At the risk of sounding like the Portlandia “Put a Bird On It” sketch, I’m going to say this once (twice if you count the headline*): If you’re active in social media for branding, marketing, lead or traffic generation, you must, must optimize it! Put some SEO in it!
It’s becoming increasingly clear that social media is playing a bigger role in SEO and overall brand awareness, and most people are taking the first step of jumping on the social media bandwagon. (Hello new Pinterest users!) But simply being on a social network isn’t enough. It’s a start. Today, Search Engine Land shared their Four Steps to Create the Foundation of Social SEO. They offer some really great tips, especially for the B2B crowd, which often has the toughest time nailing down social practices as tactics vary in effectiveness for each business type and audience. It’s a recommended read if you fall into that B2B area, for sure, but I want to talk about their Step 3, which is to “Optimize Your Social Profiles.” Sure, there’s strategy, competitive analysis, relationship building, social media footprints, etc … but if you’ve recently jumped into Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, Vimeo or any other social network for your business, the next thing you should do is optimize. While this is Step 3 for some, it should be the very first thing people do, in my opinion. To do so, it’s important to be aware of your keywords and target audience (topics which could lend themselves to entirely separate posts). I’m assuming you won’t get to this point before at least having some idea of what these are, so we’ve fast-forwarded. Then, make sure all your profiles include some of those keywords: in your profile, your photo and video descriptions, captions, blog posts, tweets and pins. While you definitely don’t want to come off as spammy, it’s OK to share information about your company or business in a natural way and complete your social profiles with said information. As Search Engine Land says:
“At its core, SEO is about leveraging information to be found when someone is looking to answer a question. This is also true for SEO in Social – in order to influence rankings, you have to have ‘content’ or information that is findable.”
In other words, don’t miss an opportunity to rank in search results or have your information shared by tweeting to your followers to “Check this out!” What is “this”?
Clearly, the information on your social profiles and in your social content is key, but so is linking to your site. Optimized social profiles offer a great opportunity to take up more results on search results pages (thus pushing down competitors and making sure your audience knows where to find you). Let’s say someone lands on your Flickr account before your website (where you want them to make a purchase, fill out a form, etc…).
Wouldn’t it be best to put a link to your site or landing page right on that Flickr profile or photo? And probably linking from one social profile to your others when possible? Yes, you agree? Gold star for you!
While navigating the world of social media as it relates to SEO can be tricky, you can sleep well at night knowing you’ve at least optimized your profiles and updates. *I guess it was more like five times.