Haven't you heard? Link building is dead! But really, it's not. Not even close. The old methods of link building are dying. And Matt Cutts is continuing his homicidal link killing crusade. Just recently he struck a blow against the guest blog spammers.
So, what is left for digital marketers who need to build high authoritative links that are real and organic?
Personally, I love social media for building links. Let me explain some tried and true tactics and how you can build links with them.
Become a stalker
Well, maybe not a stalker. But you should begin following the thought creators and leaders in your field. Not only will you begin to pick up some really great information from their feeds, but you'll also want to create connection with them.
Once you're following the leader in your industry, begin interacting with them. Share their posts and add your own thoughts to what they're saying. Respond to their posts with your own ideas and see what they thing. Ask them thought provoking questions that relate to your industry.
By doing these things, your name will begin to become familiar to these people. They'll recognize you as one of their more involved followers. They'll repond back every once in a while. They may even follow you in return.
Once you've created these relationships, you can then begin to use them to create links. Write a really good blog that breaks news or brings up a unique point of view. Then, share that with the leader you've created a relationship with. If it's a good piece of information, chances are they'll share it with their followers or even link to it from their site.
This isn't an overnight process. This will require months of effort and you should be using this technique with numerous influential people at the same time. Regardless of the links you'll get, and you will get links, these connections will be invaluable to you for dozens of other reasons.
Sit at the cool kids table
Remember the cool kids table in the cafeteria? That dynamic works in social media as well. There are communities and groups that just seem to have their stuff together. They have in depth conversations. They don't spam each other with links. And the information that is shared in these groups and communities is top notch.
You want to sit with these kids. Join the communities. Some of them will require approval to join. If this is the case, ensure that your profile shows why you'd be a valued member to these groups. If they require a short message on why should be allowed to join, then take the time to write something that will get approved. Just don't give them a one line response. Tell them why you'd kick ass as a member of their group.
Once you're sitting with the cool kids, you have to take part in their conversations. Bring thought provoking posts to the table. Respond with the expertise that you possess and try to help out other members. Take the time to share and promote other pieces of material that are being exchanged in these groups.
Then, once you've been accepted as a valuable member, you can utilize the network to help promote your own site and your own work.
Remember, don't be too hasty to start sharing your website and your content. It will make you look spammy and could even lead to you being kicked out of the group.
Promote and be promoted
If you're sending out updates on your social media sites and just seem to be getting any interactions, it's probably a you problem. Social media is a two way road. Businesses that utilize it as a megaphone often times don't get the same interaction as those that utilize it as a two-way radio. Instead of just copying and pasting links from your posts, start sharing other people's thoughts.
Spend an hour a day on your social media sites and commit to not saying a single thing about your company. Then, spend time browsing other company pages. When you see something that is engaging and thought provoking, share it. The company you shared will take notice. They may follow you in return for you share. Then, the next time you share something, they'll be more apt to passing it along to their followers.
Social media is an incredibly powerful tool for building links and optimizing your SEO. It's just not as quick and easy as signing up for a link farm or with a guest blogging agency. However, the pay offs that you'll receive for doing it right are immense. These links just won't be for link juice. They'll offer you connection opportunities, they'll be shared with your customer base, and they'll receive endorsements from leaders in your industry. Take the time to utilize social media as the awesome link building tool it is.