Enhancing Your Off-Site SEO Part 1: Social Media

Last week, I had the opportunity to host a webinar about off-site SEO by use of social media.

It was an awesome experience for me, because I was coerced to brush up my social media marketing techniques, while creating my visual aid.

For those of you who were unable to listen-in to the webinar, or were completely unaware of the webinar’s existence in the space-time continuum, I will summarize the key points and include a few of the slides so you don’t feel like you’re missing out.

This blog contains JUST the social media aspect of off-site SEO. Stay tuned for the blogging portion, which I will post next week.

In my marketing research, I have found that the SOSTAC planning model is an efficient way to determine what exactly your marketing strategy needs, how you will approach it, and how to monitor your success rate.

What is the SOSTAC planning model you ask?

It stands for:

S-situation

O- objectives

S- strategy

T- tactics

A- actions

C- control

SOSTAC Planning Model

Situation. Where are you now?

Before you decide where you want your company to go, you need to establish where your company is now. If you create a marketing strategy without knowledge of your current positioning in the industry, you could continue on in the same manner, which will be ineffective and a ridiculous waste of time.

Provide answers to the following questions and you will have a general grasp of your brand’s current state.

  • What is your current site performance?
  • How much search engine traffic are you currently getting?
  • Which keywords have the best conversion rates?
  • Where do you stand among your competition?

Objectives. Are your objectives SMART?

You were probably quick to answer: “Of course they’re smart; I’m a genius.” That’s okay, I did too. However, the SMART acronym stands for:

S-specific

M-measured

A-actions

R-realistic

T-time

SMART

These are all key components of an objective. If your objectives are not specific; they will not be successful. If your objectives are unable to be measured, there’s no way to determine if they’re working or not. Can you take action on your objective? If not, it probably isn’t an objective. If you are unrealistic about your goals, there is NO WAY you are using your time efficiently or productively. Lastly, you need to be able to determine a timeline for your objectives. Will it take 6 months? A year? If it will take longer, is it really worth it?

Strategy. How will you achieve your goals?

Since this was a webinar that covers off-site SEO by use of social platforms. I focused on the major social media websites that are used by the most of B2C businesses and the successful B2B businesses.

Facebook.

Facebook has over 1.26 billion users.

More than 7.5 million websites have a Facebook “like” or “share” button.

The average amount of time spent on Facebook per visit is 20 minutes.

76% of Facebook users log in at least once a day.

That is a huge chunk of the world’s population! With numbers like that, you would be a crazy business owner to not address the need to establish a presence on the Facebook platform!

In order to efficiently market your brand on Facebook, there is a unspoken guideline to posting content. As I explained in the webinar, it is crucial to understand that the content you post to Facebook should be different than the content you post to Twitter, and different from the content you post on Pinterest. Each social media platform requires a specific sort of content, unique to the platform.

When posting to Facebook, you want to stick with these types of posts:

  • Pictures
  • Infographics
  • Blog links
  • Videos
  • Contests

2 great examples of businesses that post a diverse, yet engaging, selection of content are Old Spice and Allstate: Mayhem.

When using the Facebook platform you want to engage with your followers. It is crucial for your Klout score and brand awareness to respond to followers who take the time to comment on your posts. Each time you connect with a follower, you increase your Klout score.

Twitter.

Since Twitter launched, there have been over 163 billion tweets.

There are more than 500 million Twitter profiles and 140 million in the US alone.

69% of follows on Twitter are suggested by friends.

Twitter users send 175 million tweets per day.

People are constantly tweeting updates on their day, world or local news, and commentary on current events. It’s a great place to engage with people who search by topics. There has been a significant shift to “quick” news over the past couple of years; people want to search information by topic, and select what they read in length and what they digest in passing.

The type of content you need to post on Twitter is as follows:

  • Facts
  • User tips
  • Customer quotes
  • Curated Content: content acquired by others (i.e. blog links, infographics, picture links, etc.)

Keep your tweets as brief as possible, including hashtags when they apply, and making sure to post short links (by use of bit.ly or the TweetDeck feature has an automatic link summary feature integrated into the management platform, which I will discuss in a few). If Twitter users tweet you, retweet your tweets, or reply to your tweets, DO NOT IGNORE them! Make sure you stay active on your Twitter account. The more you engage with followers, the more your Klout score will increase.

When curating content, if possible, make sure to include the Twitter account of the author. Thank them for their post, and provide a brief synopsis of what the article is about. This is a great way to establish relationships with businesses and bloggers.

Pinterest.

Pinterest has become an incredible platform for eCommerce. We have seen a surge in product pins over the past year, especially during the holiday shopping season last year. You can pretty much list any product on Pinterest, and provide Pinterest users with the opportunity to explore that product or any related products on your website.

Though there is a great opportunity for leads, you want to make sure that you’re not just pinning your products. You want to create a brand on Pinterest. By this, I mean create boards that are cohesive with your business’ mission, your industry, and related industries.

Let’s say, you sell fingerless gloves with customized small business logos on them. You could create the following boards: Fingerless Gloves, Typography, Business Logos, Winter Fashion, Snow Landscape, Convenient Technology, etc.

When you are uploading pins, make sure they fall under the following categories:

  • Infographics
  • Product images
  • Blog links (only if there is an enticing image available)
  • Pictures from company events

It can become daunting to create descriptions for all of your pins, but it is COMPLETELY necessary! You need to make sure you create an engaging description on every pin you pin to your boards. Make sure you do not just copy and paste what the previous pinner has said, that is plagiarism and plagiarism is bad.

A great example of a B2B who has taken all of the opportunities that Pinterest provides is Adobe.

LinkedIn.

LinkedIn has become an online space for business professionals and individuals looking for jobs in specific industries. What is cool about this, is that all of the people on LinkedIn are avidly searching for companies of interest, whether to connect with or to research.

LinkedIn is very different from its fellow social media sites;  you will notice more professional jargon and less spelling mistakes! You need to be cognizant of what you post on this platform, since it is practically an advertisement for your business.

The type of content you want to post to this platform falls under this three categories:

  • Blog links
  • Pictures
  • Curated Links

A tip for engagement: just like Facebook, you want to individually respond to each comment. If people are taking the time to comment on your status updates, you want to take the time to respond back!

Google+.

I am thoroughly convinced that Google is going to take over the world. Until that happens, they have a fantastic social site to help you engage with the fellow Google users (who are probably working in a conspiracy for world domination). Google+ offers you the opportunity to join groups that fall under countless categories; there are small business groups, social media lover groups, and technology groups. The list goes on ad infinitum.

Your Google+ profile only looks good if you fill out every section, so that is the recommended first step. You want to make sure you include all of your business information as well as include your company logo and cover page.

On your business profile page you want to post the following types of content:

  • Videos
  • Pictures
  • Blog Links
  • Curated Content

It is also recommended that you interact with individuals in the groups you join. This will show your willingness to participate in discussions, not just start them all of the time.

 

That wraps it up for Part 1 of Enhancing Your Off-Site SEO. Thank you for reading; check back next week for Part 2!

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