Majority of marketers today consider social media as the one of the most powerful tools to improve brand reputation. In the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud 2014 State of Marketing Study of Saleforce.com that covered over 2,660 mid to senior level managers from various industries, about 66% of marketers admitted that social networking sites indirectly impact their business performance. The importance of personalized rank results, the results with rel-author that display more prominently in Google search, and #searches that incorporate G+ hashtags queries as part of search on Google imply that social signals can impact SERP rankings quite significantly. Though social signals are evolving as a crucial factor when it comes to achieving their online marketing goals, businesses are still confused as to whether success with social media optimization is determined by shareable content or active participation on social networking sites.
Improve Social Signals Quality Content
Matt Cutts has stressed that if you develop compelling and high quality content, people will naturally link it, like or share it on Facebook or +1 it. Quality content would definitely generate a lot of social signals in the form of likes, shares, +1s, tweets and more. Discussions on Cre8siteForums on clients who do not want to use social media say that marketers who are not interested in, confused, busy or unable to take part in social media activities simply need to create good content that will get shared on social networking sites. This, it is pointed out, will drive traffic from Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and more without your getting involved in the day-to-day activities on these sites.
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Marketers can post quality articles on their websites and add social buttons to them so that visitors can share the posts they like in their social network:
It is very important to post high quality content regularly on social networking sites. Entrepreneurs who loathe social sites, but still want to drive social signals in this way can rely on tools that can automatically share blog posts with these sites. Here’s a look at some on these tools:
Twitterfeed – Once you sign up for Twitterfeed and select your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn profiles, the tool uses the RSS feed your blogs to monitor for new posts. When a new post is found, it will share that post to all selected profiles automatically. You can choose whether to share the title or description or both and use keyword filters to automatically add or opt out posts that contain specific keywords.
HootSuite – This tool not only posts blog content automatically, but also allows you to schedule updates, monitor mentions and conversions, create search streams and track your activity across various social profiles. As this tool supports LinkedIn company pages and Google+ Pages (not Google+ personal profiles) you can share posts across more networks than with Twitterfeed. Though the content cannot be customized for individual posts, you can configure different settings for each social network.
SNAP Pro – SNAP Pro supports a wider array of social networks than the tools mentioned above, including StumbleUpon, Delicious and Pinterest, though it would take more time to configure. The paid version allows you to set up auto posting to an unlimited number of social profiles including Google+ personal profiles and LinkedIn company pages. Compared to other tools, SNAP allows complete customization of your posts.
Why Active Participation is Important for a Winning Social Optimization Strategy?
Though there are several ways to share high quality content across social networking profiles and drive social signals without being socially active, industry experts say it is imperative stay active on social networking sites if you really want these signals to work for your search engine optimization efforts. Here are some of the reasons why active social participation is important to your SEO:
Direct Interaction with Customers – You need to interact directly with your audience on social sites to attract and retain interest in your products or services. Suppose that you sell ceramic materials and your interesting article about your latest ceramic cookware gets circulated across social networks. Though people like your article and share it in their social circle, they may want to ask you questions about it – like if it is eco-friendly, how to take care of the cookware, and so on. You can respond to their questions only if you interact with them on the network or else potential customers would think they do not matter to you and even take it as poor customer service. They would even think that your product is not authentic. Being socially active allows you to provide timely and suitable responses to every customer query, which in turn, builds a positive image.
Share Industry Knowledge – By participating in important conversations on social network, you can pick up the latest industry news and extend your knowledge. At the same time, you can share your industry knowledge with peers so that others come to consider you an expert in your field. This would also make them look upon your content as authoritative. You would miss out on such conversations if you are not socially active.
Keep Track of Competition – It is very important to understand how your competitors are using social networking so that you can use similar or better tactics to interact with your targeted audience. Being active on social networking sites allows you to study their social network profiles, content and promotional campaigns.
The bottom line is that in addition to creating high quality shareable content, bonding with your fans and followers is necessary for success with social media marketing. Your social media optimization strategy should facilitate timely and appropriate customer interactions and not focus only on improving content outreach.