Joel Klettke is a Search Engine Optimization specialist at Vovia. Joel's also an experienced writer and local marketing expert.

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Social Media … For Improved Rankings?

ladderThere are a lot of compelling reasons to get involved with social media, but the first one that comes to mind probably isn’t helping your rankings.

It might be hard to see the connection. How can spending time on Twitter,chatting in a forum, writing a recommendation on LinkedIn or writing back to your Facebook fans help you improve your search engine presence?

The answer: Relationships can drastically improve your link building efforts.

Content-Based Link Building Revolves Around Relationships

While my past blogs have touched on creating great content for link building and understanding what makes a good link, I haven’t really mentioned is how to get the awesome content you’re creating in front of the right eyeballs. Social media channels are amazing tools that can help accomplish this.

One of the biggest mistakes is thinking that it’s enough to just create some great content, tweet about it once and pray that it somehow goes viral. When used properly, social media enables you to create a network of potential disciples to help spread your message.

Social Media & Link Building – The Basics

0. Before you do a thing, understand that in order for any of this to work you need to be actively, regularly and meaningfully engaging with the network you build. Not doing this is why most businesses fail with social media. Just having a massive friends list or follower count does not assure success.

1. Figure out where and how your market/industry is using social media. Don’t waste time on platforms your market isn’t on.

2. Build up an active network of people who are interested in your industry. Fans, competitors, industry “celebrities” and anyone who has a problem your product or service might solve.

3. Engage your network. What are the hot topics? What are the sacred cows? What are the challenges and problems being faced? What kinds of content are they sharing? What’s the latest news?  By monitoring what people are talking about you can craft content that contributes to the conversation.

4. Try to identify thought leaders – who do people retweet/follow/like? See if you can create content that those types of people would want to share.

5. Find people in your network to bounce content ideas off of. Your network can be a great sounding board – if they don’t like the content ideas you’re putting forward, maybe it’s time to head back to the drawing board.

6. When your new content has been created, push it out to your networks. Focus on engaging the most active members and the thought leaders. Be persistent – but not annoying. What you’re presenting should be something they want to share.

Think about it – these should be the hottest potential link leads you have! Rather than cold-contacting bloggers and webmasters, you’ve spent some time building up rapport with people who actually care about your niche!

A strong social media network can be one of the strongest link building tools at your disposal. Why waste the opportunity?