I’m going to let you in on a little secret. You ready? Social media is a big deal.
Not only is social media a great way to connect with friends, family, and co-workers, but it is also a great way to engage your targeted consumers, find new followers, and even capture new sales leads. When it comes right down to it, a marketing strategy that excludes social media is not only antiquated, but it’s also making you miss out on increased opportunities for consumers to easily locate your brand through search.
Now that I have established that social media is a big deal when it comes to marketing, I want to quickly review each major social media platform and help you understand how to make your posts more searchable within each network. Let’s get started.
If you don’t know what Facebook is, you’re probably either over the age of 80, or living under a rock. Facebook is undoubtedly the most popular social media site, and it receives billions of visits from people all over the world per day. It helps you connect with others by sharing updates, photos, posts, articles, videos, and more.
– Easily connect with consumers who love your brand
– Profiles are free and a great way to showcase your brand
– You can extend your advertising opportunities with Facebook ads
– Search engines quickly index Facebook sites
– Easily drive traffic to your website through Facebook
– Don’t post more than 1-2 posts/day
– Research what time of day, and what days are the peak times to post (this information is available in Facebook analytics)
– Don’t make your updates all about yourself, because you will bore your audience
– Share interesting content like videos, cartoons, memes, quotes, and more
How to be more searchable on Facebook
1. Use keywords in your Business Page title. Google will pick these keywords up and index your Facebook site properly.
2. Use hashtags in every post. Hashtags help people that are interested in what you are posting find you. Hashtags aren’t nearly as popular on Facebook as they are on Twitter, but they are picking up speed.
3. Give people the option to share your website content by adding a Facebook “share” button on all your blog posts.
4. Engage in advertising on Facebook.
Twitter is the second most popular social media site. It is made up of short status updates that give your followers short snippets of interesting information. It’s a great way to show off your brand, connect with others with similar interests, and follow other brands that inspire you. Twitter can be especially useful for following a specific longtail topics that may influence or be important to your specific business or site.
– Twitter is a great way to monitor your brand. You can find out what others are saying about you when they Tweet @ you, or about you
– Connect with your followers easily
– Increase your business visibility
– Use it as a prospecting tool by finding out what individuals and companies are interested in brands like yours
– Like Facebook, Twitter is free, so any exposure you get from a basic Twitter account is free. Bam!
– Keep it short. Tweets with less than 100 characters preform better.
– Use images. People love pictures, and pictures make it easier to share your Tweet on Pinterest.
– If you’re including a link, make sure to shorten it. Try bit.ly. It will change your Tweeting life.
– Add a call to action
– Ask for a RT (Retweet)
– Use hashtags but don’t overdo it with hashtags. 1 or 2 will suffice.
– Hashtags are keywords…not long sentences that are an extension of your posts. Treat them as keywords.
How to be more searchable on Twitter
1. The single best way to make sure you are searchable on Twitter is to use hashtags. Twitter pretty much changed the whole semantic meaning of the symbol # through their cool keyword indexing system. Seriously, when was the last time you heard someone call the # a “number sign?” Probably around the same time you last used a pay phone. Every post you include on Twitter should have a hashtag.
2. Retweet – Another great way for people to find your brand is by retweeting other popular posts.
3. Following others – If you’re looking to get a follow, then try following someone else, golden rule style.
4. Tweet @ people – Engage in conversation by tweeting specific, helpful information at other people and brands. Share cool content with them, and they will love you for it.
Pinterest is the Internet’s corkboard. Basically, you can share pictures from websites that you love with all of your friends. Beware of Pinterest, because it will suck you in for hours, which is great for you as an advertiser, but probably not great for your productivity levels. Pinterest’s user base also skews female fairly significantly. If your product or service appeals to or is purchased by females more than males, Pinterest may be a good social network for you to consider leveraging.
– Great way to increase traffic to your website. In fact, it’s one of the best.
– Great way to get new subscribers.
– Excellent platform to hold a contest and get more followers.
– Pin as often as you want. Since the feed doesn’t have the same layout as Facebook, people won’t get sick of you if you go pin-crazy.
– Post a price with your pics. Stats show that when you add a price on Pinterest, your pin preforms better.
– Add some DIY advice/projects. Pinners love DIY.
– Make sure your images are appealing and clear
– Utilize Infographics on Pinterest
How to be more searchable on Pinterest
1. Hashtags aren’t just for Facebook and Twitter. Yep, they are for Pinterest too. Same rules apply when hashtagging: don’t use too many and keep them short
2. Write a specific description
3. Pre-populate the pin description on your website. This will help ensure that your pins have the content that you want shared linked with your website. When someone shares your pin, they share your content as well.
4. Add sharing buttons to your website pictures and content.
There once was a time when Google+ was just another social network and many people ignored it. Now Google+ is one of the most important social networks out there. The reason? When someone shares your content on Google+, it counts as both a social share, and a link for link building purposes. That is a huge deal.
Google+ is also a great way to engage with your friends, or circles as Google calls them, share fun content, and hang out with others.
– Google+ is made by Google, which means anything you do on Google+ counts toward your SEM efforts.
– Links count as a link-building link and a social share.
– Helps increase your Google PageRank.
– Helps increase your Local SEO efforts.
– Place a Google+ badge on your website and encourage others to add you to their circles
– Segment your followers with circles, and only share relevant content with relevant audiences. For example, you probably don’t want to share pictures of your puppy with your business circles, and you probably don’t want to share your business updates with your grandma. Circles give you a way to share content only with those who care.
– Google+ is a great place to share informative content. People searching Google+ are usually searching for more information than someone searching on Facebook and Twitter. As a result, Google + is a great place to share blog posts.
– Use the Google+ features including Hangouts, +1s, and more.
– Fill out your profile completely.
How to be more searchable on Google+
1. Add people to your circles
2. Use Google+ hashtags. Again, same rules apply. Treat them like keywords, not like interesting sentences with no spaces.
3. Make the content on your Google+ page as complete as possible. The more info you have completed, the more data Google has to share.
4. Post regularly
5. Link your page to your website and add all other social extensions including Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
LinkedIn is the social network for professionals. On LinkedIn, you can post information about you as a working professional including your resume, your website, work samples, and more. Additionally, LinkedIn is a great resource for businesses as you can create company LinkedIn pages. LinkedIn is necessary if you are looking to network, meet people, get a job, or land new clients. Surprisingly enough, as a freelancer, LinkedIn is generally how I get most of my new clients. It’s so rad.
– Land new clients through LinkedIn
– Find jobs on LinkedIn, or find employees
– Showcase your brand
– Show off your resume
– Engage with others
– Expand your professional network
– Fill out your profile completely
– Ask for reviews
– Connect your other social networks and your business website
– Scope out the competition to see what they are doing
– Use LinkedIn polls to gather quick and reliable market research
How to be more searchable on LinkedIn
1. You know what I’m going to say, huh? Yep, hashtags are applicable on LinkedIn as well.
2. Use keywords in your summary.
3. Connect your social profiles, and share them across all social platforms when you post an update.
Hopefully, this post gives you some quick insight about the importance of social media as a search marketing strategy, and how to effectively use each platform to get more engagement.
Ashley R. Cummings is a freelance writer with Searchlight Content, specializing in online marketing, education, and travel. Connect with Ashley on Facebook or on Google+, and learn more about her on LinkedIn.