What can you do as a company to make sure that your backlink profile does not resemble the one shown in figure 1? When I create an online marketing campaign for a website social media are an integral part, see figure 2. Websites I created the online marketing campaigns for have the following social media channels as a standard: Blog Google Plus business page Youtube channel Facebook page Twitter account Linkedin business page Apart from that, if relevant and resources are available, I also like to use channels such as Pinterest, Slideshare, Vimeo and other various social media.
The Google plus page receives updates multiple times a week (including a mention of the latest blog post). The Google Plus business page is linked to the website, when a Google Plus post receives a +1 the website automatically receives one too. The Youtube channel is linked to the Google Plus page and there are regular Google hangout sessions where customers / fans / followers can ask questions to employees, this is streamed live and subsequently available on Youtube.
Facebook is used mostly for fun updates whereas Linkedin is reserved for business / serious updates. Using all these updates it is possible to build natural backlinks in a way that your backlink profile is distributed evenly across your web pages. In your blog you can pay attention to specific products (services) and link to the relevant landing pages.
Interesting content is being shared, and at the same time backlinks are built, if they are relevant within the context of the shared content. Setting up your social media channels takes a couple of hours, the real work is yet to come. One mistake made often by companies is sharing of information that nobody cares about.
As a company you need to invest time and effort when writing good content. You could try and outsource this but who knows your company values best? Who has most knowledge of your services or products? These are your employees, they know best and they care. Social media is more than just communicating your own messages.
Taking it a step further, it’s important to regularly Google your brand name (or set up Google alert) to check whether someone is talking about you outside of your own social media channels. If someone says something nice you can share it, if someone is critical you can respond to it.
Also, you can’t expect them to react to all feedback your company receives on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, Youtube, Linkedin and forums. And what if your company has websites in several countries? As a company you need to do this in-house without being dependent on an external party which isn’t as concerned with your customers like your employees are. start.
There are several tools available with which you can apply social media effectively. Many updates on Facebook, the blog, twitter and other channels can be scheduled. With an application like Hootsuite one employee could, for instance on a Monday, schedule social media updates for the whole week, including the weekend.
If any newsworthy updates present themselves during the week you can always decide to manually share these, next to the ones that had already been scheduled. In this way you are sure that your social media channels are kept active. It’s not necessary for employees to continuously monitor whether your social media updates evoke any reactions.
Putting social media to effective use for business is an integral component of online marketing. Google like backlinks that are placed within a relevant context. What could be more relevant than an interaction between your company and your customers over your services and products? Social media offer a natural looking environment where you can safely place backlinks to your website’s sub-pages which will make your backlink profile look natural.
People are sick of web pages developed specifically for search engines, filled with keywords and artificial sentences. Google has had enough of irrelevant backlinks that serve but one purpose: to manipulate the keyword rankings. Backlinks have to be placed in the right context. This can be a well written article or an online interaction within a social media channel.
Several people in the company are involved. Content has to be written and translated in case the company operates international. You need to send out social signals each week (ideally every day) and this requires a lot of content, not just text, but also video (Youtube), infographics and images. People like to share visual information.
It doesn’t look very good if your facebook page hasn’t seen any updates for the past 3 weeks. Some employees actively have to monitor the social media channels in order to be able to respond. Managers should give their employees a certain degree of freedom to use their own best judgement when acting on behalf of the company.
Someone needs to coordinate the social media campaign(s), think of managing tools such as Hootsuite as well as directing people. There should also be someone in charge of the technical aspects of online marketing who makes sure that the company does not inadvertently violate the Google guidelines. But who is going to make sure that there is clear communication between those who focus on the Google algorithm and those in the company that are active on social media? Potentially this role can be taken on by a social media community manager (seo tool).
This will require a cultural change where the employee is not seen as a tool which needs to be guided all the time. The employee becomes a stakeholder and acts as an ambassador for the company when interacting with the public. Imagine, an employee that feels engaged and enjoys going into work? If you choose for social it has to be done with conviction.