This is a guest post by Zac Grace of Dejan SEO
While browsing the SERP’s for an article talking about the use of social media to get backlinks, I was really surprised that there is an incredibly small number of posts talking about the actual use of it. Nine out of ten results will talk about creating user profiles and linking to your site or blog. There are even a few that praise Google for finally admitting that social media links count, and then go on to talk about creating profile backlinks, so go figure.
SPAM still dominates the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) in certain areas for sure. But the premise behind link building with social media is not about creating a simple profile with a link back, it is about creating contacts, finding new opportunities and clever use of your content.
There is one simple principle behind the whole idea, and that is to make people know about your quality content and reach people interested in it, that way people who are truly interested will link to it or they will talk with you about it and that in my book is already a link opportunity.
Let’s explain certain things that will help you use social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to create new contacts and quality backlinks.
The Basic Concept
The basic idea is simple, you need to create quality content. Without quality content no matter the effort you put into social networking sites you won’t get far. No one wants to retweet or “like” bad content, nor will anyone want to link to it. So it all starts with quality, but you already knew that.
If you take Twitter for example, for people that don’t know you, the first and only hook you have is the 140 characters you can use, so make every letter count. Create attractive titles and tweets that will draw attention of your targeted market. That is half the job, you got them interested, they visit your site, they better find something there that is worth sharing and linking to or you still got nothing.
The next step is to make your follower base share your content. A simple call to action near the end may do the trick in most cases, but how do you go about it on Twitter and Facebook? This one is easier said than done, become a known persona in your market.
You don’t have to be a worldwide known persona like Rand Fishkin, you only need to be known in a certain market on a certain social network. I hope you are starting to get where we are going with this. By stretching your outreach to dozen of social networks you will never be able to maximize their results so concentrate on the few you can, the most used one and maybe one or two market networks. Engaging other users, talking to them, asking questions, posting answers, all of that will make you a know person for those interested in your market and they will come to you if you offer useful things.
This is a basic principle of networking, and I am sad to say that even today we still have to stress out this part as most webmaster forget about real engagement and simply spam their streams with links.
How about your blog and website? Is it easily sharable? If not, why? Make all of your posts easy to share on all the important social networks and the ones you use, make it easy for people to syndicate your content, share it and even link to it directly. In order to get some good shares and tweets going for you and make known marketers in your niche spread the word, you shouldn’t be shy to send them a direct message to check out your blog and share it with their followers and fans, you’d be surprised how many links you can get this way.
Making the Process Easier
To have some free time and manage to get 3 meals a day while running a blog and maintain your social network profiles you need to automate things a bit. So using Hootsuite and similar tools to monitor your networks, to schedule tweets is essential. Also use newly created services like Triberr that help you connect with people from your market and promote each other’s content.
So to get backlinks you need to talk to people, make yourself useful and well connected with all the right people, just like the basis of regular marketing, so here are the things to focus on so you won’t forget:
- Create valuable content
- Make sure your titles, tweets and shares have a good call to action
- Engage the users, respond to likes, shares, tweets, mentions and private messages, make yourself useful in other words
- Reach new related markets through known and active users
- Promote your brand name so people can easily remember you
- Post questions on your social networks, do market research through social networks to create useful content and please interested parties
Once you have a follow up base, people that have your attention, it is easy to ask someone for a guest post or offer a partnership, create mutual contests and promotions and all of it to get links and promote your brand while at the same time doing reputation management.
It sounds like a lot of work, and it is, but 90% of my personal link opportunities come from my engagement on Twitter. The days when webmasters just simply replied to every link request positively are way behind us, and social media is the new front for gaining links. By entering the social media battlefield you will not only be able to build good backlinks, you will be promoting your name, your brand, and you will be creating strong connections that can lead to various opportunities in the future.
This is a guest post by Zac Grace – Zac works as advanced SEO strategist and link building team leader at Dejan SEO Company, a company providing specialised link building and SEO services for Australian market. You can connect with Dejan SEO on Twitter.