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18 Useful Social Media Tricks To Boost Your SEO Potential

Lenka Istvanova

by Lenka Istvanova on 20th August 2013

Social media magicAs time goes by there is more and more evidence that social signals are becoming of greater important when it comes to achieving a higher position in SERPs. So how can you leverage Social Media to improve your rankings?

According to Searchmetric’s recent study of SEO ranking factors good activity on social media can earn you better rankings. In addition, the study showed that the higher the number of social signals from the below networks the better the position of your website in SERPs:

  • Google +1
  • Facebook Shares
  • Facebook Total
  • Facebook Comments
  • Facebook Likes
  • Pinterest
  • Tweets

Even if you are sceptical of the correlation that the social shares directly improved the rankings there’s also the factor that getting more people to see the content also lead to more links and visibility.

Long story short it’s time to get ‘social’ and schedule time for your social media management into your daily diary. It’s essential to ensure that you have a good social presence online by having a high number of Likes, Tweets, Shares and +1′s.

To make it easier for you I have created the following list of super-useful social media tricks to help you boost your social signals with the long term goal of improving rankings.

Top Google+ Tricks

The Searchmetrics study has proven that having a Google+ profile is really a no-brainer as +1 shares scored the highest correlation with good rankings in SERP. Your posts on Google+ are indexed with the ‘speed of light’ which, in some case, can be within minutes of the post being published.

Trick #1 – Get your Google+ settings right

Optimising your tagline, profile image and about section is the first thing you should do on Google+ before sharing anything. In addition, AJ Kohn’s test showed that having a keyword included within the Introduction is the most important signal for Google+ Search results.

Make sure you include your keyword, URL and location within the ‘About’ section:

Google+ Profile

Trick #2 – Pick the right image for your snippet

When you share your post on Google+ the image in your snippet can make or break the clicks/ shares/ comments your post receives. Conversely, sharing a link which has no snippet image is really a waste of time. Before you hit the ‘Share’ button, hover over the image box and pick the image that is most appropriate for the content.

Top Google Tricks To Boost Your SEO - Pick the righ image
As AJ Kohn suggests you can always play it safe by including a square image (300×300);

Top Google Tricks To Boost Your SEO - Snippet Image

Trick #3 – Format your posts

Unlike other social networks, Google+ allows you to format your posts and make them more visible and scan-able for readers. If you write your status on Google+ with the following symbols on it you’ll see it changes the way the text is shown. Such formatted post are more engaging which in turn can result in more shares.

  • Bolding: Add asterisks (*) around the words you want to bold, for example: *your text* will appear as your text
  • Italicising: Add underscores (_) around the word you want to appear in italics; for example:  _your text_ will appear as your text
  • Strikethrough text: Place hyphens around the words you to be strikedthrough; for example: -your text- will appear as your text

Here’s how I use this feature for more emphasis and to drive engagement:

Using asterisks to bold and underscores to italicise:

Top Google Tricks To Boost Your SEO - Bold and Italics

Using asterisks to bold and hyphens for strike through text:

Top Google Tricks To Boost Your SEO - Bold and Strike Through

Trick #4 – Link to your G+ post

Okay, so you’ve shared some interesting posts so now it’s time to cross-promote your post to further strengthen the social signals of it. Click on the arrow next to you post, select the option ‘Link to post’, copy and paste and share on other networks to raise awareness.

Top Google Tricks To Boost Your SEO - Cross promote your post

Trick #5 – Stay active and re-share, comment and tag people

Don’t be a ‘link litter-er’ who uses Google+ just for sharing your blog posts/ links. If you find something interesting then share it, regardless of who wrote it. Use the comment section and leave your opinion.  And don’t forget to tag people if you’re sharing their posts by using ‘+’ . They may follow you and re-share some of your posts in the future.

Trick #6 – Check for new trick and tips

Last but not least, stay up to date with new tricks and tips on how to get the most of your Google+ profile by following the Google+ Tips and Tricks page. Guy Kawasaki is the man to know and follow when it comes to Google+; his book What the Plus! Google+ for the Rest of Us will show you how to master Google+

Top Twitter Tricks

Trick #7 – Settings, settings and settings again!

Here we go again! Include your main keyword and location in the bio. Also, check the setting tab and ensure the location is set correctly and your twitter profile is fully optimised for local search.

Choose your location:

Top Twitter Tricks - Twitter Profile Settings To Boost SEO

Don’t forget the language and time zone settings. Switch the ‘Tweet location’ to on which will give your tweets the extra local signal.  

Top Twitter Tricks - Twitter Settings For SEO - LocationTwitter Settings For SEO - Location

Trick #8 – Find the best time to tweet

Knowing when the majority of your followers and potential customers are online can increase the chance of your tweet being shared and/or re-tweeted. There are free as well as paid tools, which can help you determine the best time for you to tweet; these include:

Be sure to try these tools and collate the data together to determine the best strategy for you.

Trick #9 -  Improve your CTR by tweeting less

Frequency is the key when it comes to the number of clicks you receive via Twitter. Dan Zarrella found out that the less frequently you post a link within an hour the more clicks you earn. So slow down and pace yourself to a maximum of 3 tweets with a link per hour.

Trick #10 – Get more Retweets and shares with the right Calls-To-Actions

As the saying goes, if you don’t ask for it you will never get it. Don’t be afraid of asking people to retweet your post but ensure you type ‘Please ReTweet‘ rather than just ‘Please RT‘ or ‘RT‘.

Dan Zarrella’s research showed that tweets which include the following phrases are very powerful CTA’s on Twitter and lead to more actions:

  • Please Help
  • Please ReTweet
  • Please
  • Spread
  • Visit

Just remember not to do this with every post as it will annoy people.

Trick #11 – Get more click by avoiding the use of exclamation points

Exclamation points in your tweets will give you more retweets however less clicks; so if you want people to click on the link within your tweet it’s better if you don’t use and exclamation point! 

Trick #12 – THE Position of your link matters

Place your link in about 25% of the way through the tweet as it can earn you more clicks. (source)

Top Pinterest Tricks

Trick #13 – Include the keyword within the image name and title

In term of relevancy of images Pinterest is a better visual search engine than Google. If you don’t believe me have a look at this post which illustrates how greatly Pinterest and Google’s image searches differ.

This ties up with the importance of naming and titling your image so it is easy for users to find and share it. Make sure the name and title include you main keyword and use a hashtag to highlight it in the pin description for better rankings.

For more Pinterest top tricks you can have a look at my latest blog post that features 21 Pinterest ideas, optimisation tips and free tools

Trick #14 – Go for 200 characters

Although Pinterest allows you to enter up to 500 characters into your Pin description you’re better off with 200 characters as these have been found to get more re-pins.

Trick #15 – The taller the image, the better

Dan Zarrella’s Pinterest research identified that taller images with a height of around 800 pixels receive more re-pins than smaller images.

Top Facebook Tricks

Before trying any tricks spend some time on optimising your ‘About’ section as people won’t like your page if it looks empty. Write a compelling introduction; fill in all the information including your address and links to your website, blog or other social media profiles.

Trick #16 – Don’t be boring, be visual!

When it comes to engagement on social media, visual content wins over simple text updates with photos and videos driving the most engagements. Simply Measured Facebook research revealed that:

  • Photos receive twice as many likes as text updates
  • Video are shared 12 times more than text updates

However you should make sure you either use creative commons images or images you own.

Trick #17 – Turn your text or idea into a shareable image

As highlighted above, if you want more likes get those images on your wall. Instead of sharing a simple text post with a link back to your blog/website try to turn it into a sharable image. If you don’t know how to do it; here are some tools that will help you do that:

  • Jing and  Snagit (paid) will enable you to take a screen-grab of anything you can see on your display.

Who knows maybe you will be lucky and your image will go viral.

Trick #18 – Use CTAs that work on Facebook

Simples! Tell your fans what to do and they will be much more likely to engage. The following golden CTAs are the ones you should incorporate into your posts to get the required action from your followers:

  • Like
  • Comment
  • Share

However, don’t overdo it by asking fans to do something in every post you publish.

What about you and your social media presence? Do you use any special tricks to increase the number of likes, shares, +1′s and re-tweets? I would love to hear some of your tips and hints.

Image Credits

Magician from BigStock

Lenka Istvanova

Lenka Istvanova

Lenka has a wealth of experience in the creation and management of Social Media, SEO, PPC, and Email Marketing campaigns. She has a strong passion for all things Digital and Sport related; when she's not competing in marathons she can be found blogging about digital marketing in sport.

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23 Comments

  • Jim Seward 20th August 2013

    Just to add another one to your “best time to tweet list” it’s a feature of followerwonk, it’ll see when your users are most active, and will even then overwrite your buffer schedule to make sure your buffer tweets are seen by the most people.

    Reply to this comment

  • Lenka Istvanova

    Lenka Istvanova 20th August 2013

    Thank you, Jim for your addition.
    I will certainly have a look at it and try it myself. Do you use any other similar tools or just Followerwonk?

    Reply to this comment

  • Ksenia Dobreva 20th August 2013

    Thanks for the post!

    Also speaking of ‘please retweet’ and similar things – it really looks weird on corporate accounts. So it’s a good way to increase engagement for personal accounts, but official ones should stay modest and humble.

    It’s a great idea to tweet when most of your followers are active, but accounts with followers all over the world need to think about covering all the time zones in a smart way – there are some cases when tweeting around the clock works better, so investigation is a must here=)

    What I really like is when guys are tweeting links with their own comments. It’s not always handy, and I don’t do that every time I tweet a link, but seems that many followers appreciate this trick too.

    What is more, it’s really useful to test various titles and tweet structures for your Twitter (using bit.ly, or URL parameters – whatever) because you can find out that some really good tips aren’t working for your audience, but several really unexpected methods are great in your particular case!

    Reply to this comment

    • Lenka Istvanova

      Lenka Istvanova 21st August 2013

      Thanks a lot, Ksenia! Glad you liked it. Agree with you, international businesses should determine what hours/days work the best for them. And yes, eye-catchy headlines are crucial and companies should certainly test them to find which ones bring the most clicks, etc.

      Reply to this comment

  • Joe Q 21st August 2013

    Lenka I just have to say that you are wonderful and your article is the most complete source to follow in order to make a successful campaign on Social Media Sites.

    I liked when you talk about Google Plus, that’s one of my favorites Social media Sites.

    Reply to this comment

    • Lenka Istvanova

      Lenka Istvanova 22nd August 2013

      Thanks a lot, Joe! Much appreciated! Is there anything else you would add to the list that has worked for you and your campaigns? I would love to hear some tips & hints about your favourite Google+

      Thanks again!

      Reply to this comment

  • Chris Jones 22nd August 2013

    Some very useful tips here Lenka, good stuff.

    Reply to this comment

    • Lenka Istvanova

      Lenka Istvanova 22nd August 2013

      Thank you very much, Chris! Glad you liked it! I would love to hear some of your tips and hints how to get more social signals.

      Thanks

      Reply to this comment

  • Matthew Ortner 23rd August 2013

    Nice indeed. In addition to Google+ “Reach post format” is also great way to post interactive post updates, which drives more clicks and traffic too.

    Thanks!

    Reply to this comment

  • Siobhan Harris 23rd August 2013

    Great post Lenka!

    As with Twitter I’d also highlight the importance of knowing when your audience are on Facebook and most likely to engage with your posts. Really get to grips with your Facebook Insights to help identify when this is.

    When you’ve put so much effort into creating great content, you want to make sure it’s seen by as many people as possible.

    Reply to this comment

    • Lenka Istvanova

      Lenka Istvanova 27th August 2013

      Thank you, Siobhan! Couldn’t agree more with you; get to know your audience through analytics and insights is a must for running a successful campaign. Social Media Today have recently published a video tutorial on Facebook’s new Insights as the new feature will enable you to determine the best time to post on Facebook based on your page analytics.

      Reply to this comment

  • Damien 25th August 2013

    Thanks for the great advice.

    Google likes websites to be active and beneficial to people so I suppose Plenty of social media activity would suggest just that!

    Handsome blog by the way :)

    Reply to this comment

  • Sean Rasmussen 28th August 2013

    Hi Lenka.

    Some nice and comprehensive tips here. I totally agree about social signals. Personally, that is all I now use to get rankings. Our readers give us the signals, I optimise my posts “on-page”, and the Google Authorships does it’s fair share as well.

    Thanks for the great article.

    Reply to this comment

  • Noman Ali 29th August 2013

    YOu nailed it, well managed and detailed post loved it.

    Reply to this comment

  • Muhammad Ali 20th September 2013

    You made me write “Excellent Post”. Very well written, well explained.

    Regards

    Reply to this comment

  • Noman Ali 25th September 2013

    Huge list, I tried taller image formula over pinterest and it really works.

    Reply to this comment

  • Victorino Abrugar 6th November 2013

    Hi Lenka. Thanks for sharing this comprehensive guide and tricks on optimizing our social media pages for the search engines. Search and social should indeed be integrated right now.

    Reply to this comment

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