How to strategically integrate social media optimization into search engine marketing planning
By Devin Bost
March 29, 2014
Social media is changing the way we approach marketing. Technologies have caused globalization to change consumer behavior. According to (Hanna, Rohm, & Crittenden, 2011), “[I]t is no longer enough to merely incorporate social media as standalone elements of a marketing plan.” In this paper, I will outline techniques that enable us to achieve the goals of social media optimization. In general, we must perform these steps to obtain success in social media:
- Choose the social media platforms we wish to target;
- Develop and publish articles that allow us to become authoritative experts in our particular area of focus;
- Develop a mechanism for encouraging members of the public to link to our content;
- Simplify the process of allowing visitors to share our content on social media platforms;
Choose the social media platforms
It is very important that strategy is formulated with consideration for the social medial platforms involved. Different social media platforms require different strategies. These strategies differ between platforms because people use different social technologies for different purposes. According to (Hughes, Rowe, Batey, & Lee, 2012), “In totality, the results reveal that younger, more sociable individuals who have a low [Need for Cognition] use Facebook to find and distribute information, whilst older, less sociable individuals who have a greater [Need for Cognition] and higher levels of Conscientiousness use Twitter.” Based on these findings, it would be more appropriate to direct scholarly articles to users via Twitter than Facebook. Moreover, Hughes et al. (2012) indicated, “the correlations with Conscientiousness suggest that informational use of Twitter may be goal-directed, perhaps seeking information relevant to work or study; whereas for Facebook, information seeking may be the manifestation of procrastination.” According to these findings, marketing strategy for Facebook should be directed more towards generating social pressure whereas marketing via Twitter should focus more on providing intellectually stimulating content.
Become an authoritative expert
The best way to develop an effective Twitter strategy is to become an expert in the particular area of focus. An extremely valuable resource for this is Google Scholar (http://scholar.google.com). Today, it is very easy to locate articles with research that is relevant to the desired area of focus. By exploring subjects, it is not hard to develop research papers that discuss contemporary topics that educate visitors. By becoming an educational resource, trust will be established with visitors of your website. This trust is critical to developing brand relationships that drive new developments
Creating linkable content
The best way to attract links to your website is to publish valuable papers. By publishing valuable research papers, you are creating linkable content. These research papers are essentially white papers, and they should be content types that your website visitors are interested in reading. Then, by sharing the links to the white papers via social media, links to those documents are now available for members of the public to find through a search.
Simplify social promotion
Another technique that is valuable is to add buttons to your site that allow visitors to quickly share your web pages via social media platforms. These buttons will also give you some amount of control over the metadata that appears when someone shares your articles via social media. Additionally, services such as OAuth can be configured on your website, thus making it easier for people to join your site. When using OAuth, people will be able to use their existing social media login credentials to login to your website. This service provides dual advantages for both visitors and businesses. Thus, by making site membership easier for visitors, they will be more likely to join the site and subscribe to member-only content feeds.
Hanna, R., Rohm, A., & Crittenden, V. L. (2011). We’re all connected: The power of the social media ecosystem. Business Horizons, 54(3), 265-273.
Hughes, D. J., Rowe, M., Batey, M., & Lee, A. (2012). A tale of two sites: Twitter vs. Facebook and the personality predictors of social media usage. Computers in Human Behavior, 28(2), 561-569.