Those who are plugged into the SEO grapevine will know that there has been a lot of talk in recent months about social media influencer ranking. Just how much weight social media has on ranking became a much more compelling musing after the launch of Google+. Bing and Yahoo had already started to index tweets in their SERPS but Google was the first to come out and say that the number of social media likes you had (in the form of +1s), the stronger your search engine ranking would be.
Of course, there are dozens of social media channels over and above Google+ and Twitter. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to focus on grabbing the maximum number of equivalent +1s on them all. Many small businesses are better advised to focus their efforts on a few handpicked social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+. Concentrating your popularity campaign on a small number of sites makes the task of acquiring followers, likes and pins and gaining influencer rating that much more manageable. But how to go about it? You can try the hard way of following every person you can find on Twitter, begging friends, acquaintances and colleagues to like you on Facebook and spend every spare second pinning and repining. Or you can try the easy way.
As with any popularity contest, it’s the most interesting people at the party that find themselves the centre of attention. In social media terms, that means offering the best content. Giving people a reason to fawn over you, to want to know what you’re saying as soon as you say it and to tell their friends what you said or posted or shared. As in so many search marketing endeavours, great content is key to social media influencer rating. This in turn means more search engine exposure, more traffic and ultimately, more conversions.
Content for social media isn’t necessarily about just posting a link to your latest article, blog post or press release. Of course, you’ll want to automate your blog to post a link to Twitter or Facebook each time it gets updated and you probably will want to have a link to your PR on there, particularly if you restrict your PR writing to really cool announcements such as award nominations or new product launches. But over and above that, you’ll need some really cool content which has been expressly created for social media purposes. Stuff that you have come up with for the sole purpose of building your social influencer rating. By its very nature social media is a lot more informal than most other marketing channels and this can be reflected in the kind of content you create for social sharing. You don’t need a big long article for social search to generate some buzz. Instead you can play on the informal and fun aspect of the medium and use this to colour your social content.
To get you started, here are a few types on content that have proven to do really well in social media circles…
Infographics: Everyone loves an infographic. We are seeing them around the web more and more. The great news is they are not that hard to create, particularly if you have a graphic designer on your team already or a go-to freelancer that you work with on other projects such as brochures or flyer designs. Infographics can be about anything, you just need some useful data to get started. You also don’t need to spend time and money on a large research project. Use your existing resources and get creative.
Interview: Magazines and newspapers are full of interviews and there’s no reason why your social media channels shouldn’t also make use of this content format. You don’t have no know a celebrity to devise an interesting interview, simply find a subject that is passionate and knowledgeable about what they do (*this should be related to what your products and services). You could interview a staff member, a supplier, a customer or even offer yourself up for interview. Devise interesting questions that encourage the subject to talk. Remember, this doesn’t need to be formal, it can also be fun.
Build a list: Lists always do well on social media. Whatever your subject, you can build a definitive list around it. And if you run out of ideas, invite your social connections to contribute their own suggestions.
Videos: There is a reason YouTube is one of the biggest and most visited websites in the world. People love to watch videos. If you have the budget to make a video, it’s a great way to get social media followers clicking. And if you don’t have the budget, be creative and original. You don’t need masses of expensive equipment to make a great video, a cheap digital video camera and a great idea will do it.
Ask a question: Most people love to express an opinion. Ask your readers a question and you’re guaranteed to get them talking.