Find Your Social Media Sites
Posted on January 19, 2012
Find Your Social Media Sites
Whether you check your Facebook feed five times a day, monitor incoming tweets throughout the day, or unwind a couple times a week with YouTube or Vimeo, you know that social media makes a big difference.
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Whether you check your Facebook feed five times a day, monitor incoming tweets throughout the day, or unwind a couple times a week with YouTube or Vimeo, you know that social media makes a big difference in the role of businesses, large and small. The real question is: Are you using social media to your advantage, to reach your audience on the platforms they use? There are hundreds of social networks. You can't have presence on all of them. Which ones are you targeting, and are they a good match for your content?
To know which social networking sites connect your product to its audience, you need to be SEO savvy. How are people searching for your product? What kinds of people use your services? Spend some time thinking about your core audience, or even a new target audience you're trying to attract with SEO marketing and social media. Jot down a list of characteristics that defines your user base. Are they visual, with a love of design? Are they news hounds? Do they love sharing images of family and friends? Depending on your target audience, there might even be a social media platform that lets you connect to them directly! Niche sites like Gooruze.com or Qoolsqool.com help you connect to folks who are passionate about marketing and education, respectively. By targeting the right social media sites for your audience, you can get more direct traffic to your site, reducing dependence on search engines. You also have the potential to grow repeat visitors and clients with less effort on your part. Who doesn’t like the sound of that?
Next, list out the characteristics of your ideal social media platform so you can choose the right sites for your product. If you post a lot of video content, you'll want to target video platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo. ITunes makes sense if you're going for podcasts. If you have a service that would be ideal for job seekers, hirers, or marketers, it's always a good idea to have a LinkedIn presence. Even if you're a small business, you need to think big. Having a presence on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and the other large social media sites gets your message and your product to a large audience, reducing search engine dependency.
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Don't forget about bookmarking sites, a major player for anyone with SEO interests. The big bookmarking social media sites include Delicious, Squidoo, Stumbleupon. Next generation bookmarking sites like Diigo work more as an educational and collaborative tool than social media, but they might also be right for your SEO needs. If you have a big, newsy product, you'll want to connect with newsy social media sites. Digg and Reddit let you post SEO optimized links to your product, and other users can vote your links up or down. The more people like your content, the higher it will rise. If you score a big hit at one of these newsy sites, you'll see a rush of traffic to your website, bypassing the search process.
You can't have a presence on everything, obviously. Use your list of criteria and your defining characteristics of your core audience or your target audience to help you figure out which site makes sense for you. If you try to go tooo big, you won't have enough time to devote to building up a presence on the social media platforms. Start small and targeted, then build up slowly. Track your efforts, so you can see the SEO performance of each social networking site you test. If something's not working for you, don't be afraid to drop it. There are plenty of fish in this sea, so put the time in to do it right and remember to have fun. It is, after all, social media.
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