How To Optimize Your Social Media Marketing For Search
Social media plays an important role in search. In part, people turn to their friends, colleagues and the public on social media networks to get answers to questions they previously used search engines to find information.
Additionally, increasingly, search engines incorporate results from social media platforms. Therefore, marketers should ensure that their social media marketing is optimized for their key search terms.
Here are fifteen search experts’ recommendations for social media.
- Too many marketers invest a lot or time, money and effort in creating a keyword strategy, only to ignore it when it comes to social media. In The B2B Social Media Book, we talk about developing and using a Unified Keyword Strategy. This unified strategy takes the your 25-50 most important keywords from your SEO strategy and separates them from your overall list which is likely in the hundreds. These top keywords shouldn’t only be the focus of your SEO strategy, but also should be integrated in your social media efforts from the words your use in status updates to the keywords you include in hashtags. Social networks feed search engines and are search engines themselves. Don’t ignore this valuable opportunity to get found. Kipp Bodnar, Inbound Marketing Strategist at HubSpot (@KippBodner) and Jeffrey L. Cohen, Social Strategist at Salesforce Radian6 (@JeffreyLCohen) Co-authors of The B2B Social Media Book: Become a Marketing Superstar by Generating Leads with Blogging, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Email, and More.
- Besides, writing good content… using hashtags, tagging, tying in with trending topics. Optimizing images for profile pictures is one that will help your photos get more visibility in Google Images. Always save images using keywords and branded terms as the file name. Lisa Buyer – The Buyer Group (@LisaBuyer).
- Create persuasive content focused on keywords related to your offering that your target audience seeks, finds useful and entertaining and wants to share. Further, with the meteoric growth of photograph-centric social media options such as Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr, associate keyword rich text with your images (including photos, graphics and infographics). Do the same for videos. Heidi Cohen – Riverside Marketing Strategies (@HeidiCohen).
- Re-use your social media content in interesting ways. There are a lot of great curation tools, such as List.ly, Twylah, and Storify that allow you to make good use of that content you created on other platforms. Ric Dragon – Dragon Search and author of Social Marketology (@RicDragon).
- Clearly define your objective. If you have a large brand that people love you can naturally build a large audience and a vibrant community. This might not work so well, however, for a company selling itchy butt medication. No one is going to want to like your page! But other brands, such as Ferrari can build a huge community. However, if you are not such a large brand today, then your goals may need to be different.I see too many businesses building large audiences without a purpose. They know they want to invest in social media, and they are building an audience, but it is not leading to a business goal. One alternative might be to focus instead on producing authoritative content on your blog, and then promote it through social media. The high quality blog content can help build your audience for your social media profiles, and your social media profiles can drive links back to your site. There is an awesome synergy there that can build powerful organic links. Eric Enge – Stone Temple Consulting Corporation and co-author of The Art of SEO with Stephan Spencer, Jessie Stricchiola and Rand Fishkin (@StoneTemple).
- Don’t think of social media as a stand-alone tactic, but rather as part of an integrated SEO campaign. At DBE, we refer to the integration as “SEO-cializing.” Marc Engelsman – Digital Brand Expressions (@marc_engelsman).
- It’s just the reverse. It’s fun to write something clever. But take a minute to add a search term, too. So, if you’ve written a “Wicked Good Guide to Boston English” that explains everything “Westa Wuhstuh” (West of Worcester) is terra incognita (unknown land), then edit the headline to read: “Wicked Good Guide to Boston SEO.” Greg Jarboe – SEO-PR and author of YouTube Marketing An Hour A Day (@gregjarboe).
- Social media is an adjunct to your SEO efforts. The content (tweets, posts, etc.) should be consistent and relevant with the content from your website and its individual landing pages. Again, content from both SEO and Social media efforts should be centered around your targeted keywords. Social media conversations should be mapped and linked to relevant landing pages on your site. Ron Jones – Symetri Internet Marketing and author of Keyword Intelligence (@Ron_Jones).
- Create social media content around trending keywords (watch Google Trends and also Twitter Trends), jumping on the “real time SEO” opportunity to increase traffic and potentially business to your site. We have also studied the effects of social media and the SERP and have found a correlation between Tweeting around specific keywords and an increase in ranking. Chris Keating, VP, SEO and Conversion Optimization – Performics.
- Depends on the social channel. Social graphs are increasingly important in SEO, so it’s not just what you know, it’s also increasingly who you know that makes content more visible to searchers in THEIR social graphs. Different social channels require different approaches to optimization. Twitter? Hashtags and links. YouTube? Titles, descriptions and transcripts. From an SEO perspective, social channels can’t just be lumped together as social. Each must be considered, and optimized, individually. Rebecca Lieb – Altimeter Group and author of The Truth About Search Engine Optimization and Content Marketing (@lieblink).
- The most important thing is to decide what you’re trying to accomplish first. Let’s say our objective is for a brand’s social media content to appear more prominently in search results on Google or Bing. Social channels are often used to promote content by SEOs and social networks are usually monitored and engaged by PR and social strategists to foster community. However, if a brand publishes social content including: blog posts, YouTube videos, Tweets and public content from Google+, Facebook and Pinterest there’s an opportunity for social network growth if people who are searching for specific information can find it in the form of a brand’s social content. So, the tip is to make sure that in addition to SEOs using keywords in content, that social content producers are informed with a keyword glossary made of relevant search phrases sorted by popularity and competitiveness. When these words are used to optimize and share social content, they will help that content appear more significantly for the words the target audience is using to find answers, resources and information. Discovery of social networks through search can increase subscribers, fans, friends and followers. Lee Odden - President - TopRankMarketing.com and author of Optimize (@LeeOdden)
- Take a long-term approach to social-media success. Social media is about listening, learning, building relationships and bringing value to the communities relevant to your business. If done right, it can open up opportunities for highly valuable inbound links through guest blog posting opportunities, by-lined articles and media mentions. Paul Roetzer – CEO, PR 20/20 and author of The Marketing Agency Insider (@paulroetzer).
- Make sure you do it! Build/claim your profile on the big networks and investigate any niche social sites that your audience is active on.
- Promote all your content and other’s content (as it makes sense for your business). You need to give people a reason to interact with your brand on social networks and a stream of fresh content is going to attract and keep your audience’s attention. Plus, by sharing other people’s content you can start building relationships with other professionals/consumers, start conversations and get more social love!
- Zero in on your timing. When is your audience online and using their social accounts? When are they most receptive to your content/messaging? When are they more likely to share your content?
Nick Stamoulis – President, Brick Marketing (@NickStamoulis).
- In my opinion, the most successful social media I’ve seen accommodates fresh ideas and fresh content… and has long-term benefits. I think many SEOs, in general, like blogs and other forms of social media due to the fast turnaround time and the immediate distribution of content, which is understandable. However, I have to say that in spite of the “freshness” benefit, I believe that long-term planning is the key to sustainable benefits from social media. Once you’ve posted desirable content and distributed that content via your social network, what is the immediate benefit? Do you still have that benefit months, or even years, later?Keyword calendars, archiving plans, and web analytics are important for social media websites as well as any other type of website. Shari Thurow – Founder and SEO Director, Omni Marketing Interactive and author of When Search Meets Web Usability (@sharithurow).
As social media continues to expand and influence search, it’s important to ensure your efforts are optimized for your top keyword phrases so your content is shared with prospects interested in it as well as appears on search engines.
What search optimization recommendations do you have for social media? Please include your suggestions in the comment section below.
Here are some related articles of interest:
- 15 SEO experts give their best blogging advice.
- The 7 step social media strategy
- 30 Social media definitions
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/barbourians/5371317884/