Social SEO 101: An Introduction to Social SEO Strategies

As we’re heading into 2013, never before has the role of social media played such a pivotal point in a brand’s online marketing strategy.

The ability to connect people from across the world in such an efficient way, was never possible before platforms like Facebook began to emerge and take-off about 8-10 years ago.

So as brands and marketers move forward with various product launches and initiatives, it’s crucial for them to incorporate social SEO into the mix.

Let’s talk about what social SEO is all about, how it can make your campaign successful, as well as how you can do it effectively.

What Is Social SEO?

Social SEO is the application of social signals that connect to and influence search engine results.

From an SEO standpoint, social signals are produced by individuals’ online activity. Each time you share some content, +1 an article, “Like” an image on Facebook, etc., it creates a social signal. The search engines use these signals to help them determine the quality/depth of an online relationship between individuals.

From a consumer standpoint, online purchasing decisions are heavily influenced by the amount of social signals a particular brand or product has acquired. With this in mind, everything from the amount of followers your brand has on Twitter to the amount of “likes” for a particular Facebook’s post, all lead to the idea that you brand must be credible, otherwise, how did you manage to get thousands of people to follow and endorse you?!

How Can Social SEO Influence My Brand’s Online Marketing Campaign?

The role of social SEO is extremely significant to the level of success a brand experiences for itself and any new initiative campaigns.

When you consider the fact that there are over 1 billion social media users worldwide ready to be tapped into, combined with a 2011 Nielsen report that found consumer-created reviews/ratings to be the top influencer for online transactions, you easily see how lucrative social SEO can be for any brand!

By incorporating a social system that sees your target audience speak directly to you, as well as to others about you, you are essentially creating a revolving cycle of online users who continuously return to your brand, while keeping your name and image in front of their social relationships (friends and followers) too.

This allows for significant search opportunity through the inclusion of links, as well as for you brand’s online sales, because factors such as social signals and reviews lead to more transactions!

How Can My Brand Develop A Social SEO Campaign?

Regardless of what products or services your brand offers, everyone can and should include a social SEO strategy into their online marketing efforts.

Incorporate social SEO into your online campaign by diversifying your social media portfolio to include as many platforms that are relevant to your target demographics as possible.  Popular platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are great to utilize for any industry due to their overwhelming popularity, as well as how well they are able to attract consumers from every type of background and status.

More niche platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are better suited for brands that cater to females or young adults, and serve as are excellent catalysts for driving traffic back to the brand site in indirect ways.

Other excellent forms of social SEO include community message boards where online consumers are able to speak with related individuals about personal issues, concerns, and dilemmas that need solutions. These types of social environments produce “User Generated Content,” which allows brand’s to continuously grow in the search landscape, while also creating a revolving cycle of returning consumers.

Whatever platforms you align your brand with, the most important aspect of a credible social SEO campaign is how well you communicate and participate with your audience. Make sure that all questions and comments are replied to and speak directly to individuals to build and enhance personal relationships.

Make time to actively grow your fan and follower base so that over time, your ability to increase the rate of word-of-mouth advertising grows and your conversion rate increases.

Incentivize participation if needed with various contests, product offerings, promotions, and even badges that online users can show off on their personal social profiles.

When Should I Get Started On My Social SEO Campaign?

If you aren’t already producing a developed social SEO campaign, then you need to get started!

To learn more about social SEO and how you can adopt best practices for your brand’s online efforts, Download Catalyst’s free E-book: Social SEO Strategies: Mastering the Art of Social SEO.

Have you thought about social SEO strategy? Please do share your success stories!

Jason Corrigan is an organic search manager and one of the co-authors of “Social SEO Strategies: Mastering The Art of Social SEO”

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