The internet is an incredibly diverse place, with a million places to advertise and promote your products, your services, and yourself. The advent of social media has brought about a whole host of new considerations to the internet that it did not once have, certainly not back in 1996 when I first got online.
In a previous post, I looked at 4 great social media tools. Having tools is great, but using them properly is even more important! An aspect of these tools which you should understand is social signals, These social media sites, and their social signals, all relate back to the ultimate goal of many webmasters – better search engine optimization and increased conversions. I’d like to look at both of these related topics to give you a better understanding of what being social can do for you.
Why are social signals important to your website’s SEO?
Social signals are being used more and more to determine what webpages are truly valuable. Through the magic of the secret Google algorithm, when people share your websites on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, this positively drives Pageranks upwards.
A mistake to not make is to think that those who have more fans or followers will increase your chances of ranking higher. Not even the almighty Facebook ‘Like’ can raise or lower a page’s Google ranking.
In a recent Google chat, Matt Cutts stated that the number of followers someone has doesn’t affect the Pagerank of an article they share. They currently do not have the ability to factor that in, all that the Googlebot can do is follow links and index pages according to those links.
So, it isn’t so much social signals in the traditional thought process, as it is social signals in the sharing of links that is beneficial for your SEO. Having a large number of Likes, ReTweets, Favorites, and Pins is important in building your personal and professional brand, but only link sharing has any impact on SEO.
What exactly is crowd marketing?
I first read about ideas related to crowd marketing in an article by Paul Bingham. He titled his article with ‘Crowd Marketing’ in the heading, but looked more at crowdsourcing, rather than what is now crowd marketing. Crowdsourcing is when you get your own followers to create content that you use to market your products. Like a photo competition where you give a prize for ‘The Best Photo with Product X In It!’
True crowd marketing is more about using those who have a crowd of people, and having them market to their crowd, meaning followers, fans, and other social media crowds. This particular tactic of crowd marketing was shown to me by Viral Tactic, a newer social media marketing company. They take this tactic of marketing with those who have a large crowd of followers, and using them to popularize people and websites. Similar to a celebrity endorsement.
Unlike a celebrity endorser though, crowd marketing allows you to speak directly with your target market. Why pay for a celebrity to advertise your pens, when you can use a social media personality who reviews pens and has a crowd of followers who want to know about pens? It will be more affordable and better targeted.
What can crowd marketing do for you?
This all relates back to SEO and conversions increasing as links are shared across social media by the person with the popular platform, creating links for the Googlebot to index. It relates to conversions as you’re getting a better return on investment by going directly to a targeted audience.
The benefits of a crowd marketing campaign can therefore be:
1. Your links across the web expand, improving your SEO
2. You find new fans for your social media accounts
3. Those fans share your content and drive your SEO
4. Your ROI is increased thanks to targeted marketing tactics
You can’t lose with a good crowd marketing campaign. As with all things online, temper your expectations and know that you’ll have to pay more to get more, both in time and money. No one goes viral and shoots their SEO through the roof for $10 and 5 minutes of time invested. You may not even go viral and improve your SEO significantly for $100 and 5 hours of time invested.
But you can find new followers that are relevant, increase your presence on the web, drive the social signals that matter, and speak to relevant audiences.