We’ve talked in the past about social media and the importance it plays in your website rankings, but it has never been more true than it is today. In fact social media can be a larger driver of profitable traffic than the natural search results these days. Tapping into this type of traffic does not have to be hard, but you should have a plan going in.
There are so many social media sites out there that knowing where to start can be confusing. There are a few places you have to be, however, so we will look at those today. The sites you must be found on include Facebook, Google +, Twitter and Linkedin. These are the big four, and building a presence on these sites is going to really help your business.
On Facebook, you need to have a company page. This can be created quickly and is nice as it allows you to keep your business and personal items separate on Facebook. This is a page that you should update on a fairly regular basis, and is also a page you should encourage people to like. By updating it with content that your potential clients, visitors or customers want you can start building an audience. The good thing about a Facebook page is that when people like it, your updates show up in their timeline. That allows you, through regular updates, to interact with and provide valuable information to potential clients. For an example of a Facebook page, check out our SEO Facebook Page – and please feel free to like and share it!
The next site you need to be involved with is Google +. With Google + you can also create a company page, local listing and a profile. You should create all of these things and again update your Google + page often. While there is various opinions on whether Google + actually helps website rankings, even if it does not it is going to help give you and your site some authority.
One thing you should set up within your G+ profile is authorship. Any site you write for you should claim authorship for your work. Google does give some ‘juice’ for quality authors, and over time this is going to be a ranking factor that increases. Get on the train now to build your authorship so you can reap the rewards in the future.
Twitter is an interesting social media site, and one that I don’t use as much as I should. It is a great way to interact with people who are looking for what you may provide, however, and can be used to drive traffic to your site. Using Twitter in conjunction with your Google + and Facebook updates is a good combination. By taking part in discussions and linking to your content elsewhere on the web you can drive laser targeted traffic. In addition, it is a good way to get some extra link juice to your site, especially if you have really interesting topics to share that get re-tweeted a lot. The trick to getting the most out of Twitter is interacting with others and sharing/taking part in discussions about highly controversial or emotional topics. With a bit of creativity you can find something controversial or emotional about any business.
Linkedin is the last of the four that you must have a presence on, and this one is perhaps my favorite. We get a lot of qualified leads directly from Linkedin – people who find us on the site and never even visit our main website, they simply call directly. One of the things we like best about Linkedin is the ability to create groups. You can create a group on practically any topic you like. When you create a group, you moderate and control the flow of information for that group. A good tactic to use when creating a group is to search for group names and find one that fits your niche but that does not have other groups with large numbers of members. You can do this by adding modifiers to your group name. By doing this you get your group listed higher in the rankings when people search for group topics. As you get members to your group, you can change the group name to remove some of the qualifiers, allowing you to reach a broader audience.
For example, if I want to start an SEO group, I may start with a group called ‘real estate seo’, as the top groups with those keywords only have a hundred or so members. As my membership grows, I can replace ‘real estate’ with ‘small business’, which has larger groups, but not the huge groups that the general ‘seo’ term would return. It is similar to the keyword research you would do for search engine results, except that in Linkedin the results returned are ordered by group members (for the most part). Create a group and interact with that group. Join some other similar groups and take part in their conversations. The great thing about Linkedin is that you can talk about your business.
Check back in as we will be looking at more social media tips to help you drive more traffic to your site. Good luck!