Small businesses should get search savvy and get on Facebook, now!

March 30th, 2012

Small businesses should get search savvy and get on Facebook, now!

Today is a big day for social media marketing, as the Facebook Timeline is automatically rolling out across all business pages.

With a focus on interactivity, an attractive layout and a clear brand history, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have not prepared for the change need to transform their page as soon as possible.

If they do not, they could find their current offering jars with the new design. Brands should take advantage of the large photos by uploading pictures that show their business's best side, whether that's the products they offer, their employees or funky offices. The Timeline means Facebook fans can quickly scroll through the history of a brand, so detailing as many interesting facts and events as possible will enrich the user experience.

A recent Experian Hitwise study found Facebook was the most searched for brand in the UK last year and also accounted for three of the total top ten search terms – Facebook, fb and Facebook login. In the brand category, it was followed by YouTube, eBay and Amazon.

It is clear that social media and ecommerce platforms are big search news – so small businesses need to have a presence on both if they are to derive the full benefits of online marketing.

Why should SMEs use social media and ecommerce sites?

British consumers obviously have an appetite for shopping and communicating online, so small businesses need to accommodate this.

Marketing research analyst at Experian Hitwise James Murray said: "Search engines are the primary portal people use to get to where they want to go online. The place people want to go most online is Facebook.

"Understanding the way people use search engines is crucial for marketers if they want to adapt their digital strategies to the fast-moving and constantly-evolving online landscape."

Facebook users can ask friends for recommendations of local businesses, for example, and will then likely check if that firm has a page on the social media site. If they don't, their next stop will be a search engine – and if that does not throw up an ecommerce platform, they could soon lose interest and seek out another firm.

Further advice about small business online marketing can be found here:

Almost 75% of SME websites drive more business – how does yours hold up?

Are you involved in the UK's SME ecommerce growth?

Don't sell on Facebook – encourage fans to visit your ecommerce site instead

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