Social networking can play an important role for search engine optimisation, and that is not just for creating high authority inbound links. Social networks are a great way to attract new organic traffic from a niche related audience. Though many SEO’s may tell you that social networks do not provide backlinks, and this may be true for Facebook and Twitter, there are hundreds of other social sites that can. Even without backlinks there are still some great reasons to share your content on these networks that include; bringing in new targeted traffic to your site, brand mentions (citations), social traffic that share your content on other networks and platforms that can create inbound links, to name but a few.
The purpose of this article is to teach you some of the basics to successful social networking and to give you a brief description of some of the most powerful social sites. So before we discuss the individual sites that will benefit your online marketing strategy the most, let’s talk about the general best practices that apply to all social media campaigns.
1. Following niche related users simply means that you want to search for users that are relative to your business and follow or add them as friends. Some users will follow you back, which can help you grow a network that is more likely to succeed in the industry that your business targets. It’s also a good way to stay in-touch with current relative information and enables you to join discussions that relate to your target market audience.
2. Like and plus one niche related posts is a great way to attract attention from niche related users and can also promote more followers and friends. It can also give your profile expose to many other users that are interested in the topic that your business is targeting. It’s important to note here that should not join these networks and blast out lot’s of spammy like interactions. Always be genuine as discussed in step 5.
3. Commenting on niche related posts is another great way to attract follows and engagements. So here we want to interact with relative profiles that already have a large amount of followers. This will give your profile lots of exposure to niche related users and by creating compelling comments it wont be long before your social following starts to successfully grow.
4. Sharing niche related content is another technique that will attract more follows and also gives your profile more variety. So if you see an article or post that is current and relative to your industry, sharing it may also satisfy your current followers expectations of the content on your profile. There are also many other great benefits to sharing niche related content that I will leave up to your own imagination and research.
5. Being genuine is probably one of the most important factors in a successful social media strategy. Social networks can create their own algorithms that detect spammy and excessive activity. So if you add to many users in one day or like to many posts, this could result in a ban or simply less exposure to your own posts. Each individual network has its own guidelines and rules, so if you are a serious social networker it can be worthwhile finding out what you can and cannot do.
How to build a successful social network quickly
Social networks don’t generally grown them self. So it’s important to set aside some time each day for a period of at-least one to three months to build a network of quality followers. The steps listed previously will need to be applied on a regular basis but there are a few more tips that can improve this process. We really want to target active users, so this can be achieved by searching for popular niche related profiles and then adding their most current followers. The users that follow back will be active and most likely interested in the content that your profile consists of. Another great tips is to add the users that engage with popular niche related posts. These are the users that are much more likely to like and share your posts and social content.
Targeting community boards and social groups
This is another affective method to reach an audience that is interested in similar content that your business or website contains. Most individual social networks have a different system in place here, and as there are to many networks to list them all, let’s just run though the most popular. Google Plus has communities, collections and groups that you can create, join, interact and post your content to. Pinterest uses boards in a similar fashion. Simply search for a key phrase and then select boards from the menu. Here we want to find relative boards with lots of niche related followers. Twitter allows you to search for a key phrase and then to select different views of related posts. So you can find the most popular tweets or the most recent tweets. Twitter also allows you to filter a search to find relevant news, photos and videos. Tumblr allows you to search for a keyword phrase and narrow it down with many filters that include; Trending, Staff picks, Text, Photos and much more. LinkedIn also allows you to create new groups and interact with existing groups. Reddit has a great sub-reddit feature that allows you to find a relative niche to post in and interact with.
Making the most of hash tags
Adding a few relevant hash tags to your posts is a great way to expose your content to the right audience. Another great way to find niche related users is to search through the public posts that use the relevant hash tags. So if you want to find profiles that are interested in search engine optimising, you can search for hash tags that include; #seo #searchengineoptimization #searchenginemarketing #sem and so forth. It’s important here to spend some time examining each post to ensure that it’s relevant to the topic you are targeting, there are lots of spammers out there that use other popular hash tags that do not relate to the subject they are tagged with. We really want to find the high quality posts, with lots of engagement from other quality users and then to genuinely make an impression in a friendly manor. In other words, don’t just scroll through liking any old random post.
Top social networks for SEO
Depending on the industry that your business or website targets, there are quite a few different networks that are more beneficial and popular for different audiences. So for example: Twitter is really popular amongst the web design and development community, although I don’t know anyone in Australia that uses Twitter. It’s worthwhile researching which networks work best for a location specific intended audience. In saying that, I think if you really want to maximise your SEO social networking efforts it make sense to utilise all of the most popular networks discussed below.
While many people have heard of Google Plus it has only recently become more popular within the general public. SEO’s and internet marketers have taken advantage of G+ for quite awhile now and it’s starting to really stand out in the vast array of social network platforms that are available. G+ allows you to create a public profile where you can post links, multimedia and location specific content. G+ also has many niche related communities and collections with thousands of followers and it really is a great way to expose your business to right target market audience. Google My Business is the equivalent for creating a business G+ profile, with many of the same features and it’s a great way to generate online exposure through Google Maps.
The best thing about Pinterest is the ability to pin your multimedia content to relevant boards while creating some highly authoritative backlinks. Along with some of the other networks mentioned in this article, Pinterest can drive new traffic to a website on top of strengthening a sites page rank. I highly recommend giving Pinterest a whirl using the social strategies outlined in this article for ten minutes a day for at least two or three months. At this stage you should see improvements in your local search results along with regional, national and international results as well.
One of the best kept secrets in any professional SEO’s array of tools is Tumblr. Essentially a blogging platform, Tumblr allows it’s users to publish text, photos, quotes, links, audio, video and chat. As is the case with many social networks, high quality backlinks can be created simply by adding links to your posts. Carefully implementing compelling titles and descriptions that a factually and grammatically correct is also really important here to. Along with adding a few location specific and targeted keyword hash tags.
Although Twitter doesn’t create inbound links that can improve a websites standing in the search results, it does have a large user base and can still work well for targeting like minded users. Twitter can help bring new traffic to your website and that new traffic can help to improve your SEO efforts in other ways besides backlinks. This may include users book marking a website, telling there friends via word of mouth, email and other forms of website sharing. Every new source of traffic that lands on a webpage has the potential to indirectly improve a websites online presence, so utilising Twitter is certainly a worthwhile task.
While LinkedIn is very similar to other social sites, it is more focused on connecting business professionals and industry specific users. LinkedIn allows you to share updates, media and to publish article/posts. Adding links to your LinkedIn posts can create backlinks and can also bring in new targeted traffic. It’s also a great way to connect with users in your industry for collaboration and outsourcing work.
One of the more powerful social networks that can really improve traffic is Reddit, which allows it’s users to submit text posts and also links. Reddit is similar to a forum, where people interact on posts, but it can also be thought of as a bulletin board. As with all social networks, it’s important to be genuine and to follow their guidelines. In other words, participate in conversations before posting your own content.
No article regarding social media would be complete without at least a mention of the social giant Facebook. While Facebook and SEO do not go hand in hand, it is still the biggest network and a multi billion dollar company. Unfortunately for search engine marketers there profits always seem to come first, so in other words organic success is no longer easily achieved. Even paying Facebook for sponsored posts may have limited advantages. While it maybe important to have a Facebook page I would not expect the same results as can be achieved on other popular social media sites.
SEO impact of social networks
Although social signals maybe considered by Google as having a relatively small amount of SEO weight, they are still really worth focusing some of your promotional time and or money into. As previously discussed there are some high authority backlink opportunities along with the indirect SEO benefits that can be associated with new traffic coming from social sources. All the more reason to take your business social and start networking some new accounts before your competition possibly leaves you behind.