SEO Professionals Should Be Great Social Media Professionals Too!

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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.

Nick Stamoulis
Nick Stamoulis is the President of Brick Marketing, a full service Boston SEO firm. With nearly 13 years of experience in the Internet Marketing industry,... Read Full Bio
Nick Stamoulis
Nick Stamoulis
Nick Stamoulis

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  • Ben Greenwood

    I agree with the article in the main, though personally I’d warn against automating TOO much, especially when it comes to linking accounts.

    Every social media channel or network requires something slightly different, even when it comes to spreading the word about content. Putting out the same message on FB, Twitter and LinkedIn about a piece of new content isn’t damaging necessarily, but it’s certainly missing a trick in my opinion.

  • Zunaira Karim

    I’m so glad someone has finally written about this, and I agree with you Nick! I think as SEO’s, we need to expand our tactics for distribution and spend more time investing in content that is both link-bait and share-bait driven. Another point I would like to add- along with understanding which social media interface to use for your content, your target and how to automate tasks, I think it’s exceptionally important to also spend time investing in some basic social media reporting tools, if available. By using such tools, you can better gauge the audience you should be targeting and the interface that best serves your purpose.

  • Jon

    I cannot help thinking that soon the two will merge. It is my belief, really a mild hunch, that Google will move more towards social media as a way to rank web pages, in addition to on page factors of course.

    The current reliance on hmtl link on websites has been criticised for a long time by webmasters but there has been no easy alternative as far as an automated solution is concerned. With improvements in social media this form of buzz or conversation could well be used to help rank webpages.

    My hunch is that social media will just need to work on a much larger scale. So at the moment 1 person leaving a comment with a link may give some extra link juice, with social media maybe the equivalent will be 1000 people tweeting or sharing on Facebook. These levels of traffic would in theory be harder to create, at least with robots. Although saying that, people are already doing that.

  • Will

    I have to disagree with Bens comment above in regards to releasing the same peice of content across multiple mediums at the same time. With Google using a page by page analysis then you want to promote and create ‘buzz’ about that new page you created.. I don’t see why spreading your new content on various mediums is a problem given that you will generally get different people using different mediums. On top of that Facebook and twitter have different posting structures (140 characters vs an exert with image).

    But I do understand that in terms of PR and social networks and articles… it can be overkill.. but just using some basic all in 1 tools should cause any issues… but thats my opinion 🙂

  • Aaron Eden

    Nick, I totally agree with you.. that’s why when I got myself a strategist for my social media and SEO campaign, I have asked about the issue on search and social media– and only one person shared the views you’ve got here, out of more than 20 that applied. I believe that with Google+ around, we can see the powers of search + social merging to help businesses build their army of brand advocates. Do you think that the days of black hat practices will soon come to an end – with content curation?

  • Ben Greenwood

    You misunderstood me, Will. You absolutely SHOULD spread your content on every available medium. But not in exactly the same way using automated tools. 140 characters on Twitter means you tailor your message one way, where as on Facebook you can – and should – say a bit more. It’s the linking of accounts to automatically update every medium with the SAME message that I urge caution on.

  • Austin

    I agree with Ben. There is nothing more annoying than trying to read Facebook updates with “@” and “#” symbols plastered all over the place. These are different mediums with different syntax and languages and should be treated as such. Spreading the same message doesn’t have to mean word for word. Have a little respect for each medium and take the time to offer something worth while.

  • Quickoutsource

    I agree with you Nick. Social Media really helps in SEO and a SEO Professional must know how use it.

  • Godot

    Great read. SEO + Social Media is a great marketing tool.