By Drew Hubbard
September 10, 2009
* Social media pages are like any other, but with the built-in benefit of residing on a very powerful domain
* Use Facebook’s “about” box for relevant content and keyword-rich descriptions
* The first 40 characters in a tweet are what appears on a search engine; use them wisely
* Create a custom Twitter background showing links to your other social media pages
Next in SEO
In the constantly changing environment of social media marketing, brands and agencies are frequently asking themselves how to measure the success of online campaigns. There are different answers, of course, depending on the goals of those campaigns. One marketer might view the total number of Facebook fans as the end-all metric, but his client might be concerned only with converting Facebook page visitors into new sales.
Even though they duke out the details, marketers will all likely agree that no matter what, they will have to drive traffic to the page. And for now at least, the big search engines remain one of the best ways to get eyeballs.
Traditional search marketing holds that there are two ways to get search engine traffic. The first is to pay for it via pay-per-click advertising, and the second is to earn the traffic with optimal search engine placement. In the earned search marketing business of search engine optimization (SEO), a Facebook fan page is merely a web page, just like any other, except that it has the built-in benefit of residing on a very powerful domain. The same goes for YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Smart optimization, combined with the strong domains that house them, can propel your social media pages to the top of search engine results for relevant searches.
Social media marketers and SEOs should work together to optimize profile pages, fan pages, channels, etc., to give them the best chances for ranking well. Google and other search engines apply all the same rules to social media pages that they apply to any other page, so understanding the basic guidelines of SEO can have a significant impact in the traffic you are able to drive to your social media assets.
SEO can be broken down into architecture (the way a page is built), content (what appears on the page), and linking (inbound hyperlinks from external sources). Since most social media sites give very little control over the architecture of the page, you will usually be left with linking and content as the only elements that can be changed.
With that in mind, here are tips for optimizing your Facebook and Twitter initiatives, as well as some brands that are getting it right.