January 23. 2012 4:00PM - Last modified: April 30. 2012 4:48PM

Leveraging social media for SEO

Social Media Strategies

By Shannon Steffan

Social media serves many purposes for your business. You can leverage social media networks, such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to drive awareness of new content, announce promotions or new products, or demonstrate your expertise to connect with people in your industry. The potential uses are vast.

But did you know that you could also leverage social media networks to boost your search engine optimization (SEO) results? It’s called social search and here are five methods to boost your search engine rankings.

1.  Connect, follow and like the authority figures. Spend a few minutes per day adding thought leaders to your social media networks. Both Bing and Google have confirmed that being retweeted or having your content shared by authority figures can help your SEO.

2.  Post keyword-rich focused content. If you are targeting specific keywords for SEO, it only makes sense to carry those keywords over to your social media networks. By sprinkling targeted keywords in your tweets and social media content, you will help search engines by providing them with strong content to increase relevance and visibility.

3.  Leverage both local and international trends. Keep an eye on what’s hot and what’s not. Identify the trends that are related to your expertise and use that as a foundation for a new (unique) blog post to ride the trend wave. When shared over the social media networks, you are increasing your chance of attracting attention and building authority.

4.  Analyze social media traffic. Take a look at your social media stats and see what’s being shared. What content is being re-shared and going viral? Identify the most popular topics or types of content and augment your content in this area.

5.  Embrace asking and answering. Bringing a variety of questions, polls, direct messages or contests to your online audience will increase human engagement. The more you help solve problems for others, the more they will tell people about you, reinforcing your position as an authority leader.

Each of these five tips increases human engagement online to build your authority.

If you don’t take this opportunity to invest your time to building your authority online, I’m sure your competition either will or has already.

Shannon Steffan, human SEO and chief executive officer of Milwaukee-based Excira Media LLC