Media Optimisation (SMO) has become increasingly important and companies have started to implement this into their marketing plan. Social networking is an extremely powerful tool and can help businesses grow if done effectively. The numbers of users on social media networks are phenomenal and can be seen as a great tool in which to capitalise traffic.  This article outlines why companies should do SMO alongside other marketing strategies.

Why Do Social Media Optimisation?
• Brand Awareness
• Sales & Traffic
• Research Competitors
• Business Development
• Cost Effective
• SEO Content

Brand Awareness:
The main aim of marketing is to create brand awareness, by using social media optimisation customers will be talking about your company, who you are, what you do etc. More people will start being aware of your existence through social media as many of your customers and potential customers will be on these networks.

Sales & Traffic:
Having a presence on a social media network gives you the ability to increase traffic and sales on to your website.  It is another channel to gain new customers for example, facebook have many opportunities to bring traffic on to your website through having a business page. Facebook itself has more impression then the leading search engines telling you this is a great way of increasing traffic.

Research Competitors:
Great way to view your competitors see what they are doing and also analysing your marketing is there something they have bought out, it is always important to stay one step ahead of competition

Business Development:
As you r company will have more exposure his can help develop your business the research which can be obtained from competition can  help bring about ideas.

Cost Effective:
As you are aware marketing can be very costly some companies do advertising, print, broadcast etc. Social Media Optimisation is free it can take time but the benefits are huge.

Search Engine Optimisation Content:
Many effective SEO plans will have SMO implemented as content is extremely important SEO and SMO is a great way of getting content across online. The more activities you do for SEO will in effect improve the ranking of the website on Google and SMO is a crucial activity which helps do this.

There are a number of benefits for doing Social Media Optimisation. We are aware that the social media network is a growing market and ranges from blogging to social communities to video sharing etc. Businesses should embrace social media as the market is set to grow in the next few years allowing businesses to have more opportunities to develop alongside it.

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