During the past few years, the internet saw a surge in social media properties including: the grand daddy of them all… My Space, Facebook (the reigning king), YouTube (social video sharing), Flickr (social photo sharing) Digg and Delicious (social tagging), Yahoo Answers (social knowledge), Wikipedia (social collaboration) and Twitter (rising micro blogging star). The list goes on and on and on.
The presence of these social media sites on the internet and the fact that Google et al are being generous to them in the natural search results (SERPS) means that companies can no longer ignore the absolute need to develop an optimisation strategy for these social media sites.
There are two main reasons why companies must optimise for social media:
Online Reputation Management (ORM)
More Brand traffic
Social Media Optimisation for ORM
A no brainer this one. The fact that search engines are ranking these credible internet properties -in most cases on-page one- means that if you don’t optimise your brand name for these properties, somebody else will. In most cases it’s harmless but the recent Exxon case proves otherwise.
Social Media Optimisation for more Brand Traffic
It’s a known fact that search engines only rank one or two listings from the same domain at a time. If you’ve created subdomains, search engines might and often do rank your subdomain, and in this case you might be able to capture one more listing in the top 10 results. This however is still only 30% of the first page (excluding sponsored results and feeds). What about the other 70%?
Search engines (led by Google) have recently adopted a Universal / Blended Search algorithm meaning that they now serve images, news snippets, blog posts, Wikipedia profiles and recently, lots of YouTube videos. If you do not own/control the content on these sites, you’ve effectively excluded yourself from the possibility of driving more branded traffic to your website.
These are just two examples of why it’s crucial to have a social media optimisation strategy in place. The longer you wait the more difficult the job becomes of having these sites rank for your brand terms.
In other posts I will explore various techniques used in social media optimisation, stay tuned.