According to the ‘State of Search Marketing Report’ by Econsultancy, 74% companies and 82% agencies surveyed said that social media is highly integrated into their link building strategy. Social media link building is a foreign concept to some businesses, but the stats are a good way to convince them that they are missing out on some big opportunities.
Metrics back up the debate – the higher your social following, the better your sites will perform in the SERPs. Social signals help with the link-building part of the equation. Nowadays, social media is one of the most important channels where you can spend your time and money to gain more links back to your websites.
Why does social media matter?
One huge reason that social media matters right now is, simply, because everyone likes it. Even if you detest some (or all) of the platforms, using the big ones is almost mandatory at this point. Nearly everyone is on Facebook. Lots of people are on Twitter. A good number of people are on LinkedIn. Some people are on Pinterest. And SEOs are on Google+. Social media is all about relationship building, and the more recent lines of thinking about link building involve (guess what?) relationships. Just as you have to earn the trust of a friend, you have to earn good links these days.
The use of social media is undoubtedly an effective way to promote your site and your brand. Google’s Matt Cutts posted a video denying the importance of social media a few years back, claiming that Google doesn’t pay much importance to it. But if you look at the popularity of this medium and the impressions which quality content can get here, the results will impress you. Let’s take a look at the link building opportunities at some of the most popular social media websites:
Link Building On Google+
Google+ has a great system of organizing link building opportunities and link builders can find the infrastructure very helpful. It even has a messaging system to connect with these people for more integration. Google is of immense importance during the process. Advanced search operators can land some accurate results for journalists and other publications whom you can contact with a solid pitch.
Google+ also has a section where you can look for people who are posting relevant topics. Once you have found these influencers and experts, organize your links using Google+ circles. Segment these lists on the basis of your outreach. You can have a circle for journalists, a circle for bloggers, and so on. When you have segmented lists, you can perform your work in an efficient manner.
You can send a message to people within your circle to keep them posted about your success, and also do Hangouts with them. Hangouts are a great substitute for other messaging platforms.
Link Building On Twitter
Twitter is one of the most ideal platforms to look for link building opportunities. Brands that rely on relationship-building and influencer marketing can reap its rewards. Tools like Followerwonk can be used to find key influencers in your niche to initiate a conversation with. One retweet from these people can get you some solid leads to your website/page.
Once you compile a list of these influencers, you can segment them using Twitter’s lists. You can even import that list. Segmentation will help you interact with people in a better and more personalized way. Businesses that go after personalization win more leads on social media. If you want a user’s email address, use a tool like All My Tweets to download all their tweets and then use Control+F to look for email addresses using ‘dot com’ patterns.
If you fail at finding their email address, Twitter Direct Messages are a good way to reach out to them. Of course, the user has to be following you first. Twitter users appreciate it if you reach out to them with genuine questions rather than a tweet that looks like spam or one generated by a bot. Go for relationship-building to gather more followers and retweets.
When you use Twitter, you should ideally tweet about one currently relevant article on your blog 3-5 times in a day, using different variations of tweets in order to attract attention.
Link Building On YouTube
YouTube is everyone’s favorite video platform and it has over a billion users constituting one-third of the internet’s population. These people watch millions of videos and generate billions of views. In fact, the mobile version of YouTube alone gets more views than cable TV in the US. According to the company itself:
We have more than 50 million active reference files in our Content ID database, making it the most comprehensive in the world. It’s even won a PrimeTime Emmy!
Your company can earn backlinks through YouTube very easily, by using a tool like Wistia. It will allow you to control embedding so that people can link to your website and watch it on your pages rather than going to YouTube and wasting your efforts.
If self-hosting videos are not possible for you, you can use the video to build links through a reclamation process, which is as follows:
- Choose a successful video on YouTube and use a backlink checker like Moz’s Open Site Explorer to find out the sites it’s linking to
- Reach out to these websites and ask them to link to your website rather than linking back to the YouTube link
There are many ways of building links through social media. It is unarguably one of the most powerful ways to send pitches and find wonderful new influencers to connect with. Being active on social media is essential for marketers and also for building links back to your website. Social networks are one of the primary ways of communication today, so these channels can be your search grounds for link-building. The tools mentioned above can help you skim down the crowd and find strong influencers who can work with you to increase visits to your website. According to Neil Patel, social is the new SEO.
Social is the new SEO because social networks themselves function as powerful and widely-used search engines in their own right. Visitors who find the company on its social platforms are searching, accessing, and interacting with the company in a very real way.
How do you use social media in your link building strategy? Let me know in the comments below!