For years now social media has been on the front line of online marketing, and for as many strategies out there, and tools to make it easier, the most often over-looked approach is usually the most successful; the human approach. You see, social media is a “social” strategy that requires a human touch and no matter how good software and automated tools are, at best they can only make the process easier.
What makes social media so valuable is that those sites focus on the end user, and all of the content is by users or for users and as a result, they are hubs of activity to connect with real people on a personal level.
There are many benefits to social networks that we already know about, (building a big list, sharing your content, getting high ranking content, and more); however there is one additional benefit that isn’t talked about very often.
I’ve identified what I call the “Social Seven,” that is, seven social sites that directly affect your ranking on the top of several search engines because they are considered “authorities” by the World Wide Web Consortium.
The World Wide Web Consortium dictates the standards for the Internet including what technologies need to be supported, standards for browsers and much more. What’s important is that most search engines and ISPs are a part of the Consortium, including Google.
Because these sites are considered authorities, they carry heavy weight by not just Google, but by every other search engine, and as a result, the exposure you get from them in significantly increased.
So let’s get started.
PRO TIP: When it comes to writing the descriptions in your profile, always put a contextual link, (no html) pointing to your main website and place “http://” in front of your address. Not all sites do this, however in most cases, your links become clickable.
A lot of people will not read an entire description or profile, so providing a quick link they can click on or copy and paste into a browser will help you retain quick browsers before they can click away to the next thing that happens to catch their attentions.
PRO TIP 2: Always provide a picture of yourself when creating a social profile. A lot of places will tell you to use a picture that advertises your business or product you’re selling, however you have to remember that social sites are focused on people.
If you don’t want to use a picture of yourself, then choose a picture that best represents you. When people connect with you, they will follow you no matter what opportunity you have or product you’re selling. Trust is very important.
With that said, here is a list of the social seven:
Go to each of those sites and log in if you have an account. If you don’t have one, create one, verify your email if necessary, then log in. Your first priority is to complete your profiles to 100%, including your descriptions (which should included keywords), and remember the pro tips that were just given.
Again, do NOT promote your profiles as yet. Simply copy your profile URLs below the list of URLs you started on notepad or your favorite text editor.
PRO TIP 3: When it’s time to find friends to grow your social networks, the same rules apply here as they do for local listings. What I do for my clients is find groups that are related to their business and request membership.
Once accepted, I post a welcome message introducing myself (or the client) stating my experience and offering to assist in answering questions and lending assistance.
I forward those to my clients, and when they answer them, I post the answers or solution to their problems. In almost every case, the friend requests follow as well as messages. Even more importantly, people go to the profile to find out more about you, who you are, and what you do.
If you followed the pro tips, your contextual URL should be there in your description for quick access.
The more you help, the higher your reputation becomes and the more people will come to you. Also, when people search for help with their problems or answers to questions, you will show up in the search results (provided you use those keywords in your title and description).
There are a lot of ways to build how many friends you have, however this method is #1 for converting traffic on social networks to money.
PRO TIP 4: Spend some time searching those groups for people that can use your service or product. What I look for are people who are responding with my posts, asking questions, venting frustrations and so one.
Then I send them a friend request, followed by a message letting them know who I am, what my expertise and addressing their problem in the message.
For example, if the person was complaining about something, I’d ask them if they still need help with that issue and offer to help them.
NOTE: Do NOT just give advice unless asked. People dislike know-it-all’s, especially ones they don’t know and message them out of the blue.
PUT THOSE URLs TO USE:
So now you should have seven profile URLs. Here’s what you do with them. Go back to each of your profile descriptions and locate the sections where you can link to other profiles and make sure that you add them (or as many as they allow).
For Facebook especially, you want to add a “connect with me” section with links to all of your profile URLs.
If you’re really driven, you can do what I call a social seven tag game, which is like a link wheel (which we’ll cover in another post). How it works is by posting a status update on one site linking to the other, and the next and the next.
So for example, you can post on Facebook a status update asking if anyone is on Twitter and invite them to follow you there with a link to your Twitter profile. Then on Twitter you can tweet, asking if anyone is on Google+ and link to your Google+ profile. On Google+ do the same, except sending them to LinkedIn, and so on.
Eventually you’ll get back to Facebook and your “wheel” is finished. I’s a great way to build up your following, and always, when available, invite your connections from you email lists.