The buzz so far in 2009 is that SEO is not enough; social media is a must. While this is an exaggerated claim that is nevertheless gaining credence, the truth is that you would be foolish not to review the social media tools available to see if any of them are worth your while.
A recent thread at WebProWorld gives some good insight into the issue, and what follows is an expansion of my contribution to the thread.
From a marketing perspective, best to identify the social media where people interested in your topic hang out, then start connecting. If that’s Twitter or Digg or Zoomit or FaceBook or StumbleUpon or MyBlogLog, whichever. This is just like in the offline world finding out which meetings and associations you need to be at for various functions (meeting potential clients, meeting potential suppliers, professional development, etc.). For instance, you might decide that all you need social media is as a way of keeping your ear to the ground.
However, if you hope to maintain high search engine rankings in a competitive field, a more proactive social media strategy can be an invaluable tool. For SEO purposes, your goal is to get people talking about your content. When people talk on the Internet, they create links that feed the search engines’ algorithms. The basic recipe for social media SEO is…
- Create and keep creating lots of great content on your website.
- Find out where people interested in your content hang out.
- Network (that means mostly chatting, sharing, asking questions – just as you would at a trade show reception)
- As you get known, start sharing your own content.
- As you get more known, people in the social media will start talking about your content (both on the social media site and in their blogs “back home”)
- Don’t stop.
The Web is a reflection of real life. If you understand real life, the Web is not that hard to understand, either. If you understand networking in real life, networking on the Web is quite similar.
My top social network of preference is Twitter (I am at http://www.twitter.com/amabaie) . But I am also active in a number of other places for various specific reasons.
If you represent multiple clients (if you are an SEO consultant or a public relations agent, for example) there are pros and cons to establishing multiple profiles, one for each client. Obviously, each one assumes its own identity and each one builds its own circle of friends, but then each one also has to do the work to network; some will, many won’t.
If you try to do it all for them, you’ll end up very confused. I know of a couple people who have gotten their two accounts confused with each other. I have many websites, and I have created two accounts at Twitter. The one that is “me” serves for my main professional website and my personal growth website, and for almost any other purpose I might want (including helping my clients); it is me. But I did create one other profile specifically because a) the followership it needs to cultivate is a very specific demographic and b) the account is almost completely a broadcast account (very little networking) and needs to have a much more organizational face than I want for my main account.
Whether on your own or through your SEO or PR agent, you should consider social media as part of your SEO strategy. It is not a necessity for every business, but it is not something to be ignored either.
By the way, here is the original thread at WebProWorld.
You can easily tweet this post by clicking reTWEET thisWritten by David Leonhardt
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