The SEO skill set has evolved (and continues to). While being a great link builder, knowing how to write content for SEO and understanding best practices for optimizing a website are still incredibly important, they are not the only things we as SEO professionals need to understand in order to do our jobs well and produce real results for our clients. In today’s online world, having a solid understanding of how social media works and how it can be leveraged for SEO is critical to developing long lasting and quality SEO campaigns.
These are just some of things we as SEO professionals have to know about social media:
Understanding the Differences Between Social Networks
Not all social networks were created alike. While there is some overlap, each network has a unique audience that uses that site for specific reasons. And there are certain rules of etiquette that companies are expected to abide by when joining a site. For instance, since Tweets are so short, it’s not uncommon to see multiple postings by the same account every day. It’s fully expected, as Twitter is meant to be a “real time” source of information. However, flooding Facebook with hourly updates is often seen as spamming. Even though you are promoting the same content, the rules have changed.
How to Automate Tasks
We know that you could spend hours a day (if not all day) posting, submitting, uploading, Tweeting, sharing, linking, bookmarking and so forth. Now spread those actions across several accounts and there is no way you could get everything done between 9-5. Never mind the fact that most of your social connections might not even be active 9-5.
Knowing what tools are available to help automate your social media tasks is critical. Do you know how to schedule future Tweets and Facebook updates? Are your accounts linked so it’s one-and-done? Do new blog posts automatically go live on your social profiles? If you can automate these tasks, you can save yourself countless hours.
Leveraging Social Media as a Promotional Tool
Matts Cutts has said“A lot of times people think SEO versus social media marketing, and a lot of the times it makes sense to keep a holistic view. First you have to have great content … then you need to tell people about it, and social media marketing can be a great way to do that.” Having great content is only the first step. It doesn’t matter how educational/informative/amazing a piece of content is if nobody sees it.
For example, look at LinkedIn groups. You couldn’t more finely define your target audiences if you wanted to. LinkedIn users have willingly identified and categorized themselves by their industry, job title, level of experience, skill sets and so forth. You can choose exactly what kind of person would be most interested in/receptive to your content. That kind of laser focus means you aren’t wasting your time on the wrong audience.
Understanding Social Signals
The Facebook-Bing integration, indexing Tweets, Google+1. The search engines admit that social signals are an influencing factor on their algorithms. Social media is directly affecting SEO! If you don’t understand why author authority is important for link building (trusted social personalities have more search engine “appeal” than generic spam accounts), then you aren’t getting the most value out of your social media marketing and your SEO will suffer.
Social media and SEO have a lot more to do with each other than you might think. Neither can exist in separate silos if you really want to get the most value from your time and efforts. A great SEO professional has to understand the ins and outs of social media, as well as how to leverage social SEO to help their clients succeed.