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Hand in Hand: Social Media and Linking

Social Media and linking is currently two of the most exciting tools within the PR toolbox for creating word of mouth and visibility for a topic. Here are some of the key points to know as you begin your journey into social media and linking — courtesy of my colleagues Jared Roy and Jennifer Risdall.

Social media is all about creating dialog with your audiences… your customers, your vendors, your prospects, media, industry analysts or others … virtually, ANYBODY who is looking for information about your brand, your company, your products, your services or you.

The operative word here is “looking”. We like to say, if people are raising their hands in social media, you better be there to answer those questions. If you’re not there, your competitor will be.

Search engine optimization is about being there when your audiences are looking for you in the search engines. Social media optimization is about being there when your keyword terms are being mentioned within social media. This can be accomplished in two ways:

First, listening and responding when your keyword is mentioned and second, creating social media content based on keyword phrases. As you can see, social media and search optimization are inseparable when talking about linking. Linking plays an important role in both. A link to your website: drives traffic, builds online visibility and gives you the opportunity to create new customers and serve existing customers.

Linking can take place on all types of online media – from websites to Social Networks, Blogs, Wikis, Forums, Videos, RSS feeds, within Applications and directories — practically anywhere online.

Remember that social media is all about building a relationship. Listening to your audiences and then joining in the conversation starts and builds the relationship with your audience. It is INVALUABLE.

The secret sauce is to listen first and provide value through engaging.

The conversations and networks you are listening to will shift and change – but the key is to be a part of the conversations, not just a fly on the wall.

Linking is part of this process. It may be an answer to a question on your brand or a customer service question, it may be an offer to your social media following, it may be sharing industry news…Whatever it is, a link to the appropriate web page can give your audiences the information they are looking for.

There are five key pillars used to optimize social media for our clients. They are:

–        Listen

–        Identify

–        Strategize

–        Engage; and

–        Measure

Each is integral to being successful on social media and together, they create an ongoing process that needs to be nurtured.