David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing

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Should Social Media Be Part of Your SEO Plan?

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…

  1. Create and keep creating lots of great content on your website.
  2. Find out where people interested in your content hang out.
  3. Network (that means mostly chatting, sharing, asking questions – just as you would at a trade show reception)
  4. As you get known, start sharing your own content.
  5. 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”)
  6. 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.

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21 Responses to “Should Social Media Be Part of Your SEO Plan?”

  1. wilson (40 comments) Says:

    David, I think we should give a shoot on the Social Media, since it's free of charge…

  2. busby (1 comments) Says:

    Honestly, this thing of Social Media used in SEO takes the cake ! I know it's also all about point of view. Anyway, I don't see great future in that kind of stuff. Social Media is not always something greatly appreciated by Google.

  3. Joe he (1 comments) Says:

    I reTweet your article, Thanks for letting me know the good social medias.

  4. NaturesSunshineStore (1 comments) Says:

    Yes I agree with you. Social media really helps. More and more people prove the power of social media
    -Catherine-

  5. sterling silver ring (1 comments) Says:

    I agree with you 100%. Social media marketing helps websites to gain better ranking in the Search Engines. It is also good in some way for increasing traffic. The problem with social media marketing is that it takes a lot of time to do it. For DIY SEOs who double as website owners, we really are at a dilemma whether we just outsource social media marketing or we do it ourselves. I guess it depends on how you value your time. I love my time but I still have to figure out my ROI to justify the outsourcing option.

  6. Tom - Home Business (1 comments) Says:

    I use social media as well.I have focused on a few core sites and build up my profiles on them.I also submit other peoples content to the sites.It makes sense because they will submit mine in return.The only negative thing about social media is that the traffic you get is not very targeted.Do you get targeted traffic?

  7. Boris Said (1 comments) Says:

    The only problem with social media marketing its so hard to do it, when you are fighting an uphil battle of already established players in your target audience.

  8. selena (2 comments) Says:

    I think social media is really helpful. Most of people using it nowadays in SEO and they get some traffic also.

  9. MarbleHost.com (1 comments) Says:

    Hello,

    Personally I believe that doing social for SEO. purposed is a poor reason to do it. SE's that use social in their algos always end up devaluing these sports of techniques so.. it's best to go into it knowing it isn't SEO it's just plain old website promotion. It increases your web footprint but won't help with SEO for long nor is it what I'd call a good place to sell because buying something is seldom on the mind of the user. Therefore it's a crappy target audience even if all the demographics seem to indicate otherwise. A campaign we are running on Linked In is telling a story that those pushing social as an advertising medium would rather we keep to ourselves. To say it was a miserable failure is under stating it. We could have saved a step and just threw the $'s directly in the crapper.

  10. Link Bait Articles (1 comments) Says:

    You've hit the nail hard and precise there. True that we need great content to gain visitors, but it is social media that tells the people you actually have contents.

  11. glofish (1 comments) Says:

    I get a spark of traffic from those. Does it sustain? Depends on the site. Anyhow, it should be part of the overall scheme, but not the only

  12. Prevod (1 comments) Says:

    Thanks for the idea, i presented the idea to my boss in seo company, but by now he isnt too impressed by social media options..

  13. William Taylor (1 comments) Says:

    I'm a DYI SEO practitioner and I only found out about social Media sites a year ago and I thought that it wotn help on my SEO, but I was wrong Social Media did come in handy and I'm using it for all my SEO projects.

  14. Fleur (1 comments) Says:

    According to SEO software I use, "iBusiness Promoter", Social networking is an important factor, however, relative to high quality inbound links, getting social networking links is time consuming – and side by side I feel I get better results concentrating on inbound links.

  15. David Leonhardt (136 comments) Says:

    And where do the best inbound links come from? Social media. They come from the relationships you make with people at Twitter and FaceBook and Digg and StumbleUpon. They come from the ability to share your content with people who know you and feel comfortable with you and who would be comfortable linking to your content.

  16. David Leonhardt (136 comments) Says:

    Sustainability depends on the relationships you build and the follow-ups you conduct. Once you know who is interested in your content, let them know when you have something else really great to offer.

  17. David Leonhardt (136 comments) Says:

    And where do the best inbound links come from? Social media. They come from the relationships you make with people at Twitter and FaceBook and Digg and StumbleUpon. They come from the ability to share your content with people who know you and feel comfortable with you and who would be comfortable linking to your content. It's worth repeating what Link Bait Articles says above: "True that we need great content to gain visitors, but it is social media that tells the people you actually have contents."

  18. Matt McGuire (1 comments) Says:

    Its' all about who you know in the social media world. :) I would generally only use social media once you have some good content and at least a couple of readers.

  19. Marketing Guy (2 comments) Says:

    I think that there are some niches that this works for and some (particularly B2B) where developing the content and then finding the community on social networks is not worth the effort. I agree with the point about seperate accounts for different purposes…definitely confusing.

  20. giydir oyna (1 comments) Says:

    I get a spark of traffic from those. Does it sustain? Depends on the site. Anyhow, it should be part of the overall scheme, but not the only

  21. CSS Perk (2 comments) Says:

    Social Media is definitely a new angle for me. I just started getting into it. I agree with Giydir Oyna, it's gotta be a part of the scheme, not the whole thing.

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