Quality content is the foundation of search engine optimization, or SEO. There are many facets to the SEO of your online content and when executed correctly, can help increase social traffic and earn social shares.
The purpose of any content distributed online should be to earn leads for your business and support your marketing plan. Whether your goals are to increase social traffic, earn more inbound links, spread brand awareness, or a combination of these, the steps you take to accomplish these goals should always start with a solid foundation that combines quality and relevant content.
Focusing on search engine optimization is important, but as Google’s ranking algorithms continuously change, your content should always be focused more on people. Of course, you do not need to be active on every social media platform on the Internet; you should be active where your customers are active. By creating content that speaks to them where they are spending their time, you will be heard. Social shares and increased social traffic will gradually start to happen naturally.
Creative, Persona-Specific Branded Content
Have you identified your buyer personas? These are the identities of your ideal customers that describe their demographic information, common problems, lifestyle, budget, etc. Because you can have several personas—female college students, new homeowners, retired males, etc., you should create content that addresses all of their needs, concerns, and interests.
The pages of your website, just like the updates you post to social media, also need to showcase a variety of content. Your brand has its own culture and personality, so show that to your readers and followers. Using images, videos, infographics, brochures, and more, you can earn social shares based on your creativity and the attractiveness of your content. People like to show off interesting content that they find online, so be the brand they want to share.
Headlines & Descriptions
Make your blog headlines concise, descriptive, and keyword-centric so the eyes of Internet explorers find your articles and are compelled to click. Meta descriptions (the description of your webpage that appears beneath your headline in search results and on social shares) should also incorporate your keywords and accurately describe the content of your page. This is all part of your website’s code, so keep it clean and consistent across your web pages.
Social Share Buttons
You should have social links on every page of your website, and on every blog post social share buttons. This alone will provide key opportunities to increase social traffic, as all of your content instantly becomes shareable and points readers directly to your social profiles.
Integrated Social Communications
Each web presence you employ should cross-promote the other. In other words, content you share on your website should be shared across all of your social media platforms and vice versa. You can also use your tweets to share a Facebook comment or create a blog post out of your positive Google+ reviews.
Comments & Discussions
Engage in discussions within online communities. Do this on both industry websites and social networks or your own. The idea is to become a thought-leader and authority in your field.
- Encourage your followers to take some sort of action through your posts to earn social shares. Then, when you receive comments or messages, respond promptly and keep the conversation going.
- Keep the content you share on social networks at a balanced mix of 50% your content, 50% outside content. Sharing another brand’s content could earn a follow or re-tweet from that company, gaining you even more social traffic.
- Create social posts that comment on current events or respond to articles you read online. By subscribing to relevant blogs and following the social profiles of industry professionals, you can find up-to-the-minute content to share and make online connections with other individuals in your industry.
If you have an allocated advertising budget for your company in your business plan, it might be a good idea to funnel a portion of that budget to social advertising. On Facebook, for example, advertising campaigns are easy to produce and allow you to target your buyer personas based on the information contained in their profiles. You can choose to promote your Facebook page, a Facebook post, or a page on your website.
To get a complete overview of the pieces that should make up your Internet marketing plan, download our “Internet Marketing Checklist.” If you are looking for a company to help you execute a social media strategy, contact iProv to learn how we can increase your social traffic and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn for industry news and best practices!