The response to our post on underestimated SEO strategies was encouraging enough for a follow up that points to the easiest tactic for link building. No doubt, your company has dabbled in social media for it’s informal and formal profiles, with authoritative links directed to your core site. Inbound links help improve SEO performance, generate traffic and raise brand awareness. So to use social media as a link building tool is a no brainer.
Here’s how we recently used social media to help a client with link building:
1. Grow Relationships
Businesses and their abilities have become commoditized, with the knowledge economy placing the information needed for just about anyone to go from ignorant to aware in a matter of days. So the differentiator is either an IP that serves as a barrier to entry, or an unbreakable relationship. By employing social media for link building, your business taps into the opportunity to connect with people present on the platform. Over time, the relationship your business has with the social media platform builds a foundation and becomes grounded, improving rankings. Fans build social proof, giving credibility to the content and improving perceptions. Your products solve a problem so join groups that are prone to discuss the problem in question. Invest in social media monitoring to have a direct presence and organically link to your page where relevant.
2. Guest Blogging
Build relationships, be found by search engines and get introduced to new people through guest blogging. Google sites that talk about the problem you are intending to solve, reach out to them, speak to the editor about the content they want (not the content you have) and create something around the editors’ suggestions. Once the blog is up, promote it relentlessly to your target segment. As long as a backlink is generated, guest posting can be more valuable. Of the 100 requests you send out, it would be lucky if even 10% respond because this is a common tactic. Simplify the way you reach the editor with social media.
3. Increase Rankings
Google cares about traffic. If the content on social is getting traffic, Google will assign it credibility. So make that happen. Remember to get smart about targeting on social media that goes beyond demographic segmentation. Here’s our guide to Getting Facebook Targeting Right.
4. Raise Brand Awareness
Content may be king, but distribution is the queen. There’s no point having a presence if no one knows you’re there. There are a number of companies fighting for attention on social media and aside from quality content, a smart distribution strategy is the sure fire path to be being seen. Capitalise on social media as a distribution channel, banking on its organic popularity. When creating content, align it with your brand voice and the mission of your business. Think about what your strengths can create that will provide value to the visitor.
For a client in financial services, we came up with a campaign around “credit scores”. On face value, it appeared to be a tool that asked people for their name, identity card info, income, occupation and age. After inputting the data, it prompted a pop-up that asked for an email so the participant could receive a “comprehensive credit score report”. Those who were emailed fell into a good credit score and also a bad credit score. Most companies will discard the data of participants with the ‘bad’ credit score.
Why follow the crowd?
In this example, content varied in helping those that fell into the latter category, while the former category was congratulated on being a “responsible citizen”, prompted participants to ‘brag’ about their score / financial maturity on Facebook, and prompted the client to offer them an amazing mortgage deal. Those that fell below a certain credit score were offered truly helpful and actionable suggestions on how best to improve their score today. The content sought to serve the participant, whether or not they qualified a mortgage. Content that stands out is the one’s that empower participants, readers, and visitors with the knowledge and tools in order to qualify as a potential customer. If you are ready to put the customer’s needs before that of your brand, this is definitely an angle you should partake in. The rewards are tremendous, not just for brand sentiment but also conversions and improve credibility in the digital iris of a search engine.
The indirect nature of social media’s role in link building is what turns off traditional digital marketers with a short-term mindset. Relationships are built over a long term, and marketers interested in building infallible brand’s with trust would do well to set forth in this direction.
For more on this subject, reach me on firstname.lastname@example.org