Social media marketing and SEO are attached at the hip and should always be run in tandem and concurrently.
Today it's quite normal, and in fact standard, for companies to expend amazing amounts of time and resources on social media marketing. But it's clear to me that one simple fact is constantly lacking in their strategies and tactics - SEO. That fact is that success in social, especially for B2B companies, is very often realized through search. People aren't just finding out about your products, services, and industry thought leadership through your tweets, posts, and other social chatter - they're finding your content that has been woven throughout the web and posted to other sites in organic search results.
Google and other engines are reading and scanning what's happening in social media. They're scanning and indexing public Facebook pages, trending topics in Twitter, every blog post on the web, as well as photos, videos, and all the other things that make up the social constellation. Don't believe me? Check out the images below:
Fidelity Twitter tweets and Facebook posts being indexed in Google:
Trending topics in Twitter displayed in Google index:
While writing and publishing brilliant and entertaining social content can certainly make a splash, encourage engagement, and move the needle in terms of your thought leadership and brand, your typical social post is oftentimes at best a literal flash in the pan. The way your social channel opens up over time is when the sum total of your thought leadership content, corporate social responsibility content, and overall brilliance and humility of your organization builds up and gets weaved into the fabric of the web.
The idea is that social media is a means to promote and distribute your content so that it gets posted to blogs, forums, discussion groups, photo sites, and even mainstream media sites. The net result of this over time is that your site not only gets more prominent placement in the search engines because you have more links pointing back to you, but more of your content actually appears in organic search listings for a wide variety of topics. This greatly increases your presence in the search engines as your content contributes to your off-page optimization. Look at it this way: sure, you want your site to show up in as many search results as possible, but the next best thing to your site showing up in a search listing is your content showing up on someone else's site. Over time the cumulative effect of more links and content weaved into the web and showing up in organic search will ultimately drive traffic and brand recognition back to you via organic search.
So while we all recognize the value of SEO when it comes to our website, many of the principles we apply to our SEO programs should be migrated to your social media programs. Social media marketing and SEO are attached at the hip and should always be run in tandem and concurrently.
So as promised, here are 14 tactical ways to incorporate SEO into your social programs. Tips one to four are a bit more verbose and cover how to select target terms, pages, and hashtags. Then the rest of the tips cover how you use all those target terms, links, and hashtags in your social media marketing as well as tips on socially enabling your site's content.
So there are 14 of the tactics we use to attach search engine optimization and social media marketing at the hip. Of course there are many more and if I miss some please do comment to let people know. Happy marketing.
Link image on home page via Shutterstock.
This column was originally published on Dec. 4, 2012.
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