Improve Your Search Engine Rankings with Social Media

You know your customers are all over social media, but are you capitalizing on the opportunity?

With the impact of social sites growing every day, and traditional Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts remaining important, many marketing and PR teams aren’t sure where to place their focus. Luckily, even though the tools are changing, many of the basics of SEO remain applicable.

Define your brand

Before you create a Facebook page, call a social media strategy meeting, or send out a single tweet, be sure you have a clear picture of what your brand looks and sounds like. Social media strategy should always compliment, rather than compete with, your big-picture brand identity and marketing strategy.

Develop a plan

You wouldn’t launch a new product or invest in a traditional advertising without a game plan. Don’t let your social media strategy be any different.

When planning your social media strategy, begin with some broad questions. What do you want your customers to say about you and your product? Why would your target audience engage with you online? Paint a picture with your team to define your keyword strategy – it may look slightly different than the standard keywords you use in your traditional SEO strategy.

Once you develop your social media-specific keywords, create a plan that contains actionable tasks and assigns clear responsibilities. And just like a marketing strategy that utilizes traditional media, be sure to develop clear metrics to measure success.

Execute and Evaluate

As with traditional SEO practices, social media optimization won’t work unless it is consistent and true to your brand. For this reason, evaluation is key to determine the quality of your strategy and identify where changes may be needed.

Potential deliverables to measure in your social media optimization strategy include:

- Number of new followers or “likes” over a period of time
- Number of comments, retweets, or shares
- Frequency and topicality of postings
- Click-throughs to your website from social media content

With the growing popularity and usage of social media, consider social media optimization a mandatory part of your online positioning efforts. Your customers are ready to talk to you online– are you ready to listen?

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