From years of executing Social Media Optimization and Search Engine Marketing campaigns, I am now more than ever seeing the parallels of social media and SEO/SEM as well as how they all work together. Ten years ago, business owners thought their only option to improve their SEO was stuffing their meta tags and submitting their site to 1,000 search engines. Similar to SEO and SEM, business owners now realize it’s not enough to just plug the social media hole because they read in some business magazine it was needed. A new phrase has joined the lexicon of business buzz words, and rightfully so, showing a more sophisticated marketer: Social Media Optimization. You should not have a social media campaign for your business just because everyone else is doing. CEOs, marketers, entrepreneurs are now seeking solutions to optimizing their social media marketing campaigns.
What do I mean by Social Media Optimization?
I’m not Shama. I didn’t write the book on social media and I’m not a social media speaker. My name is Angela and although I have been blogging since 2001 and have been learning online marketing since 2005, my main area of expertise is SEM/SEO. The reason I say this is I don’t claim to have all the answers in social media marketing. In the world of Internet Marketing, over the years I’ve seen techniques and tactics expand, evolve, diversify and sometimes disappear. I know social media is not going anywhere but up in usage, regardless the fortunate truth is, marketing techniques and tactics change, but their principles do not. Below are ten points on social media optimization, or getting the most out or your social media efforts.
Create Compelling Content – Use proven headline formulas with ( lists, how tos, popular & timely names and news), uniqueness, controversial, resource aggregation. The less often you write, more compelling topics you need to cover. Do this on your blog, every tweet on Twitter, and every status update on Facebook.
Target Relevant Connections – Your network, your friends’ trusted networks. Be friends with competitors and industry people, “linkerati” or “likearatti” on Facebook. Every person who likes your status update or comments are gold to you. Why? Social proof. You’re showing other people that other people like you and your content, this inturn creates more buzz. Success leads to more success.
Syndicate Intelligently– It’s not always how large, but where. Instead of syndicating to 100s of social media sites, only a few matter and the audiences you’ve built on those networks. If you do spend loads of time syndicating to dozens of sites, make sure you use tools optimize your efficiency. In regards to SEO, focus on getting follow links from sites you can get control and quickly update. Only put your most powerful posts and call favors for links to those posts. Ask for juicy keyword anchor text using your targeted keywords linking to your blog and individual posts.
Never Stop Growing Your Audience – Cold friending is OK. If you want to know more about someone add he/her and start a conversation. Comment on something specific in his/her profile to get on their radar fast. Follow up again later.
Funnel back to Your Hub – Calls to action back to the site, teasers, giveaways, opt-in free whitepaper reports. You can’t convert if you do not filter your audience back to your website.
Update Content Consistency – Audiences prefer consistent short updates over long time elapses. Set a 30 minute window and make as many connections and follow ups managing current relationships by engaging others on their network and updating yours.
Show Social proof – Success breeds success. Who’s friends with who? Do you have common friends? How many comments have you attracted?
Influence the Influencers – Who are the most influential people in your network? How can you get on his/her radar. Use the Law of Reciprocity, promote others’ stuff, network offline provide value, etc.
Engage Your Audience – Buzz on your page. Make the “News Feed” not just the “Live Feed” on Facebook. Shama covers social media engagement throughout this blog.
For almost five years, Angela has worked behind-the-scenes to help create exposure, traffic, leads, and sales through major search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Calling upon his diverse background in copywriting, advertising, marketing, and sales, he has been learning traditional SEO and SEM tactics since 2004 and implementing since 2005. She is the VP of Content at MarketingZen.com, a Dallas website design company. For more information on Internet Marketing, SEM & SEO contact The Marketing Zen Group for a free site evaluation.