While ‘social media marketing’ and ‘social media management’ are finally becoming recognised as core competencies that your business (most likely) needs to thrive online, little is mentioned about optimising your social networks for search engines. And this is truly a travesty.
We know that social channels can be a major traffic driver, but what good is it if people (or the Google bots) can’t find your social pages in the first place?
Worse still, what happens if your customers find your Facebook, Google+ or Twitter pages, but can’t actually guarantee it’s your page; either because of its grotesqueness or because the information contained within those pages is so poorly presented.
This is why optimising your social networks, so that they offer both user value and SEO (search engine optimisation) value is a critical action you must take to increase your chances of hits/referrals/conversions from your social channels.
What steps should you take to achieve this then? Well, here are a few tips that you should be aware of right away.
Account Verification and Vanity URLs
While you’re probably most used to seeing so-called “verified” accounts next to the mugs of celebrities on Twitter – indicated by a green tick – some businesses are also entitled to account verification methods on platforms such as Pinterest.
These are easy to set up, providing you are running a business account and have access to your website’s “back end”. That’s because you’ll have to enter some code to become verified.
Verification is a great way of reinforcing brand awareness, as well as letting your users know that you are the real deal.
“Vanity URLs” are also another way of letting your users know that they are more than likely on the right page. This is where you’ve been fortunate enough to bag your brand name and have it appear as part of the web address on the social network.
Vanity URLs provide both SEO value and peace of mind to users. They also look much nicer than some of the default addresses provided by networks such as Facebook and Google+.
You can add reassurance that your users are accessing the right social media pages by linking to your official social media channels from your website.
*Note: Google+ is currently only providing vanity URLs for brand names by invitation e.g. Hugo Boss, Coca-Cola
**Top tip: Knowem.com and namechk.com are two excellent resources you can use to check and snap up your brand names across dozens of social networks.
Descriptive and Branding Elements
You should make sure that you provide consistent descriptive and branding elements across all of your social networks. This means entering your company contact information, your company history, your organisation’s core products and, crucially, calls to action; all this in line with a consistent colour, font and brand palette that your existing customers are familiar with.
Most importantly (for SEO) – don’t forget to add a link back to your homepage! This is one of the best signposting features you can have, as is your company contact information.
Be sure to keep an eye on the Red Rocket Media blog right here, as I’ll be back soon to tell you more about social media optimisation in future posts.
Comments on this article are closed.