SEOs: Social Media Is Not Going Away

We have heard before that if Facebook were a country, it would be the third most populated in the world; the social networking site’s account holders outnumber the citizens of the Japan, Germany, and 

the United States combined.  While a dominant force to be sure, Facebook is far from the only social media that has great reach and influence.  Twitter enjoys annual growth of about 1000 percent; YouTube saw over 375 million unique visitors this year, with 24 hours of content being uploaded every minute.  There are 900,000 posts per day from 133 million blogs.  Involving yourself in these forums is no longer optional if you want to compete in the tech and social media-savvy online world.

For many businesses and sites, setting up a Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn profile is their second mission after setting up the primary website.  In fact, some businesses skip the website altogether and go to Facebook for the free hosting and the vast network of potential contacts available. Part of the goal is to, of course, increase your search engine rankings, but equally important is interacting with consumers.  Responding to both positive and negative comments will not only create more traffic and content, it will create dialogue between company and customer – as opposed to the traditional company-driven monologue.

How important is this?  Andy Beal, founder of social media tracking solution, Trackur, says, “Take the online shoe company, Zappos: a search for the brand results in Facebook and Twitter accounts and their corporate blog. Three listings link to the company website and five of the top 10 are part of Zappos’ social media marketing efforts. ”

Other tips to increase the efficacy of your social media campaigns:

·Don’t abandon your profiles. Many of Twitter users, for instance, go inactive relatively quickly. This is fine for an individual who doesn’t care if anyone knows he is eating a bagel or going to the gym; it is not advantageous to a business that is trying to build an online reputation and brand.

·Use your social media to incorporate internal links to your official website.  As mentioned, searchers for Zappos will see results for Facebook and Twitter: links on these sites will draw them into your main site.

·Add trendy topics or hash tags so they appear in real-time search results.  More and more searchers are giving social networking and real-time results more weight.

·Respond to industry events and even (or especially) negative press that has been published about your industry or specific company or site. Optimise these with trending keywords so you drive your results up and the negative press down.  Putting your side of the story out is essential, even if it is just to issue an apology or announce a change in policy.  The days when you could ignore bad press and hope it went away quickly is over in terms of search results.

·Start now and keep at it to build a good, solid following.

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