Why social media is more important than ever
social media

Google has made some aggressive changes to its algorithm that have completely changed how SEO works. Webmasters are reinventing their strategies to incorporate the “wider net” approach, where multiple traffic sources are utilized to expand a business’s reach. Some call it brand awareness, others just call it smart marketing. Whatever moniker you assign to it, social media has become an important cog in this wheel.

Basics of Branding

The first thing you should do is secure your brand’s name on the various networks you plan to use, and even a few that you don’t. The advantage is that you can redirect users to your primary channels, where they may already have an account. You also secure your brand name, which industry experts recommend as a crucial step in brand awareness. Be prepared to monitor your YouTube page, and find some important content to modify a Wikipedia page. These high-profile websites are great for visibility.

Where to Join

According to the marketing company 29 Prime, major social networks like Twitter and Facebook are still great places to start local and organic SEO. Those seeking a niche market should also expand to other outlets. Google + is useful for getting more of your content indexed, and YouTube videos can provide some extra exposure for your ideas. Google's social network is also linked to its places page, and localization is another method of bumping your way to the top.

Comment on other blogs, or try to publish your ideas as guest posts. Well thought out responses and tutorials are helpful to users, and websites are likely to include your link as a thanks for your input. High quality websites that accept your posts may also provide a boost to your reputation.

These ideas spread your influence without reliance on optimizing one traffic source. With a diverse strategy, you have multiple streams of traffic to choose from with the option to analyze your findings and pinpoint your target audience.

Hook Your Audience

Give people a reason to follow you. Breaking News is an account that tweets breaking news, as opposed to CNN who may also tweet breaking news but primarily sticks to bread and butter journalism. Stating those differences helps users differentiate one account from another, and defines the purpose of the brand. Your bio is a chance for users to get to know you, use that 140 character space to directly tell them what you’re about.

Participate in Hash Tags

When you want to make your tweets searchable, you provide a hashtag “#” to let users find it. Someone can type your hash tag and locate the conversation happening around the topic in real time. Using a hash tag has become something of a cliché, but there are still important conversations happening online if you know which keywords are active. Try broad terms if you’re looking to locate a wide audience, then ask around about specific hash tags that people like to follow.

Direct Outreach

Your strongest asset in expanding reach is yourself. Play your own PR person and try emailing some blog posts directly. Explain who you are in a brief paragraph, and then try to offer a value proposition to the editor. Mention what your product or service does, and be sure to relate it directly to that blogger's audience.

Using these methods helps break your reliance on a single form of traffic, weening you and your business off of just Google and broadening your approach to social.