This week, Facebook enabled the ability for everyone to search posts. Which means you can now find what you may have thought was forever lost because let’s face it: Scrolling back through that Timeline was a PITA. Much like Google, you can head to Facebook and use the search bar to find old posts. It’s that easy. Which includes that old post about a research stat that you want to revisit, the BEST kitten photo ever, app recommendation threads, and especially, your company news. Everything is searchable.
If you’re doing a client announcement, using Facebook search to see what others are saying about the news (in public and your personal friends’ posts) can help inform the client about the public’s reaction. For example, recently T-Mobile announced that SHIFT is working with them as an agency. When I use the Facebook search bar to search for “T-Mobile and SHIFT” I see this:
It’s a tool we’d encourage you to add to your monitoring toolbox for client coverage, but this change also matters from a brand management perspective. How so?
When you’re managing a crisis, eventually that crisis dies down and you can move forward. In the case of Facebook, things would get pushed down on that unsearchable, difficult-to-navigate Timeline and leave those old posts buried. Just the way you preferred it. With this change, if you’re concerned with the old post resurfacing, we would highly recommend going back to catalog those that could be potentially problematic and prepare a response plan so you have it in advance of any issues. (It’s also a good reminder to go and update your page management settings and remove anyone who shouldn’t be there and ensure the role levels are appropriate!)
In the age of oversharing college students and people saying things they later regret on social networks, it’s also important to consider old posts in your Timeline. Especially if you’re looking for a job. Now that potential employers can search publicly available posts (we wish they wouldn’t, but feel it’s inevitable from some employers), cleaning up your Timeline is probably a good task to undertake. Make sure your visibility settings are the way you want them.
One caveat I’d like to be explicit about here: This is NOT a recommendation to go back and delete troublesome posts or edit them. While doing this might seem like a good idea, it’s really not.
Get your search on.
Facebook SEO. You read that right. The post search means that similar to Google, you can find posts on topics with keywords. Which means, Facebook just established SEO for the entire archive of public posts. So for brands, thoughtful consideration of what that means for you is key.
Now when sharing on Facebook, you can make your posts searchable with keywords. While we don’t have the tools (yet) to measure impressions or save searches as a feed to monitor, preparing for that eventuality without being obnoxious and keyword stuffing at the end of every post is key. You now need to be more thoughtful about what keywords and phrases you use in your Facebook posts. How do you want people to find you? This would be a great time to bring your SEO team together with your social media team and get them on the same page.
There’s definitely more advice to be had given this change, but this is a good place to start. What other advice would you offer given searchable Facebook posts?
Account Manager, Marketing Tech
First image credit: The Facebook Blog