Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Social Media
In an interview I did with link building expert Eric Ward we started talking about how social media marketing, SEO, content marketing, and link building all worked together to build a brand online presence. After all, the content you write (optimized for SEO of course) fuels your social media marketing campaigns, which generates social signals and links and drives traffic back to your site. But as Eric pointed out in his interview, social media is about people and you can’t always control what people are going to want to talk about;
Can you incorporate social into your linking strategy? Absolutely. Should you? Maybe. It will depend on your site and your business. Likes and shares and pluses are really not very good metrics for organic search, because there are inherent biases against certain topics. The search engines have to be able to recognize that a site or brand is not popular or unpopular based purely on tweet/plus/like. I know that sounds like heresy, but let me use my standard example. I’m a dad of three kids. Let’s say one of them gets head lice. Now all three of them have head lice, and I’m up to my ears (literally) in R.I.D. Head Lice Remover, and thank the cosmos for creating that awesome product. But am I going to hop on Facebook, tell the world my kids have lice, and “Like” the R.I.D. homepage? No, I’m, not.
This might be a bit of an extreme example, but think about all the products out there that you don’t really give much thought to until you need them. And when you need them you need them now! Some of these products might be more personal in nature, like the head lice shampoo, so you don’t exactly want to broadcast your love of that product across the social sphere. But having two boys myself you can bet that if one of them came home with head lice I would be scouring the internet for information—forums, parent blogs, health providers; I want to get my hands on as much information as possible. So even though I may not Like R.I.D on Facebook I will happily read all the content they can give me about de-licing my home.
Their content marketing campaign might never lead to tons of social shares and signals simply because of the topic they write about. They might never be a social media sweetheart but on the flip side their content marketing efforts provide invaluable information to dads like Eric and me in our time of need. I might not share their post on Facebook or Twitter but if my nieces or nephews every came home with head lice I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend whatever product I used to my family. Marketers will never see the links I email my family and friends but their websites will still see the traffic and (hopefully) the conversions down the road.
There are some brands out there that will never be social media sweethearts and get 10,000 Likes and 3,000 comments on every post. But that doesn’t automatically mean that social media isn’t working for you or your brand. People are still looking for the information you have to offer and when they really need it (like when your son comes home with head lice) you want to make sure your brand is as visible as possible. Great content will almost always find a way to add value to your SEO program, even if you don’t see the immediate social uptick like other sites.