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How To Build Social Media Links

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  • How To Build Social Media Links

Any good SEO knows the importance of good backlinks. Quality links help create an interface of interaction for visitors, readers, and customers. They firmly establish your website as an expert in the field — the authority that the other experts link back to.

If the main way to build authority is to cultivate backlinks to lead users to your site, why are we talking about social media?

In short, a single-minded marketing strategy is never enough. With the billions of new posts that appear across social media platforms everyday, your business simply cannot afford to ignore the potential exposure available through this outlet.

In 2021, social media is no longer a creative way to stay ahead of the curve, it’s an integral part of the fully developed marketing strategy.

So how do you build social media links?

Do social media links count as backlinks?

Since we just mentioned the importance of this type of link, there’s one thing we should clear up: social media links do not count as backlinks.

On the web, there are two types of hyperlinks that you can interact with: nofollow and dofollow. The backlinks that help your website rank on SERPs (or Search Engine Result Pages) are only those marked “dofollow”, which permit Google’s web-crawler to index the pages they link to.

If social media links don’t add to your rankings, why should you want them?

There are two main answers to this question.

  1. First, there’s billions of people on social media — people with the potential to become a loyal following for your brand — that interact with quality content across a variety of networking sites everyday.
  2. Second, there is a valid place for nofollow links in your SEO strategy.

For one, to the reader, nofollow and dofollow links look exactly the same. Therefore, the likelihood that someone uses a nofollow link to learn about your website, fall in love with your brand, and tell all their friends about it, is about the same as for a dofollow.

Also, a nofollow link in a highly visible place like a social media outlet, leads to great exposure and the potential for even more dofollow link placements to be earned further down the line.

Finally, keep in mind that if your digital marketing strategy doesn’t include any nofollow links (from such prominent locations as Wikipedia, forum posts, comment sections, and social media), your online presence looks suspiciously skewed.

The ideal proportion for dofollow:nofollow links is a matter of debate, but suffice to say that aiming for diversity is always a good idea, especially if your nofollow exposure comes from as visible and profitable a location as social media.

Perfect your profile

Now that you’re convinced that social media nofollow links actually help you build a following (pun intended), let’s explore what your branded social media presence should look like in 2021.

First, the look and style of a social media presence varies greatly by the purpose of your page and the industry you work in. While the main platforms:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Linkedin

are a safe bet for any holistic social media plan, don’t overlook less traditional outlets like:

  • YouTube
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest
  • TikTok

Depending on your topic offerings and intended audience, these may be more valuable to your business than they initially appear.

Once you’ve selected the platforms you’re going to focus on, it’s time to create a profile. If you’ve spent any amount of time on social media, you’ve probably noticed that each site has its own social etiquette.

Facebook is for all-ages, and is largely used for non-targeted interaction, event planning, and communicating lots of information in one convenient place. Your Facebook profile should be designed for a broad audience, and include as much information about your organization as possible: your street address, opening hours, shopping links, and overall personality.

LinkedIn is the classic business platform and is largely used for recruitment and publicizing innovations. It is not devoid of personality, but as the most professional social media platform, it should definitely be tailored to the people who interact with the business side of your organization.

Twitter is where things start to get murky.

These days, it seems like everything that happens shows up on Twitter first. However, with a 160-character limit for bios, your profile needs to be focused and optimized.

Here’s an example of a great Twitter bio from Steven Toth at SEO Notebook:

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Generally, an effective Twitter bio should follow these guidelines:

  • Give some information about you
  • Reflect the type of content you post
  • Establish where your expertise lies
  • Connect with some relevant hashtags
  • Cross-promote your website or other social accounts
  • Include a conversation starter and some visual elements (re: emojis)

That’s a lot to fit in 160 characters, but if you keep it simple and in-line with your purpose, you’ll have a winning bio with minimal need for trial and error.

Instagram is a similar beast. With just 150 characters and only space for one link, you’re forced to get creative.

Here’s a successful Instagram profile from Looka Design:

social media links - How To Build Social Media Links - 2 Notice how the page is uniform and eye-catching with a clear purpose.

To get around the “one link” rule, many businesses have use a tactic referred to as “link in bio”, names for its classic CTA.

There are a variety of websites (like linktr.ee, above) which provide link in bio services. These systems allow you to create a custom portfolio link for your Instagram bio where you can organize and display a variety of a different links. These should be related to your company’s purpose and boosted by your daily posts.

Instagram feeds are now filled with countless reminders to check out a link in the bio to browse more content, read, or even shop sites, all from the comfort of the Instagram app.

Build a brand (and backlinks will follow)

Social media has the unique ability to let your brand behave like a friend to your customer base.

By interacting amicably with followers and presenting a clear purpose across channels, you can build brand loyalty to an impressive degree.

Of course, having a bunch of accounts that you spam with posts isn’t going to do the trick. You have to a have a presence where you cultivate the golden rule of marketing: a brand.

How does one create and maintain effective social media branding?

Remember that social media is about short interactions with big impact.

First, make sure that your content is consistent across all platforms. In particular, you want your profile name and photo to be the same everywhere.

Once you have decided on your brand’s personality, create image guidelines and templates for the posts that you plan to link to your social media accounts.

A blog is a great place to start. Combine articles with eye-catching graphics to match your brand image, and followers will quickly recognize your presence across channels.

Building social media followers takes time, but you don’t want to cut corners to increase your numbers. Instead, follow the etiquette rules of each site, stay true to your brand, and create a plan (a calendar works great) to ensure that you’re active and present across all media.

The effort and planning you put in to eye-catching but consistent branding will pay off in the brand recognition and loyalty that your followers will award to you over time.

Those ever-important backlinks we talked about? They will follow as your presence and recognition strengthens over time.

Put the social in social media

One of the most important skills for building backlinks on any website is to maintain positive relationships with other website owners in your niche.

This same skill is equally important for a successful social media campaign.

The primary conversation-starters on social media are referred to as influencers. Building relationships with influencers in your niche will help them notice and promote your content as well.

How do you do that?

One easy way to conduct your influencer outreach is to automate your interactions with them. The linked guide goes into detail on best practice for this type of automation, but if you want to do it manually, the best way to connect with influencers that you want sharing your content is to share and promote their content as well.

When you start getting your name out and receiving tags in other posts, follow the lead of Wave and give those posts a retweet:

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This courtesy shows gratitude for the shoutout, and also makes your company feel more approachable.

You can even personalize your retweet somewhat with the quote retweet function, as SPP has done here:

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Additionally, you can reply to posts to generate conversation.

Building up the social network side of social media takes time and effort, but with a careful plan and even some strategic automation, you can cultivate a network of colleagues within the influencers that you find in your niche.

Focus on evergreen content

One social media marketing secret that not many are privy to is the goldmine of utilizing evergreen content.

Yes, that’s right, we’re talking about recycling.

Here’s the thing: you’re running a business and managing its marketing plan and cultivating social media platforms, and frankly, there’s only so much good content that one person can produce at a time.

If you have a database of posts that you know did well, consider how much mileage you could get from using those same posts again. That’s the principle behind evergreen social media content.

While you don’t want to overuse all of your existing content, some things deserve to be shared again.

Keep in mind that people are active on social media at different times, both nationally and internationally. Also, if you had great early content that your new followers have never seen, you can connect those old posts with a new audience.

Besides scaling your social media content marketing through automation, you can also leverage evergreen content through the “pinned post” function on different sites. Facebook pages and Twitter accounts use this function to “pin” important posts to the top of their profile, directing visitors to their most important content right away.

Here is an example of what we’re talking about from Service Provider Pro:

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This is a great way to put your best foot forward, and tell new followers exactly what you’re about.

Also, when your social media efforts start paying off in the form of earned backlinks, your most visible content will likely be the first to receive the honor. Make sure to keep plugging your best, evergreen posts.

Nurture relationships with influencers that already know you

Once you’ve cultivated relationships with influencers in your niche and have a sizeable but loyal brand following, you might think you’re done. That would be a mistake.

One facet of social media is that it tends to have a very short lifespan. An established brand that stops interacting will be assumed to have gone under, rebranded, or otherwise disappeared.

If you haven’t started automating already, it would be in your best interest to do so once your platforms become established.

That said, in order to maintain authenticity with your customers and influencer relationships, you should still have at least one person continually working on your social media efforts. They can help maintain personalized customer interaction, liaise with influencers, and create new content to add to the lineup.

Reap the rewards of expert roundups

If you’re looking for more ideas for effective, evergreen content to use again and again, consider putting together some expert roundup posts.

You’ve definitely seen these before: blog posts on a specific topic or question, with a list of experts offering their advice.

When the piece is finished, you might think, “Great, I’ll send it out, and everyone who contributed will share it to their pages.” While that’s not a bad place to start, people are busy, and things get forgotten. Instead, take a more active approach.

Post your roundups to social media and tag the experts directly. They’ll naturally circulate the tagged post, and the conversation around your piece will last longer.

Promoting expert roundups is also impressively easy to automate, as this linked guide explains.

This method generates amazing exposure, helps you naturally cultivate relationships, and also earns plenty of well-deserved backlinks.

Get results with graphics

Thus far, we’ve shared a lot of our secrets to social media success, but at the end of the day, social media is something that people use to wind down at the end of a long day.

What this audience wants more than anything else is access to quick and easy entertainment.

Branded content doesn’t always fit that bill, but you know what does? This adorable Looka post:

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It’s one of those posts that you want to immediately show off to a friend. Aside from the obvious cuteness factor, let’s talk about why this image works.

For one, it’s bright. Even without registering the design, the background color will pop out on any social media feed.

Also, it’s simple. It gives an immediate and accurate idea of what the accompanying post will be about.

This year, bright colors are the name of the game — but that doesn’t mean that we’re entirely doing away with the minimalism of the past.

Create simple, high-quality social media graphics, that help tell the story of your brand, and give your audience an amazing visual that they can’t help but want to keep sharing.

Ready to build social media links?

Backlinks are the bread and butter of building a successful online marketing campaign; however, ignoring high-quality nofollow links like social media profiles and posts could spell disaster for even the best-developed marketing plan.

Social media stardom doesn’t happen overnight, but if you keep these tips in mind, you’re sure to be successful in no time:

  1. Build consistent profiles
  2. Stay true to your brand
  3. Engage with both your audience and potential influencers
  4. Recycle evergreen content
  5. Credit the experts
  6. Use simple, eye-catching graphics

Be consistent and automate wherever you can and you’ll be on your way to building social media links.

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