Some claim that social media can revive failing businesses; others that it can significantly increase your brand power. Like most marketing forms, the value of social media is variable. Some will generate direct income from it, while others will find fairly mixed results.
There’s one field in which social media truly shines: SEO. However, most of the web’s well-known social media marketers are focused on branding and direct sales, with very few dabbling in anything but the most basic search engine marketing and link building tactics.
That leaves the field wide open for experienced search marketers, particularly those with a penchant for unconventional tactics and innovative approaches. If you have plans to conquer Twitter, Facebook, or an independent social website, use these tips to gain as much link building and SEO power as possible.
Use a link redirection service that passes PageRank.
Posting complete links on Twitter can be a disaster. Whenever you use Twitter or any similar websites for viral marketing and link building, ensure that the URL clipping service you use can pass PageRank to its target pages.
This means using a service that’s built around 301 Redirect commands. Such link shortening services redirect users directly to a page without using a bridge page or any intermediary content – something that can often end up taking your incoming PageRank and giving it to the wrong website.
Examples would be:
Sorry, Tinyurl doesn’t make the cut here, as I’ve read that even though they use 301 redirects, they don’t really pass juice. Interesting. Guess I should switch to using another service, huh. Heck, I’ve even just installed the Firefox addon Goo.gl lite to make it brainless to use the Google URL Shortening tool when wanting to create shortened URL s.
Here’s an article from Search Engine Land about Google’s URL Shortening service compared to Bit.ly. It even talks about Twitter’s recent addition of their URL wrapping feature.
Offer incentives for people to spread the word.
Offer an incentive to whoever can generate the most links for your website, provided they can report on the quantity and quality of their links. Twitter competitions are particularly popular amongst webmasters, as the website’s short-form nature is ideal for viral growth and rapid link generation.
Use your blog as a social media connector.
There are hundreds of social media services, most of which are utterly frustrating to those with an account on each. While some bloggers prefer to post their content to all of their profiles, the vast majority of readers prefer to access their content in just one location.
If you’re a business blogger, that location should be your blog. Use some WordPress plugins to conglomerate all your social media presences in your blog’s sidebar or site margin. That will help your visitors locate all your profiles and encourage linking to your blog, as it remains the center of your content and points of user contact.
Some plugins to try out are:
- Social Slider
- Find Me On
- Social Grid
- Social Media Widget
- About Me
- Find Me Elsewhere
- Cute Profiles
- Follow Me Plugin
Using your keywords in all the right places.
When building your social network profiles in places such as Twitter and your Facebook Business Pages, be sure to include listing your most important keywords in your bio sections and info sections. Search engines do crawl these sites and pick them up, so don’t pass up the opportunity.
On a Facebook Page, utilize your page name area to include the keywords there, too. A recent feature that Facebook added is that if you forgot to do that and you have less than 100 “likes” or “fans”, you now have an opportunity to change the page name. Go to the Edit area of your Facebook Page and select Basic Information on the left if not already selected. If you’re still under the “likes” limit, then you’ll see the Name field available for you to edit. If you don’t see it …. well, then you’ve missed the opportunity. If you get an error when changing the page name, I’ve found that many times if I reduce the number of characters in this field Facebook will take it. Recently, I tried a 77 character page name and Facebook balked, but shortening it to 67 characters worked.