Social media can provide a great platform to spread brand awareness. Used correctly, your social presence can also be used to boost your SEO strategy by gaining quality backlinks to your website.
Links are one of the most important quantifiers used by search engines as they decide your relevance, importance, and trust. The more good quality links you have, the more “value” is assigned to your site and the higher your ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Provide content that adds value
There are many ways to get links, but social media offers a good opportunity to earn links naturally. As search algorithms become more sophisticated, aggressive self-promotion and anything even approaching the idea of link farming becomes less effective and can even hurt your rankings. If you create content that people find valuable, they’re more likely to want to share it.
What people find valuable may vary, but good quality infographics and posts that provide statistics, well-researched information, and fresh angles on a topic are all good places to start. A good video that captures viewers’ attention is eminently shareable, which is one of the reasons nearly 87% brand and agency marketers are now creating videos for content marketing.
Original and entertaining posts have a chance to go viral. But don’t just focus on entertainment value – a solid, useful post is likely to provide long-term return, as people could use it as a reference for their own content. Experienced bloggers and content writers often link to your content rather than quoting or stealing it, especially if it seems authoritative.
Contribute to the conversation
The quality of your messages and responses is more important than just frequency. People are still likely to link to your content if it’s valuable, even if it’s a unique article. However, by making frequent contributions, you can build your presence and authority in relevant areas. Not every answer you make has to be a meticulously researched, densely packed data bomb. You can add helpful snippets of information, give feedback, or just say “Hey, great post” once in a while. Building your presence means community members already know you and may be even more likely to reuse your content when you post the most valuable posts. If you keep an eye on the conversation and are able to respond positively to other people’s questions and issues, that can also help.
It’s especially helpful to provide linkable content in the first few replies to a new blog or post. Being in the top five or ten posts — and certainly on the first page if applicable — can really help get your content noticed.
The time and resources you need to devote to social media will be limited, so it pays to target your efforts effectively. Ideally, you’ll want to research key influencers in the relevant field. This may mean that your comments and posts are competing with many others, but this is where the value you include can help them stand out.
Facebook and Twitter are the two go-to platforms for most people, but you should also look for targets on other sites like YouTube, Pinterest, and Tumblr. If you market to specific regions, you may want to expand your efforts to the most popular sites in each market. VK, for example, is the favorite social media site in Russiawhile orkut can help you expand your audience in India and Brazil.
Use the right tools
There are a number of tools and services that can help you find the best targets. Subscriber, for example, offers a Twitter analytics service. It can help you sort and compare followers by looking at data like social authority scores and percentage with URLs. You can also gauge reactions to your own tweets by monitoring your activity alongside current follower count.
New Web Explorer is another handy tool because it looks for mentions of your brand, business, or other keyword and associates them with “feed authority.” This can help you sort out key influencers from those with less perceived authority, allowing you to target your efforts more effectively.
As social media links tend to be earned rather than bought or traded, the results of any campaign can be difficult to predict. The genuine links earned can be very valuable, which is well worth it!
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