Five Steps Toward SEO For Social Media

Recent statistics show that if Facebook was a country, it would be the fourth largest in the world. With the growth of social media such as Facebook , Twitter, and LinkedIn, an SEO program which does not include provisions to develop a presence, optimize for, and participate in the social web is effectively leaving money on the table and ignoring a massive opportunity for leveraging the content distribution and linking benefits of these social websites. The foundation of these networks, which encourages sharing, opinions, reviews, comments, and linking, provides an extremely efficient method to distribute search engine optimized content to the masses with an extremely cost effective effort.   

Here are five basic steps toward optimizing your returns through social media sites:

1) Find the sites that fit your company’s demographic – Locating your audience is critical so find the sites where people will be looking for what you have to offer.  If you are offering products and services geared toward the AARP crowd, building a MySpace presence won’t be the most efficient use of your resources. That being said, with the size and variety of users on the major social media sites, you might still get some attention but it won’t be near as much as being present on sites with a better fit. If you’re unsure, starting tracking your audience using social media monitoring software that can identify where your company related keywords, and content related to them, are showing up.

2) Clarify your SEO/social media objectives – Direct selling on the social media sites is usually considered an annoyance and often thought of as pure spam. Because of that, social media related search engine optimization is a different animal than SEO in its pure form. Here, the optimal role of SEO is to directly influence discovery of social communities and/or content via search, guiding conversation, and building/protecting brand perception.

3) Determine how you’re going to participate – Successful participation on social media sites is centered on providing content, interacting, and being a part of the conversation. Be sure to put your best foot forward in all areas. If you’re uncomfortable with public communication, find someone who is. Make sure that all your communications present your company in the best light possible, are search engine optimized for your keywords, and are easy to share amongst members of the community.

4) Develop your content mix – Your content mix for a successful social media marketing effort should be based on how your audience receives and shares content whether via video, articles, research, etc. Doing the due diligence here will be well worth the investment as a seamless integration in to your community will develop your credibility and provide the means for getting your message out faster.

5) Test, measure, re-test – One of the great attributes of search engine optimization is that there is so much that is measurable and quantifiable. Goals, benchmarks, and objectives should all be tracked in order to constantly improve results. The combination of social media monitoring services as well as web analytics can provide measurements which can tell you whether you are on track and where results can be improved.

The importance of successfully combining search engine optimization with social media is growing as fast as the social websites themselves. For a free analysis on where your social media efforts should be focused.

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