This week, Ben Stewart, the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of e-commerce marketing platform Social Rebate, reached out to MMW to share some of the vast knowledge he has gleaned from constructing successful social media marketing campaigns for over 300 online retailers in 2013 alone.
Drawing from his extensive background in social media marketing and SEO tactics, here are Ben Stewart’s “5 Ways to Boost SEO Using Social Media.”
1. Choose the right network
Facebook is great for SEO when the posts are public, but when users engage and reshare your public content, it is usually only viewable by friends of that user. Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest are much better for mass distribution of a message you want the search engines to see. Remember, if you can’t see it without logging into the network, then the search engines can’t either.
2. Always format your content for the network
Each social network is unique so why would you use the exact same content on each one? Make sure your content is formatted to play well with the network you plan to share it on. Oftentimes, I see posts on twitter that were obviously copied from another source and the message is broken. If I post something to Facebook that is over 140 characters, I can’t expect it to show up on twitter in the same complete fashion (it will be truncated.) So if you are going to tie your accounts together for convenience, make sure your posts are formatted to be uniform on as many networks as possible.
3. Start a conversation
Search engines love conversation threads. When people ask questions on a specific topic and a thread of opinions and answers begin to form around it, search engines find keyword pay dirt. With multiple sources all weighing in on the same topic, the topic becomes much more relevant. Reddit is a great example of a social forum that can generate great SEO when a topic gets traction. Ask questions relevant to your brand or product, take a unique stance that will elicit more opinions, and always make sure your profile points people directly to your site.
4. Join Groups and gatherings
There are keyword rich conversations going on around the social sphere that the search engines have already found. Forums, public FB pages, Twitter trends, and FB group pages are a great place to start looking. By jumping in on conversations relevant to your brand and weighing in with your opinions, you can establish yourself as a valued resource. Not only is this a good way to reach new potential customers directly, but if links to the conversation already have solid placement on the search engines, then anyone who visits will be exposed to your brand as well.
5. Use keyword rich trend tags (#)
Hashtags (#) have become the standard way to single out talking points in social media posts. Whether you are posting #pictures on Instagram, #tweets on Twitter, or #statuses on Facebook… using popular keywords along with the right trending topics can help your content get noticed. Search engines like Google have been forced to pay attention to things trending on social networks ever since they became up to the minute sources for news. By tagging your posts with not only what is #trending and relevant to your content, but also adding tags in the form of #keywords you would typically use for search, can help take your posts beyond the social realm and into the organic search listings. This tactic works especially well when you have lots of people re-sharing it, so offering additional incentives like a coupon or promotion to get people to redistribute your content is always recommended.