Using Social Media to Acquire SEO Links
The rise of social media platforms has changed the SEO link-building process for the better. The social media team at a PR agency can now identify specific social media influencers and topic-based groups relevant to the article subject, and notify them that a new page or article exists. While some targets of the notification may simply retweet, like, or favorite the notification (none of which convey any SEO value in themselves), some percentage of this audience may take the final, desired step of including a hard link to the client’s article in their blog or site.
This hard link – earned, not bought – conveys link equity – and, over time, increased traffic, influence and conversions, to the client site. Here are some tips for acquiring these high-value, low-risk SEO links through social media:
1. Identify appropriate online groups in your client’s industry.
The people most likely to respond — and link to an item you publish on behalf of your client— are those in the client’s own industry. You can find industry groups on the Web or on social networks such as LinkedIn. Take some time to find such groups, join them, monitor the discussion, and post a link to your client’s article if — and only if — it fits the context of the discussion. Resist the temptation to spam irrelevant articles into the conversational stream: any notifications you make must be relevant to the discussion at hand or you’ll be perceived to be a spammer.
2. Identify Social Influencers with blogs
Influencers come in every size, shape, and disposition, and while they can direct traffic to your website, the links they post from Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook convey no actual SEO value. Because your ultimate goal is a hard editorial (non-paid) link that conveys SEO value, don’t chase after social influencers on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn who don’t actively maintain blogs (not all of them do). Limit your selection criteria to influencers who maintain an active, balanced social media portfolio that includes a well-ranked domain whose links have actual SEO value.
3. Go where the reporters go
Reporters love Twitter because its real-time nature lets them jump on news events, develop sources quickly, and use content found there to populate their own stories. If your client is doing something interesting (for example, releasing a new data-driven report), make sure you notify the groups where reporters are most likely to be lurking. Have a plan in place so that if, for example, a reporter from Barrons asks for a comment from your CEO on the data, you can reply quickly and authoritatively to the reporter’s query.
4. Share the spotlight
Are you generating content on your client’s behalf? Consider profiling people and firms active in your client’s industry via Q&A-style articles that highlight their achievements, unusual/provocative views, and insights. Share this content with your interview target before and after it’s published. Do a great job, broadcast the link to your social networks, and the chance of your client being an awarded an editorial link will be increased.
5. Think beyond articles
Articles you post on your client’s blog or site may work as good link bait, but consider adding additional forms of content that provide additional value, for example, eBooks and SlideShare presentations. Although you’ll have to put more labor into these high-value content types, you’ll be creating content that enhances your chances of acquiring other relevant links.