Last week I looked at YouTube SEO for screen media creators. This week I turn my attention to some of the other big social media players that are not necessarily video focused, but should still be a priority for any search engine optimization strategy. As I’ve stated countless times, social and search are so integrated now you really cannot have one without the other as part of an effective digital marketing plan for your film, TV, web series or transmedia project. Here are my six tips for getting the most out of Internet search with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn:
1. Keyword Research
As with any search marketing strategy you have to start with keyword research, but when targeting Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn there are additional places besides the Google AdWords Keyword Tool to gather data which will help you modify the language and content you use to target each network. Most of this information comes from each media’s actual search functionality.
For Twitter keyword research:
- Hashtags.org generates graphs of historical Twitter trending for a particular hashtag and indicates some of the most current and active tags;
- Twitter’s own advanced query search engine can give great insight into how people are using words on Twitter as well as other related language.
For Facebook keyword research:
- Facebook’s own auto-suggest function which starts filling in a drop down box with results as you start to type (but which will be heavily skewed by your own Facebook network and activity).
- Facebook’s internal search page (which you can find by clicking on “See more results” from the drop down box above). Check each category of search results found on the top left (i.e. “People”, “Pages”, etc.) to get the most complete picture possible of Facebook content relevant to your phrase/niche.
For LinkedIn keyword research:
- LinkedIn has many different ways to search. Whether by People, Groups, Updates or the others, the auto-suggest will give you some additional keyword ideas. And always make sure your results are sorted by “keyword” and not the default “relevance” and that you check the bottom of the search results page for the “related searches.”
- One of the most interesting LinkedIn search methods is the new beta Skills & Experience search which presents a wealth of ideas for language to use in its auto-suggestions and in “related skills.” It also gives you a graph which represents the growth of this particular skill in LinkedIn members as well as related companies, jobs and locations.
2. Dig Deeper than the Search Results
The knowledge you gain from the various searches and keyword research above becomes even more powerful when you use it to see what other people, companies, pages, etc. on all of the social media are already doing well. Click through to individual listings to expand your understanding of the language as well as other tactics you can leverage for your own projects and personal brand.
3. Where to Put the Keywords in Your Profile
At a bare minimum you should be using your most important keywords naturally in your page/group titles and descriptions, but there are additional places to consider. Just make sure you only include these in the most authentic way possible – ugly, unnatural keyword stuffing will just turn off your human audience and potentially get you into trouble with the social media themselves:
- Your tweets should include important keywords, especially those tied to specific #hashtags.
- Status updates;
- All the tabs of information such as your Info, Notes, Events, etc;
- “Like” other pages and groups that are related to your important keywords, target audience, and niche.
- Your professional “headline” which appears right under your name and should not just repeat your latest job title;
- Summary and specialities;
- Job titles (both past and current);
- Skills & experience.
4. Beyond the SEO Keywords
There are also some additional ways to help you with search rankings for each of these media. Here are some of them:
- Use lists to manage who you follow, update them regularly and try to get included in the lists of others;
- Make sure you never follow more than are following you – not only does it not look good to those who are checking out your profile, search engines “trust” those who help others more than need help themselves;
- Identify and follow the authorities in whatever area your project is about and in the screen media community – not only will you learn things, but this provides a relevant wider context for search;
- Use a free link shortening service that provides metrics data like bit.ly to gather as much data on your Twitter activity as possible.
- Optimize external content you control and that you post to your wall (like blog posts) so that important keywords appear in the title;
- Open your privacy settings to make sure your page content is searchable by “everyone;”
- As with Twitter, “Like” and “Favourite” the authorities in whatever community your audience is, as long as it is relevant to your film, TV show, web series or transmedia project.
- Groups are one of the biggest opportunities on LinkedIn – source those in various screen media in which to build community and spread word of you and your project. LinkedIn is always going to be more about your personal brand, but you can leverage this for whatever project you are working on. Some of the groups I have found interesting in this space are: Film TV Professionals, Interactive & Digital Media Group, ThoseinMedia, Transmedia Network, and Web Series and Web Content Producers.
5. Be a Valuable Community Member
Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are great gathering places where you can find like-minded people and leaders in whatever topics or interests you have or your screen media project is about. But you also need to provide value to whatever community you want to target. Share great content that others will in turn want to “like” and “share” and be a part of the conversations going on in a natural way to ensure you are seen as a valuable community member. Leverage your power as a content creator. You have the chance to share by blogging about forthcoming projects, inviting creative suggestions, seeking support, describing the progress and challenges of production, and sharing related music, clips, interviews and other digital assets. This value will translate into “authority” over time which is becoming a more and more important ranking factor in search algorithms.
6. Socialize Your Website
Make sure your site and social media are cross-linked as much as possible. Do not simply enable the “tweet” or “like” or “share” functionality, but also make sure people know where and how they can become a part of your community on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
As I stated in the YouTube SEO blog entry last week, social media is only as valuable as the conversation you participate in. It will take work and time but genuine social media involvement (sure, you can call it marketing) generates significant longterm return on this investment in terms of an engaged and loyal fanbase. What are you waiting for? Let’s chat 🙂
Or Revisit Last Week: 6 Tips for Optimizing YouTube for Internet Search (YouTube SEO)
Submit suggestions, questions or tips of your own via email to annelise(at)veria.ca or on Twitter @veriatweet