You can't look up without reading about another link between social media and search engine optimization. Bing is now integrating Facebook "Like" data into its rankings and Google has just started integrating activity from Twitter, Quora, and FlickR. So the question is starting to be asked, "How do you leverage social media for SEO?"
Last week, I challenged folks to stop ignoring social media for SEO, so the inevitable questions ensue: "If I am going to pay attention to social media, just what do I do?"
Just as with everything else in digital marketing, you'll be regaled by hucksters that know the secret tricks to really boost your rankings. You'll also hear from true social media experts, but how can you tell the difference?
You'll hear about how social media activity affects rankings, so you should start lots of social media activity to raise your profile. You'll hear about how you should create automated personas in social media to retweet and link to your social media content. You'll hear about how you should encourage employees to reach out to their networks to share the company's social media. You'll hear a lot of tactics. Some of them are good, while others might be more dubious.
You should use the same screening mechanism for these tactics that I have proposed for any search marketing idea: If what you are doing benefits not only you, but the search engines and the searchers, then go ahead. It is probably a very good thing to do. But if it feels like something that would help you, the search marketer, but doesn't really do anything for anyone else, beware.
Image via CrunchBase
You might wake up one day to find it is against the search engines' terms of service. Or that it no longer gives you the ranking boost that it did at first. And you've wasted all that time any money on a very temporary gain.
So that is a way to assess the value of tactics, but is tactics all that you care about? No. Your strategy in social media needs to complement your strategy in the rest of your marketing, but with a twist. Instead of just sell, sell, sell, it needs to be help, help, help. If you can pull that off with the right tactics, you'll find you succeed in social media, and SEO too.
Mike is an expert in search marketing, search technology, social media, publishing, text analytics, and web metrics, who regularly makes speaking appearances.
Mike's previous appearances include Text Analytics World, Rutgers Business School, SEMRush webinar, ClickZ Live.
Mike also founded and writes for Biznology, is the co-author of Outside-In Marketing (with James Mathewson) and the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (now in its 3rd edition, and sole author of Do It Wrong Quickly, named by the Miami Herald as one of the 11 best business books of 2007.
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