How To Tap Into The Social Media Community Through SEO

Devin Kostrzewski
Devin Kostrzewski Director Of Accounts , Spread Effect

Posted on January 6th 2013

How To Tap Into The Social Media Community Through SEO

EMDs, Pandas, Penguins; Google has been in frequent action. Multiple algorithms were released this year, and they left a huge impact on the rankings of online businesses. No one really knows what Google wants at this point. However, there is one thing that no longer works: writing for Google. ‘Write for Google and Google will reward you’, this was the statement made by so-called SEO gurus and online marketing experts. While this statement did hold true in recent times where everyone was being rewarded (even companies creating auto-generated web pages), the trend has shifted. While some online companies saw their rankings declined, others have seen a boost in search engine results.

Website owners who saw an improvement in their rankings were the ones who had a community. The latest Google algorithms have given the advertising power in the hands of the customers. Strategies that were considered to be the most important are now given the least weight, and the focus has now shifted towards creating an engaged community. Being frequently talked about is the key to future success. Authoritative websites get social media mentions on a daily basis. They have a strong presence due to a large number of retweets, Likes, +1’s and other mentions.

Businesses that got affected can get back to the search engine results by devising their strategies in line with the new trend. Rather than spending money on banner ads, link-building, and other search engine optimization strategies, they should focus on building a community that gives them constant mentions on social media, and even offline. Here are few tips for building a community.

1. Increase social media awareness

You may have been spending on social media already. The common thing most businesses do is focus on getting more followers. While followers do play a role, they won’t benefit in the long run if they aren’t engaged. Cough… Lady Gaga’s Facebook page. Try to attract followers that are really interested in what you have to offer (no, don’t go on organizing competitions). Start networking with people in your industry, offer free advice, answer as many questions as possible and network with your existing customers.

2. Be active on all channels

Yes, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ have a huge member base and you’ll find many people interested in your brands. However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore the less popular social media channels. Referral traffic should come from as many channels as possible. You may never know that a customer coming from a less popular social media site may be more engaged.

3. Sign up customers

A simple pop up asking customers to sign up won’t cut it. You need to be different. Customers are signing up to be a part of your community, and they should have a good reason to do so. Your landing page shouldn’t be boring, and should have a well-organized hierarchy. It should match the desire of the customer. Additional things, if possible, should include a video and existing customer count.

4. Hire someone who can get people to talk

If you’re able to get someone who can get people to create a buzz, you’ll build and grow your community with ease. Content that touches the heart of the customer will get Liked, retweeted and Pinned automatically, getting more members for your community in return.  As opposed to investing in mercurial SEO tactics that can change overtime, hiring a good writer, as mentioned in this post on the Spread Effect content marketing blog, may turn out to be the best investment you ever made.

5. Involve others

You won’t be able to do this alone. You’ll have to involve others, and the best option lies in your staff. Give them freedom to talk about your brand, and answer customer queries. Hostgator was able to build a strong online presence through their live customer support. The representatives have the freedom to talk about the brand, give suggestions and solve any customer queries.

6. Attend events

The offline tactic has a part to play. Going to events will get you more mentions. Introduce yourself to others, and tell them about your company. Take interest in their business as well. You may be able to find people who aren’t related to your business, but have a strong online community. They may mention your company name, and who knows, the new referrals may already have interests related to your brand.

Be sure to attend online 'events' as well, and by this I mean stay connected to the overall SEO community. Many prominent SEOs keep up with social media networks as if they were the future of content marketing. And, in some ways, they are. 

These actions will help you start and maintain your own place in the SEO community, which is going to grow over time if you stay on the right path. A strong community will have a strong voice, and the authority of your online business is going to increase. Search engines are now favoring website owners and online businesses that are authoritative. Once customers start giving you importance, and mentioning you on a daily basis, search engines would have no choice but to give you importance as well.

Devin Kostrzewski

Devin Kostrzewski

Director Of Accounts , Spread Effect


Devin Kostrzewski is an SEM expert and professional in content marketing. Devin began his career in SEM while in college and now serves as the Director of Accounts at Spread Effect, a leader in the content marketing industry. Spread Effect strengthens your brand through content creation and promotion. You can find Devin on twitter @dmak_11, Linkedin, or Google+

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Comments

Kent Ong
Posted on January 7th 2013 at 4:15AM

Be active in all channels? That is bad advice. As marketers, we have limited time and money, we should focus on the right channels for our markets.

Devin Kostrzewski
Posted on January 8th 2013 at 10:34PM

Kent,


I do have to disagree because I expressed needs to diversify. I am not saying that marketers should take 100% of their time and divide it equally among all channels, however, ignoring a channel is a no-no. Search is all emcompassing and so if marketing in real life. Whether you are trying to rasie your SERP slot or meet and greet at events with potential clients, nothing should be ignored.


I agree that focus should remain on the most successful channels, but diversification is key. For example people largely ignored google+ at first because it didn't have a huge member base and popularity. However, now data is coming out suggesting that Google+ can have a large impact on search is vastly rewarding those marketers who at least spent some time setting up a Google+ page and getting a good foundation of follows and +1's over the past year.

Kent Ong
Posted on January 9th 2013 at 3:24AM

It is not diversify or focus, it is picking the right channel. If your products or services need only one channel, then stay focus on one channel, if your products or services need more than one channel (after doing research), then go for more than one channels. As I said, it depends on your market.

Even diversification, we still need to pick only few channels rather than all channels. You should change your subtitle then. :)

CoffyGroup
Posted on January 7th 2013 at 12:38PM

The value you put for your social and SEO should really be greater this year if you want to be ahead of the competition. But, more often than not, people will get overwhelmed and things could get blurry - that's a problem you should be able to realize at the earliest time possible. Thanks for giving us your insights, Devin. I may just have to tweak a strategy or two and see if it's something "fit" for my needs.

 

Devin Kostrzewski
Posted on January 8th 2013 at 10:31PM

Thanks for the comment and I agree. People can easily get lost in all the different avenues of online brand promotion as well as the puzzle of SEO. Another point worth troubleshooting is the time it takes for strategy changes to take effect. Some are quick, but sometimes it takes a long time to see results from changes and before you know it, 2013 will be over and you will be even further behind.

Nobody said it was easy haha! Good Luck.

Posted on January 8th 2013 at 7:34AM

Fantastic ideas Devin.This are tips that will help doctors in marketing of their medical services.

 

Erick Kinuthia

Team MDwebpro.com

Suresh Suri
Posted on January 8th 2013 at 9:28AM

Good article . Also read a whitepaper on how social crm can be used parallely with traditional crm's for effective customer relationship management, readers will find it very helpful @ bit.ly/UDUptM  

http://socialmediatoday.com/devin-kostrzewski/1128926/how-tap-social-media-community-through-seo
trendingmom
Posted on January 9th 2013 at 3:33PM

Thank you for this article.  Simple - Effective - Makes Sense - MORE THAN WORTH THE READ!  In the digital age we live in, it's time we go back to basics sometimes.

We also need to stop depending on search engines like google to dictate what is worth reading and what isn't... what should be popular and what should not. 

If we target one search engine to rank high on, we, as a community are giving them the power to make or break you. 

Focus on what you do, what you love, and the readers you want to engage.  No algorithm can truly measure the worth of any website... Technology does not feel compassion...

kasixote
Posted on January 11th 2013 at 4:31AM

I appreciate this article. I wish more in the SEO industry were so forward thinking about social media. Social is still being treated as an afterthought, even in some professional circles. It is very frustrating to try and explain the importance of social media to clients who have difficulty grasping traditional SEO. I hope that more articles are written about the importance of social signals and maintaining social channels in SEO, kudos!

As far as the number of networks is concerned, I think you both make good points. It is wise to find out where your audience is and focus the majority of your time on those channels. However, it is also important to stay on top of upcoming trends and technology in an industry that changes so frequenlty. 

I think there is some confusion because when you say to be on all social channels, a lot of people may conjure up visions of abandoned profiles. (That was my first thought when I read it.) While it is good to diversify if you have the time, I don't think anyone would recommend having more social profiles than you can maintain.

shahzebit
Posted on January 14th 2013 at 1:13AM

good post devin, you are right about getting in social event's or hiring some one who can manage it both offline and online, search engine optimisation has become much more of quality. Targetting the right niche in social media also getting interact with other businesses will help, more over what i would recommend do target both short and long term keywords as it will take a whole lot of time if you target highly competed keywords as main keywords it will take couple of months to show your work if you are folowing real good seo plan, more over about Page Rank factor, after penguine they all talked about removing the links to spam or shaddy site's, this is whole lot of talk which site to be considered shaddy bla blaa, i came across numerous sites where new client's complained their sites went down pretty quickly offcourse if you buy links overnight or do some link trading etc this will happen, i would recommend targetting the relevant website's with mixup of do-no do follow links with diverse anchor text not more than 20% for the keywords and mix up other's like plain url, general keywords, junk anchor's. but that 20% also varies where your client stands if site has dropped ranking eg 6-4 then look up for your previous backlink, analyse them and then carefuly remove also go deep like some times the backlinked site is clean but it's getting backlinks from other spam or bad neighbourhood sites that means if you have 1000 backlinks first go through 1000 backlink create a sheet record whats the ratio of brand keywords,main keywords, general keywords, naked urls, total no of PR0 linked sites etc then try to balance the equation according, sure things will get better on next update if you do good cleanup, else go for some real spam hunt eg go to 1000 sites and check out bad neighbourhood might be they are sharing their bad spam share with you, yah hectic but gotta do :) ALSO do use Google Adwords according to your keywords, it will help if you understand that face. you can see some search engine optimisation it'll agive you some good idea regarding site structure & other on page factors happy penguine recovery & wait for dinasour update, you guys might need footer to read this (¬‿¬)