How to Effectively Combine Your SEO and Social Media Campaigns
October 1, 2012 Leave a comment
Social media and SEO have fundamentally changed the methods that companies and entrepreneurs use to both express themselves to consumers and create visibility for their business. When utilized correctly, combined social media and SEO campaigns have become one of the most effective marketing strategies ever developed, either online or off. However, it is not simply enough to have some kind of social and/or online presence, rather you have to have a solid strategy and understand how these two work together in order to maximize your return. That’s why we’ve created this list of tips for combining your SEO and social media efforts.
It is tempting to formulate a marketing plan that incorporates SEO and social media immediately. Take a step back – before developing any marketing strategy it is always very important to outline and understand what your goals are. For example, if your business is aiming for more exposure, then your immediate focus should be to develop and utilize SEO tactics that revolve around driving traffic to your website, as well as how to effectively utilize social media for driving traffic and not only for engagement. If, however, your company wants to focus on building a relationship with and engaging a specific target audience, then your first efforts should be focused toward defining how to address the desired market, and what outlets are best suited for connecting with them.
Testing the Waters
After you have outlined your strategy, the next step is to test the waters on social sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Everyone involved in the planning should have their own personal account to experiment with. In order to get the most out of this exercise, try out various key words, view comments and find out how consumers express themselves with similar businesses in your area or industry. It is very important to be able to get into a customer’s state of mind when marketing through social media, and this will help you to do that. Also, while you want to be able to think like the customer, you also want to take note of how other businesses in your industry connect to and engage with their social following. Learn what works and what doesn’t, such as what kinds of content (i.e. images, video, etc) get commented on, liked, and shared the most, what kinds of status updates stir discussion, etc. This will give you an idea of what your customers want to see and how they want to interact with your brand.
The biggest secret to great branding is having a great product or service to begin with. If you do not absolutely love what you have to offer, how can you expect anyone else to? Perhaps it is time to restructure the brand. Think about ways to make it more appealing. Passion is what will ultimately drive your success. Once that is in place, you can begin to focus energy on:
- How your products and services are used (as well as the competition)
- What consumers believe to be their benefits
- The dialogue that consumers are engaging in about them
- Consumer concerns and requests
- Methods to use that address consumer desires
Develop and Maintain Trust
The biggest concerns for businesses when using social media is the trust factor. Consumers are very technologically savvy these days; they can spot insincerity much faster than ever before. However, in order to solve the trust issue, you should embrace social media rather than run from it. By using social media effectively, you can not only connect with and engage your customers, you can actually build real relationships with them, resulting in higher customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. Once you have your target audiences attention, then keep it by producing great and useful content on a consistent basis. This can be anything from blogs, articles, guest blog posts, white papers, discussion-encouraging questions, comments on current events (keep it light – nothing political or religious), videos and images – the possibilities are endless!
One of the most important aspects of blending SEO and Social Media into a powerful strategy mix is keeping current. This is necessary in order to stay relevant. No SEO or social media plan is a one shot deal. Rather, they are both continually evolving along with the social climate, economy and cultural trends. This is what really sets it apart from traditional marketing and advertising. It is not just about getting the public’s attention; it is about keeping and building upon it.
Google+ is a new avenue that is expected to revolutionize SEO and social media. Built upon a basic search engine optimization platform, useful strategies to consider include:
- Designing quality and commenting interaction
- Using photos and videos
- Regularly editing posts and comments
- Responding to notifications to better leverage them
Editing comments is an extra added bonus that Twitter and Facebook do not allow. By editing posts and comments on a regular basis, you can keep the conversation going with very little effort. Not only does this save time, but you can get double and triple duty out of work that is already done.
The social media and search engine optimization marriage is considered to be destined for success. Given how SEO has been proven to affect social media, Google+ could be the ultimate marketing tool. Because of this, social media and SEO consultants alike expect that Google+ is on its way to becoming every bit as relevant as Facebook and Twitter. The most key element in using social media and SEO together effectively is to keep current on the trends that drive the marketplace and incorporate them into your marketing strategy.
What do you think about the increasing interdependence of social media and search? Do you have other tactics that you employ in your own strategies? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments!
Emily is a blogger and Internet marketer with a degree in Journalism. When she needs to find what host a website is using she relies on WhoIsHostingThis.com.