How to Optimize for Search on Facebook and YouTube

searchingThis article is contributed by Emma-Julie Fox.

There used to be a time when search engines and social networking sites had completely different purposes. Search engines were used to find relevant information whereas social networking sites were used to interact with family and friends from all over the world. These days, social media has expanded its reach such that it now serves search purposes as well.

This has given rise to what is now known as social search optimization. The growing influence of social media on consumers has made SEO experts realize the importance of optimizing content not only for search engines, but for major social networking sites as well.

Facebook and YouTube are two of the most popular social networking sites today and it is only logical for businesses to work on optimizing content for these two sites. In so doing, you need to examine their capabilities for search, particularly these major points: what each site offers in terms of social search, which demographics are generally using each site’s search feature, and how you can optimize your content such that it fits your target market’s search needs. Read on to find out exactly how you can work on social search optimization for Facebook and YouTube.

 Facebook

If Facebook were a country, it would have  the world’s third largest population. You can just imagine how high engagement is on this social platform. Now, with the introduction of its Graph Search feature, the site is slowly integrating social with search.

The biggest advantage of this search tool over traditional search engines is the fact that it provides users such targeted information as the kind of movies their friends watch and the fashion style their friends appreciate most. That’s definitely something you can’t find on a regular search engine.

Now, here’s something you’ll be sure to find interesting: more than half (65%, to be specific) of Facebook users are aged 35 and above. In terms of gender, about 53% of users are male. More importantly, 80% of users expressed preference for connecting with brands through Facebook. Now, you’re probably starting to realize there’s indeed some value to optimizing your content for this particular social network. How exactly do you accomplish that?

1. Content Planning

The four most popular types of Facebook posts are visual, topical, expressive, and target-specific. All four adhere to the foundation of marketing on Facebook, which is to keep content relevant and engaging. Therefore, you really need to gain an understanding of your target audience and use images to your advantage when posting content on Facebook.

2. Content Optimization

Most businesses these days have succeeded in getting customers from Facebook to a certain extent. If you want to increase your chances of converting likes, shares, and comments into sales, then you need to start taking advantage of such features as the timeline and company milestones. In so doing, you should be able to connect with your target market more easily and build your credibility. You’d also benefit greatly from using Facebook Ads, Sponsored Stories, and Promoted Posts. Remember that when someone uses the search feature on Facebook, Sponsored Stories will show up right below “top hits.”

3. Brand Optimization

To increase visibility for your Facebook page, make sure that all information categories are filled in. You should indicate your business location, provide related links, and offer regular updates. Remember as well that profile pictures appear on search results, so it’s a good idea to use your brand name or logo as your profile picture.

YouTube

You probably think of YouTube only as a video sharing site. The truth is that this is the world’s second most popular search engine. Think about it. What do people do on YouTube? They search for videos, right? Therefore, if you use videos as part of your overall marketing strategy, then you should definitely optimize for YouTube. Take note that people now use this site not only to check out the latest music videos, but also to learn how to make sushi, engage in a dance workout, or watch videotaped reviews, among other things. So, how do you optimize for YouTube?

1.Content Planning

When you take the time to observe which videos get the most number of views on YouTube, you’ll realize just how diverse the top videos are. This means you can harness the power of this site regardless of what topic you address or what particular industry you belong to. If your business caters to a global audience, then you’ll be sure to appreciate the fact that about 70% of YouTube users are from outside the United States. You therefore need to plan your content such that it is sure to catch the interest of people from all over the world.

2. Content Optimization

The content you post on YouTube should encourage users to subscribe to your channel. Towards this purpose, you need to make sure your content directly addresses the needs of your target audience. This is where keyword optimization and tagging enter the picture. Be sure to use brand-related and industry-related keywords in your video titles, tags, and descriptions. Remember to place your keywords towards the beginning of your titles because Google tends to truncate titles that go beyond 66 characters.

3. Brand Optimization

Remember to create a channel name that’s as direct and simple as it can be. This helps ensure that your audience will find what they’re looking for whenever they enter queries using your business name. Remember as well that search optimization for YouTube requires you to complete your “About” section. It’s also a good idea to add links that can help improve your channel’s visibility.

Social items such as Facebook posts, YouTube videos, comments, and updates are now the main driving force of online conversations. This makes it all the more important for you to take advantage of these items for marketing your business. The best way to take advantage of social items is to apply the best optimization strategies you use on traditional websites to major social networking sites. While you’re doing this, you should never stray from the ultimate social media marketing goal, which is to build a loyal following.

Author Bio: Emma-Julie Fox writes for Pitstop Media Inc, a top rated Vancouver SEO company that provides services to businesses across North America. If you would like to invite the author to guest post on your blog please contact www.pitstopmedia.com.

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