Social media's role in business and marketing has been on the rise for years. It plays a huge part in guiding potential sales and it offers a fantastic opportunity to engage with your target audience and keep them up-to-date with information about your business, your products, or any related offerings.
To give you an idea of the impact social media now has on driving sales, here are a few stats:
- 74% of consumers rely on social media to guide their purchases
- 39% of Facebook users like brand pages to research products
- 40% of social media users have purchased an item in-store or online after sharing it on their social profile
- Social traffic to e-commerce sites led to a revenue increase of 17.8% during the period of January - June 2013
Social Signals Can Do Wonders for SEO Too
Neil Patel of QuickSprout put together this awesome gifographic (animated infographic) which demonstrates how social media impacts search engine rankings. Here are a few notable stats from the experiments presented in the gifographic:
- 100 Google+ Followers led to a 14.63% Ranking Increase
- 300 Google+ 1 Votes led to a 9.44% Ranking Increase
- 70 Facebook Shares & 50 Facebook Likes led to a 6.9% Ranking Increase
- 50 Tweets led to a 2.88% Ranking Increase
It's clear from these statistics that social signals can have a huge impact on your search rankings, especially signals from Google+. If you don't have time to leverage all of the social sites, make sure that Google+ is one of the few you do use, as it will play the biggest part in increasing your rankings.
So, How Do You Increase Your Social Engagement With Guest Blogging?
With the right approach to guest posting you will find that your social engagement increases naturally as people read and appreciate your contributions to their favourite blogs. But there are a few things you can do to supercharge your efforts and the social engagement you receive when guest blogging:
- Make sure you're targeting blogs with a real audience
It's no good writing a fantastic post and then contributing it to a blog which doesn't have a large audience. If there is nobody to read your post then there is no chance of any social engagement. You need to ensure that every blog you contribute to has a large and active audience. One way you can find blogs like this is to look for blogs which already have social signals on most of their posts.
- Use blogs which share content with the author handle in the tweet
This is an easy way to get extra exposure from your posts, simply by looking for blogs which promote author handles in tweets. Having your author handle promoted whenever somebody uses a share button on your post goes a long way towards increasing your visibility and building your influence. It's simple enough to find blogs like this - just open up a post and click the tweet button, if the share text includes the author's Twitter handle then you're good to go.
- Include shareable media (photographs, videos, images)
The number of shares, likes, +1's and retweets your posts get are dramatically affected by the media included in your post - did you know that engagement is 200% higher for tweets with image links?
I suggest you take a look at these two infographics to find out what media you should be including in your social posts:
How to Increase Your Google+ Engagement by 281% and
How to Increase your Twitter Engagement by 324%
- Ensure your post fits perfectly with the topic of the blog, as well as its audience and their level of knowledge
In order to successfully engage with a blog's audience you need to make sure that you're contributing content that is of interest to them and not outside of their level of expertise. If your audience doesn't understand what you're talking about then you're not influencing anybody.
- Make it easy for people to connect with your social profiles
Placing links to your social profiles in the author bio area of your post makes it easy for people to connect and engage with you or your brand through social networks. Blogs which offer contributor accounts normally provide an allotted space for you to enter all of your social account details and then they will be included in your author bio area.
If you're submitting a guest post without your own contributor account, then you might only be able to include your social links within your author bio. In cases like this it's best to pick just one or two of the most relevant social networks depending on the topic of your post. E.g. a blog post on corporate marketing would perform better on LinkedIn than it would Pinterest.
- Post a unique snippet for your post to each of your relevant social profiles
Next time you share one of your own posts on your social profile - or a link to somebody else's for that matter - don't just share the link. With Google+ and Facebook you have the opportunity to include much more text than you do on Twitter. You can take advantage of this by posting a unique snippet of your post to Google, Facebook, & LinkedIn. You should tailor each snippet for that particular social audience and ensure you include sharable media (outlined in step 3) to increase your engagement.
The Google Plus Posts Ultimate Guide by Martin Shervington has some great tips which you can use when posting unique snippets to your social profiles.
If guest posting is already a part of your marketing strategy then you can supercharge your campaign for social engagement with very little effort and you'll see some incredibly worthwhile results. Pay attention to the tips in the list above and before you know it your audience and engagement will be on the rise, as will your search rankings. If guest posting is something which you haven't participated in before, then perhaps now is a good time to take the first step and realize the potential.
Here are a few fantastic infographics from QuickSprout with some quality information on further increasing your engagement, and the impact of social signals on search rankings:
And here's an awesome infographic with some great insight from MobStac:
The Rise of Social Media in e-commerce
How Has Social Media Changed Your Business?
Is your business on social media? If so, how has it changed business for you? Have you increased traffic? Increased sales? Better brand awareness? What has worked well for you? Or perhaps you haven't noticed much of a difference and you need a few more pointers on how to best engage with your audience. Whatever your experience, please share your comments below...