Social Media Strategy 44-step SEO Process
If you’ve made it this far in our mini blog series on the 44 steps to SEO success, then hopefully you now have a much better idea of how to make your business and brand stand out.
The overall aim of our blogs has been to shed some light on the science behind getting your website to the top of the Search Engine Page Results (SERPs) and ensuring your customers buy into your brand once they get there.
Just as with all the other topics we’ve explored, there’s also a technique behind a successful social media campaign. Without some prior research and a lot of planning, you will just be fumbling around in the dark, with no real idea where to invest your time and money.
Social media can be all-consuming and you could easily spend all your time on the various channels and platforms to little or no avail.
In this article, we’ll give you some direction as to how you can get maximum results for minimum effort.
Finding content that strikes a chord
Social media activity is a great way to boost engagement, create new content and ultimately win new customers for your business. But without some kind of plan, it’s all pie in the sky, bit like the old analogy of throwing spaghetti at a wall to see if it sticks.
So the first thing you need to do is identify the type of content that will strike a chord for your particular audience.
As is often the case, a good place to start is to see what your competitors are up to. Find out:
- What social platforms do they use
- How often they post content
- What kind of content they share (industry news, fun facts, memes)?
- How many likes and shares they get and what type of content works best?
- How do they react to user feedback?
You can also use services such as Google Trends, Buzzsumo, EpicBeat and Social Animal to find out what is trending on social media at any given time. Think about clever ways you can link into this from your business perspective and capitalise on it.
Going viral doesn’t always happen by accident – in many cases, a lot of thought and preparation has gone into helping something to go viral. Teaming up with other influential accounts on major social platforms is one way to get your campaigns noticed and boost their reach. This sort of attention for your brand can be great for your website search engine rankings.
Here’s a great example started by Weetabix and Heinz which was joined by some major businesses and brands including VirginAtlantic, Specsavers, the NHS, police forces and thousands of individuals. It quickly went viral – anyone who was anyone wanted in on the action and it has been retweeted more than 100,000 times.
General tips on creating stand out social media content
1. First you need to define your target audience and develop a strategy for posting content based on their preferences
2. Develop a content plan that organises your posts into a schedule – what are you going to post, how many times per week, what time of day
3. Include a mixture of entertaining and informative posts
4. Share videos, infographics, charts, tables and other multimedia – in other words, keep it interesting
5. Analyse your audience activity – what are they asking, what posts seem to resonate most
6. Get involved in discussions, ask opinions about products, be approachable and personable
7. Don’t be afraid to experiment to find what works best
Add social media buttons to your website
Make sure you take advantage of every possible opportunity to point people towards your social media channels, including social media buttons on your website.
You can use these buttons (icons) to make pages of your website shareable, such as a particular blog or article you’ve featured. Allowing users to share it on their social channels in this way via a single click, helps to spread the word quickly.
Choose the buttons for the social networks that are most important for your business – ie where are your customers hanging out? Buttons can be added manually or using one of the many plugins available for content management systems such as Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, Blogger and others.
The Open Graph protocol for social media posts
Here’s where it gets a bit more technical. This is where you can attract even more clicks and shares through some well-placed code.
Open Graph is a protocol that enables you to control the way your social media posts look when sharing articles from your website. This set of meta tags structure the information in the post (headline, description, preview) so that it attracts more clicks and shares.
To do this, place Open Graph tags in the <head> section of your page’s HTML code. Primary Open Graph tags include:
· "og:locale" — points out your website’s language
· "og:type" — indicates the page type (article, video, news, etc.)
· "og:title" — defines the title of the page.
· "og:description" — defines a short description of the page that users can see in social media posts
· "og:url" — defines the link to the website’s page
· "og:image" — defines the link to the image shown in the post
· "og:site_name" — defines the name of the website
If for any reason your Facebook post doesn’t look how it should, you can use the Facebook Sharing Debugger to identify the problem.
If we’re working on your SEO strategy with you, this is one of the areas will cover, but hopefully, this gives you the tools and confidence to get going with a really good social media strategy on your own if you want to.