Social media is a fantastic source of additional traffic; a fact forgotten by many people who see it as merely an SEO tool. It is true that there is a correlation that websites popular on social media channels tend to rank well in search engines, but that may not be the cause. Lots of brands are using social media to grow their brand and improve their presence, however some are not making the most of it by using it just to try to improve their website’s SEO.
The SEO approach to social media
The SEO approach to social media (the bad approach done by many anyway) is to make social profiles for all of the main networks, and then to post the same content across all of them. Usually this is a link to each article that they write for SEO purposes. This is really transparent and will often put people off of following you and sharing your content.
The social approach to social media
This is where social media really gets interesting. I never really “got it” until I managed to break down the mental barrier that I had of talking to only the people I knew. Social media is at its’ best when it is removing barriers so that people can engage with each other, usually with a common interest.
Extending your reach
Once you begin to interact with people social media really comes into its’ own. It pays to get into the habit of liking, sharing or commenting on other peoples posts. In return you will see that people are far happier to do the same for your content. Once you break out of your shell you will realise that social media is actually great fun and an excellent way of networking with your peers. Before you know it you will gaining followers left right and centre!
Engagement brings traffic
The one thing that engaging with people via social media brings is traffic, and plenty of it if you are really active. This is the benefit often overlooked by people with a purely SEO mind-set. The best thing about this traffic is that it is a mainly relevant audience, which is exactly what you want; a free source of traffic from people who are interested in your niche! I have spoken about social media to several other bloggers during my interactions with the community and they have all said what a fantastic source of traffic social media is. One I spoke to said that well over a 3rd of her traffic came from Pinterest, and she is a really successful and inspirational blogger.
Which social media platform is best?
I don’t know which is best and can only say which I prefer. I am a huge fan of Twitter. I love the immediacy of it and how simple it is. Interacting with people with a limit of just 140 characters makes it perfectly acceptable to speak to people in a short, efficient manner. I like Pinterest and use it for my photography but haven’t had that eureka moment yet. It’s not a priority although I hope to improve my presence there soon. The networks that are best for you depend on what you are comfortable with. I recommend that you try a few of the main ones, but focus your efforts on just 1 or 2 to begin with. This will make it much easier to get stuck in without burning out.
Embrace, Engage and Extend
If you are ready to make the most of your presence on social media and to help it grow your brand just remember; all you need to do is embrace it, engage on it and your reach will extend.
Image credit: Yoel Ben-Avraham