Make Your Online Social Connections – Maximize Your SEO

The Internet is Overwhelming

I get this comment a lot: ‘The internet is overwhelming. I don’t know where to start.’  I hear you. It will help you to know that you don’t have to communicate with everyone all at once to effectively practice Social SEO. Being effective starts with getting a sense sense of your best connections and then creating a system to manage them.

There is an art and science to finding your tribe online: You can build lists of people you like on Twitter, or join LinkedIn Groups. You can use Google’s blog search to find blogs and businesses that are similar to yours. Once you have a list you need a way to manage it. Luckily, there are tools like Hootsuite, TweetDeck, Sprout Social and Buffer to help you manage the information, watch social accounts you need to keep an eye on, and schedule your media.

Social SEO is Engagement

A reminder here: Social SEO is about engagement.  You need to be present online throughout the day, however, and pretty much every day. That’s a commitment. A small part of that can be automated and scheduled. The most important part of it is hands on. Let’s break down each channel.

Facebook

99.99% of your posting on Facebook has to be done in real time, and you should personally respond to comments. Exception: If you have a company page, and a staffer or two trained to respond, they can do the typing.

LinkedIn

Posting into LinkedIn Groups is an excellent way to reach the people who can benefit from your message, but get to know the group  first before you post.

Following Blogs and Commenting

Blogs remain one of the best ways to increase your visibility online, and once you finish writing yours, the next best way to build a presence is to follow other blogs and comment on them in a meaningful way.  (Posting ‘good blog!’ is not all that meaningful, by the way.) I track blogs in Feedly. On your iPad, Zite and Flipboard also work well.

Your Mailing List

According to research cited by DocStoc, 94% of people using the internet are using it to read emails.  Before you consign this to the ‘well, duh, that’s obvious’ category, remember that a solid email newsletter builds loyalty. So add sign up forms to your websites, social profiles and a link in  your email signature. The people who are opening your newsletter online are interested in what you have to say and what’s more, you can track them. It’s possible to fine tune your newsletter sends so that you can address specific groups within your broader newsletter audience.  Examples? If you market adventure travel, you can send newsletters about Great White Shark diving to your underwater adventure enthusiasts, and news about that safari go to the readers who are interested in Africa. If you market wine, you can send your red wine people newsletters about Merlot and Shiraz and your white wine people newsletters about Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay.

Managing your Connections – Deciding Who is Important

All that engaging, communicating and connecting online can take up a lot of time, so you’ll want to use it wisely.  How to determine who is most influential online? You can use tools like Traackr, Klout or PeerIndex. You can use Compete.com and ClearWebStats.com to see how their websites rank.

For social SEO to be effective, not only to you have to make your connections, you also have to maintain and manage them – every day.

This post was written by Lee Schneider, creative director at Red Cup, an agency that manages email marketing campaigns supported by lively social media feeds.

Photo Credit: brewbooks via Creative Commons License.