When you hear about marketing opportunities using social media you might not immediately think of link building. Traffic, clicks, conversions - all these things come to mind with social media marketing, but for the purposes of link building social media sites can work quite well into a strategy.
Many tout link building as one of the hardest and most important parts of search engine optimization. According to a June 2013 Moz survey, link features, meaning external links, how many, how high-quality, and where are they coming from—is the 2nd most important cluster of Google's algorithm.
With that, here are 4 tips to help you leverage social media to uncover awesome link building opportunities.
1. Form relationships.
The main purpose for a social networking site is to get social. It’s where we go today to meet new folks, share information, collaborate and learn. If you take this principle into consideration when developing a link building strategy you can start looking for opportunities to form relationships with your existing followers.
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Rand at Moz suggests using sites like FollowerWonk to take an examination of your existing followers and conduct follower outreach. Who follows you and who happen to be the most influential bloggers or run successful websites in your niche? If they already follow you there’s a good chance they really do know who you are. With a bit of personalization and maybe a light pitch to get a link who knows you may have a shot at earning a link. Do this research on all your social profiles—not just Twitter.
2. Find guest blogging opportunities.
Similar to follower outreach, the ability to find guest blogging prospects are just a few short clicks away. I’ve used this tactic in the past with a simple tweet/Google+/Facebook post, “anyone looking for a guest blog post for their _____ blog?” Doesn’t hurt to ask! Or use this principle in another way by conducting a Twitter search to see if anyone has used the words “need guest blog post” or “write for us” in a tweet. Don’t forget about Twitter advanced search or Google+ search to dig deep into updates on social media.
Additionally, looking through Twitter for users who are tweeting about news and topics in your industry may uncover some great bloggers you never knew existed. Check out their profile which often will link to the blog they manage, look onsite to see if they accept guest blog posts and suddenly you’ve found great prospects for guest blogging.
3. Uncover unlinked brand mentions.
I’m a big proponent of searching for unlinked brand mentions. I am amazed at how many instances of a brand there are online that don’t contain a link, but publishers are willing to update the page with it if I ask nicely. Uncover these mentions using search engines within a social media site. Sure you’ll uncover a tweet or status update that has the brand name mentioned, but maybe it’s also a link to an article or news story about the company. After some clicks and reading through the piece you may discover an unlinked brand mention contained in the post.
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4. Get ideas for content marketing & link building strategies.
Last but certainly not least social networking sites can provide great ideas for content marketing and link building strategies. Reviewing the things your competitors are doing with content marketing or link building is evident when conducting research through social media. Look for popular promotions that receive a lot of likes, RTs or +1s. Find out about new partnerships, press or industry news by monitoring social activities. Each of these are great ways to uncover awesome new link and content marketing strategies.
These are just a few of the benefits that social media provides to us link builders out there. How have you used social media for link building? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below.
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