Popular microblogging and social networking site Twitter is all the rage now – and for good reason, too. It’s a truly unique platform, one that allows social media and SEO (search engine optimization) – two of the hottest trends in Internet marketing today – to come together, and possibly even support each other.
Yes, it is possible. Indeed, Twitter has far more useful qualities than the ability to broadcast what you had for breakfast today. Leverage the social media tool properly and, with best practices in “tweeting”, you might even be able to improve the performance of your link building campaign. That’s right: social media and SEO coming together.
Let’s look at some of the many ways in which you can use Twitter for link building:
Engage. Using Twitter’s search tool, find the people who matter to your business and start engaging with them. Give them @mentions, send them @replies, retweet their updates or links – all towards the goal of getting them to link back to you, of getting them to say, “Hey, thanks for spreading the word about my site. I checked out your stuff and it’s pretty interesting, too. I’ll tweet a link to my followers!” And so on and so forth.
Sure, it may sound like a lot of work, but hey, it’s certainly more efficient than Googling relevant sites, looking up blog directories, tracking down the contact information of webmasters, and writing and sending out requests for a link. It’s more efficient than reading blog articles and leaving blog comments for the sake of link building (and even then you might not make it past the spam filter!).
Get more followers. We won’t go much into how you can increase your follower count on Twitter (that’s a blog post topic for another day), but let us acknowledge the fact that, the more followers you have, the more opportunities you’ll have to drive traffic to your site. And the higher the traffic, the greater the chance that more people will look at your site, appreciate its contents, acknowledge your authority, and potentially link back to you.
Make yourself retweetable. A few months back we wrote a post on the anatomy of a retweetable tweet. (And yes, it sure is one of our funnier blog titles.) Why is being retweet-worthy important? Because it’s basically a new form of link-building. Because it helps you gain social popularity (more retweets, more followers, more fans). And because your tweets will be seen by others who might then write about you on their site and generate new links to yours. That’s right: in the age of social, a message that began as a tweet can soon end up as an inbound link. Get your tweets retweeted by authorities in your industry and you may even improve your ranking performance in the regular search results.
Join Twitter directories. One example is TweetFind, a Twitter directory that brings together consumers and businesses. Tweetfind can help you get your customers and prospects to follow you on Twitter, but another link building benefit the site has is this: your Tweetfind profile page includes DoFollow links to your website or blog. Signing up is free.
Optimize your tweets and links. Your best practices in SEO can still apply in social media. Sharing a shortened link? Then customize the URL with keywords or your brand name. Tweeting? Integrate keywords, along with common phrases that can get you more retweets.
Don’t tweet a link to everything. Followers won’t click if it’s the tenth time you’ve promoted your new blog article, or if every tweet you write is meant to promote yourself and only yourself. Hey, it’s called “social” media for a reason. Be as compelling, interesting, sociable, well-mannered and respectful on Twitter as your real-life self. And if you do share a link, make sure it is worth clicking.