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SEO Series #5: Add a Dash of Social Media

by Sian Simon on October 10, 2011

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In post #4 in our SEO series we talked about ways to get links from “traditional websites”.  But you should also consider participating in Social Media marketing because it has double benefits – not only does it help you get better results in search engines, it also lets you engage directly with existing and potential customers. Social Media refers to the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialog. The most popular social media sites are currently Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Facebook is the leading social networking site, with more than 800 million active users, of which over 50% log in every day. Facebook is one of the best ways for businesses to reach out to current friends and potential customers.

  • Facebook Pages are aimed for businesses to showcase information and communicate with users.
  • A Facebook fan page will often rank in the top results for brand-related searches.
  • Facebook fan pages allow better interaction with your brand and with fans. Many companies with Facebook pages have seen the positive benefit of viral marketing through their fan page.
  • The process of posting content on a page, such as events, news updates, videos, widgets, fan comments, and surveys is quick and easy.

Twitter is another free social networking service with over 100 million active accounts. Twitter allows people to write messages, using a limit of 140 characters, via mobile phone, instant messages, web browser, or through one of many software packages.

  • Twitter is a great marketing and social media tool as you can easily increase your brand’s reach and communication with current and potential customers.
  • Twitter is increasingly becoming a large part of social SEO. For example, Google recently started to list individual Twitter messages in unique search results.

LinkedIn is a highly regarded social network for professionals to share information, links, and more, with more than 100 million users.

  • A LinkedIn profile will often rank in the top results for brand-related searches.
  • LinkedIn is also a great resource in search engines and can identify you with your company if you include site links and relevant content within your own LinkedIn profile.

Search engines include Facebook pages within their indexes; therefore, you should post your top keywords on the page frequently.

These social networking sites also let you to spread your messages across platforms. Facebook allows users to send status updates to Twitter while LinkedIn allows users to post their Twitter messages in LinkedIn. At a minimum you should consider creating accounts and pages for your website on each of these sites – by linking your accounts you can cut down the amount of work needed to update your information regularly.

Other useful social media sites include news sites. Social news refers to websites where users submit and vote on the news, stories, and media. The two most popular (at the moment) are Digg and Reddit. Digg is a quality website for links to be submitted, shared, or “digged” with others. The site enables its large community of users to discover, categorize, rate, and share useful websites. Reddit is also a site that allows users to post content and vote on links. They are both great sources to accumulate high quality, relevant links to a website.

And one other suggestion – a blog can be a great way to communicate with customers and prospects, especially if you leave your posts open to comments (install some anti-spam software on your blog first!). Also by commenting on other people’s blogs, you can obtain links back to yours. Just remember that the type of content you post in social media is different than that which you would put on your main website. Every blog, every article post, every interaction with your social networking contacts should be focused on how it benefits your audience – not your business. Your contributions to your blog will be far more meaningful and credible if they focus on freely providing information and resources, rather than hawking products or touting your business’ attributes.

Our SEO Optimizer tool can help you find these types of opportunities and will show you how to get started quickly and easily.

Image via Flickr (creative commons) by ivanpw

This entry is part of 6 in the series All About SEO


Series NavigationSEO Series #4: Link Building: Now You’ve Built it, Get it LinkedSEO Series #6: Market Your Business Locally

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