Facebook SEO Part 2: Events

Thursday, 05 March 2009

If you haven’t read the previous post on Facebook Group SEO, I suggest going through that first before diving into Events. Groups are a little bit easier to grasp in general, and there’s a lot of overlap in the setup fields, so that post is an effective way to position this one and get you up to speed.

So go learn some basic Facebook Group SEO, then come back here for part two on Facebook Events.

Facebook Event SEO

Events are easy to invite people to, just like Groups, but there is a little more setup involved and a few tricky spots. But, they are much easier to grasp and promote than Pages and make a great complement to a Facebook marketing endeavor.

Name

Catchy helps; alliteration is the quick and dirty way to grab attention. For SEO purposes, think synonyms. The tagline will help with this.

Tagline

Explain more here by adding words that mean the same thing but might be searched for instead of those that appear in the name. Example: St. Patty’s, St. Paddy’s, St. Pat’s, St. Patrick’s.

Network

Same as with Groups, keep this Global (Available to all of Facebook). The whole point here is to keep things open and searchable. Which means findable.

Host

Got a nickname? Or a Twitter handle? Put it here! You’re not confined to the name your Facebook profile has.

Event Type

Another annoying and required way Facebook tries to catalogue things. There are enough options to find one to fit almost anything though, so take a second and pick the one best suited to your Event.

Description

Here’s where you can really go crazy and creative. Except there’s no HTML allowed, so you can only go plain text crazy. But still! Put in as much description as possible and anticipate people’s questions (which often translates to keyword queries) and make it look nice.

Keep it organized; each sentence on its own line works well and keep people reading without overwhelming their eyes. You have to fill in the date and time using drop downs, but you can embellish here and give all the gory details.  This is especially useful if the event isn’t actually happening (see below).

Start and End Time

Mandatory and sometimes tricky. If it’s a “real” Event the time and place are easy. If you’re using an Event to promote something else and this is a virtual Event being used strictly for PR or marketing…you’re abusing the TOS and in big trouble. Just kidding. But you do need to be creative. So, assuming you’re trying to promote a new website or brand on Facebook, schedule your “E-Vent” far enough in the future so that you can invite people and utilize the page. Events aren’t useful once the date has passed, so set it up for a month from now, not two days.

Location

Doesn’t have to be an actual address, so you can get your name or a secondary town name in there. For instance, I live in South Boston, or “Southie;” I can utilize the location and City/Town feature to squeeze in both.

City

Start typing and Facebook will try to find a match for your city, so use the real name here. If it’s an Internet Event, you’ll have to leave it blank or pick a random city.

Phone and Email

Your call if you want to include these. I usually don’t. If it’s an actual event for my offline friends, they know both. If not, we can do all the talking we need on the Event wall. But if you’re a large brand or plan to do a lot of these you may want to set up a brand@gmail.com or facebook@brand.com email address.


That’s it for the basics; now you have to customize. And these are some of the make-or-break options so pay attention.

Image

I cannot stress how important this is. Putting an image, any image, immediately places you above at least 50% of the Facebook Event creators. Taking the time to find a good one, or making your own logo? You’re now in the top 10.

Checkboxes and Radio Buttons

As “open” as possible. Let people post stuff, invite people and see everything. You want people to be able to do a lot in order to increase the likelihood your Event will show up in their feed and get passed on to their friends.

In case you hadn’t gotten it by now, you’re going to want to publicize the Event by checking “Show this event in search results.”

Events are not indexed by search engines—yet—but that doesn’t mean you can’t work some SEO magic. Facebook users search Facebook much the same as someone searches Google; so, if you take a moment to come up with some keywords for your Group and/or Event, you can ensure that you’ll “rank” higher in Facebook search and come up for more things than some half-assed groups and events do. And lets face it, there are a lot of them on there.

So, if you take the SEO principles that have been ingrained in your brain by now and apply them to Facebook, your groups and events will quickly rise above the multitude of hastily set up parties and lost cell phone pleas. But you need to look the part as well.

Think of it this way: you could work some sneaky black-hat magic on a crappy site and get it to rank, but would it convert? Because Facebook groups and events are so abused, you need to take the time to make yours thorough and inviting. A huge percentage of websites are crap, and the percentage of bad Facebook groups is probably even higher.

1 Comment

  • [...] been and will continue to be indexed by search engines; this means that unlike Facebook Groups and Facebook Events, your Page will be visible in Google search results and can be viewed by people who do not have a [...]

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