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10 Ways Social Media Dramatically Improves SEO

10 Ways Social Media Dramatically Improves SEO

Your website is only valuable if potential customers can find it. One of the best ways to draw customers to your e-commerce business is through organic traffic. This is when you’ve optimized your site so search engines consider you a trusted source of valuable information.

When your site is fully optimized, customers don’t have to know about your brand. They simply have to search for the product they want to buy or problem they want to solve.

When someone visits your site because they clicked on a link found in a list of search results, that’s called organic traffic. You can optimize your site so search engines will give you a higher ranking.

There are many different search engine optimization techniques you can use. Some of the most effective methods are creating high quality content, building reputable backlinks, and developing connections with influencers in your industry.

One underutilized, but extremely effective, SEO technique involves using social media. Here are 10 easy ways social media can boost your organic traffic.

1. Create a Consistent Tone

Social media communication is frequently informal. At the same time, you’ll want to stay professional. Develop a “voice” for your social media posts. This is the style and type of language used.

Your voice will depend on both your product and target audience. If your product is fun and your audience young, your voice can be witty and loose. If your product is serious (a financial or medical service, for instance) you’ll probably want to adopt a more formal tone.

Once you’ve discovered your voice, use it consistently across all messaging. This creates a connection with your potential customers; they’ll start to think of your brand as a personality. A consistent voice also ties all of your social media platforms back to your brand.

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2. Identify the Best Social Network

Most marketers focus exclusively on Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the best strategy. Sure, Facebook and Twitter are large and popular. But they might not be the most popular choice among your target audience.

For instance, about 42% of all female internet users use Pinterest. If your target audience is female and your product is visual, Pinterest can connect you with a lot of potential customers.

Another example is LinkedIn. This platform is primarily used by business professionals. If you offer a B2B product or service, you’ll want an active LinkedIn presence.

Always be on the lookout for social networks where you’ll be able to find a potential audience interested in what your brand has to offer.

3. Avoid the Hard Sell

The average person follows more friends and family than brands on social media. This means their social media feeds have more posts from people instead of advertisements. Social media users tend to get annoyed if a brand advertises too heavily.

People on social media want interesting information. Most of your social media activity should be shares related to your industry, not ads for your products or services. A good rule of thumb is to post about seven industry articles for every three product mentions.

4. Post Strategically

When you post is often as important as how you post. You’ll want to post at times when your audience is most receptive to your message.

This will depend on your audience and what social platform you’re using. Trying to reach business professionals on LinkedIn? They’re most likely to check LinkedIn between 9 am and 5 pm during the workday.

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What if you’re trying to reach Twitter users? This group is young and mobile. They’re likely to check their Twitter feed between about 11 am and 1 pm, which is during a typical lunch break. After 5 pm is also a good time to tweet.

5. Connect with Social Media Influencers

Social media influencers are people who have a lot of followers and a good amount of influence in a particular niche or industry. They can be a great way for your brand to be introduced to a large, new base of potential customers.

You’ll want to develop relationships with influencers in your industry. To do this, you’ll have to connect with them through social media. You’ll also have to provide something of value. This can be content you create which they’ll publish on their site, a free product to review, or something similar.

6. Be Interactive

Social media isn’t a one-way form of communication. You’ll want to engage with your followers regularly. This means responding to both compliments and complaints.

Social media users don’t want to wait too long for a response. One effective tool here is Mention. This monitors a huge variety of social media platforms and notifies you whenever your brand is, well, mentioned.

Not every comment about your brand is going to be positive. That’s okay. You want to deal with complaints quickly, professionally, and publicly. Even if you can’t please that specific customer, other potential customers will appreciate a professional response.

7. Create Online Communities

You not only want to engage with potential customers on your page, you also want to create online spaces. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all let you create your own group for your followers to post in. This allows you more control over your brand and message.

To grow your group, you’ll want to offer new subscribers some unique and useful content. This could be a guide, e-book, podcast, or something similar your audience will respond to. Once someone subscribes to your group, you can begin introducing them into the Conversion Funnel.

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8. Join Existing Online Communities

Find and join social media groups. These don’t have to be groups necessarily related to your industry directly. Instead, they should have an audience which is potentially interested in your products.

Your audience doesn’t think about your brand all the time. They have other interests, too. Once you identify these interests, join any related Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media groups.

Don’t join groups and simply start promoting your products. People will understandably be annoyed. Instead, you want to just make yourself known. Show an interest in the subject of the group. Be friendly. This will help build trust and increase your reputation among your target market.

9. Buy Facebook Ads (with Precision)

If you have a sizable potential audience on Facebook, you should consider Facebook ads. They’re a great way to reach a targeted group of interested people.

Facebook ads can be tailored to just about any budget. You’ll probably want to start small and then increase your ad buys over time based on which types of ads have shown to be successful.

Ten dollars a day is a good starting point. Keep your ads between ten and fifteen cents a click. For most campaigns, you’ll want to limit your buys to 20 cents a click.

Every few weeks, you’ll want to evaluate your return on investment. This strategy lets you avoid spending money on ads which aren’t connecting and focusing on the types of ads which are.

10. Use the Power of Social Proof

People don’t necessarily trust brands. What they do trust is other people. This is the power of Social Proof.

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This is where positive engagement can really pay off. If you successfully solve a problem or otherwise connect with a customer online, everyone connected to that person on social media can also watch the exchange. This positive brand awareness can ripple through social media and reach countless new potential customers.

Testimonials are another way to harness the power of social proof. When real people sing the praises of your product or service in a real-world situation, other people will take notice. Turn compliments posted to your social media pages into testimonials for your website.

Bonus Tip! The Power of Indirect Benefits

You’re not going to directly sell many products through social media. But that’s perfectly okay. Social media is designed to help with conversions, not directly create sales.

By developing a robust, active social media presence, you’re helping create two benefits:

First, you’re helping to connect with potential customers by creating brand awareness, increasing brand trustworthiness, and developing a brand “personality.”

Next, you’re also helping to increase your ranking in the search results. Major search engines, including Google, favor pages which have a lot of shares. In fact, shares are considered links. If you can get a lot of people sharing, liking, and otherwise engaging with your content through social media, you’re helping improve your SERP.

Devoting time to your brand’s social media accounts is an important part of every successful website.

Have any tips? Share them here!

Featured photo credit: Pic Jumbo via picjumbo.com

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Published on September 16, 2020

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

Today, with many companies going remote—at least until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine—technical proficiency is a vital skill for every interviewee to master. You may be asked to interview for a job on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The way you handle yourself in the online interview (your interview skills) will say much about your ability to work from home efficiently.

Does your workspace look clean or cluttered? Is the area free from noise? Is your home office well lit?

Once hired, you may be asked to organize meetings on Zoom and other platforms. Along with mastering the technology, you will have to learn to follow certain protocols.

Now is the time to get up to speed on your technical skills. Learn which interview skills are needed for the particular job for which you are applying and practice them.

Online learning sites, such as LinkedIn Learning and Udemy, offer courses for free or a nominal membership fee. If you are a DIY type, make use of training videos offered through your particular digital tools.

Additionally, demonstrating that you have these 12 interview skills will help you land your dream job.

1. Organization

When you work in a brick-and-mortar office, some of the organizing is left to others. Your direct supervisor may host a Monday morning quarterback meeting where each worker reports on the progress on their tasks.

When you work from home, much of the organizing will be left up to you. To a much greater extent than before, you will need to develop a schedule and stick to it. Some tasks may be faster to complete from your home office where you don’t have other workers competing for your attention.

Conversely, you may find that some tasks that would have gone quickly in an office seem to take forever from your home computer. Your phone may ring a lot, which can distract you, or you may have kids and a spouse who inadvertently disrupt your schedule.

To do: Set a schedule and stick to it.

To discuss during your interview: Be specific. Point to the interview skill you utilized to create a schedule for a complex work project and followed it.

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2. Flexibility

You set a schedule for the completion of your tasks, but your prospective boss gets their work done between the hours of 2:00 and 8:00 a.m. Your West Coast partners are three hours behind your East Coast partners, and one of your partners lives in England while another lives in Australia.

Feedback and collaboration (see point 3) may need to happen asynchronously. Be the flexible candidate—the person who is willing to occasionally disrupt their schedule for the greater good of the team.

For extra credit: don’t just look up time zones, look up whether they observe Daylight Savings Time.

To do: Be flexible about meeting times.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a time when you worked on a team where members lived in different time zones. Discuss your processes.

3. Collaboration

As recently as six months ago, before the pandemic raged around the world, collaboration wasn’t quite as essential as it is today. In a remote office setting, collaboration doesn’t just mean working well with others—but actually sharing documents and editing them online on time.

Several cloud-based tools, such as Google Drive, Basecamp, and Trello, enable the type of collaborative teamwork that most companies want today.

To do: Download the correct software and practice using it.

To discuss during your interview: Discuss how you worked remotely with a group. Share how you overcame certain challenges.

4. Poise

Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

When things do go awry, keeping your wits about you will demonstrate your consummate professionalism under fire. This will show your future bosses that you will be able to work well under the pressures of remote work.

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What could go wrong, you ask? You might be muted without realizing it—your Internet connection may not be robust, your headphones may blip out, your cellphone may ring, Zoom could have an outage. The list goes on and on.

To do: Make sure you have the most up-to-date versions of Skype and Zoom uploaded.

To discuss during your interview: Consider highlighting a time when a project did not go as planned. Demonstrate the interview skills that allowed you to rise to the challenge.

5. Communication

Your ability to handle online communication is one of the top critical skills you will need to thrive in today’s remote workplace. Download Slack if you haven’t already. Get used to toggling to a different form of online communication if one of your tools fails.

When it comes to the preferred format for your online interview, demonstrate proficiency by offering several different options. Give your phone number, Google Chat Hangouts name, and Skype ID.

To do: Familiarize yourself with video conference and online chat tools, such as Slack, Fleep, or Workplace by Facebook.

To discuss during your interview: Be prepared to share the online communication tools you’re using and examples of how you use each one.

6. Good Computer Hygiene

Setting up a backup system for your computer files is one of today’s crucial requirements for working in the digital age. Storing documents that can be shared by team members is also an efficient way to work together on presentations, articles, and reports—although studies show nearly one-third of employees avoid them because of the time it takes to find documents.

Be prepared in your interview to indicate your experience utilizing this technology, describing how you organize and store files using cloud-based collaboration tools. How do you keep track of links and tabs? Do you use Dropbox? Google Docs? Confluence? Others?

To do: Take inventory of the cloud-based document sharing and storage systems you know and use.

To discuss during your interview: Describe the document sharing tools and backup systems you utilize—both for personal protection and professional file sharing.

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7. Proper Meeting Etiquette

Today, presenting yourself virtually has its pros and cons. While you only have to show a professional persona from the waist up (make sure to straighten up your office space behind you), you must boost your energy to show that you’re engaged in the discussion.

Make your voice as upbeat as possible. Have your talking points at the ready and be careful not to ramble on, as long virtual meetings easily become tiresome. Use the mute and chat features to avoid interruptions.

To do: Once you know the meeting platform, make sure you have it mastered before your interview.

To discuss during your interview: Offer to share your screen to show an example of a work project— while at the same time demonstrating your prowess with video conferencing tools.

8. Respecting Feedback

In the age of working remotely, there may not be as many systems in place to obtain feedback (such as yearly performance reviews). Workers may need to ask for feedback, while managers may need to give more feedback than usual as the team adjusts to working off-site. Respecting feedback is on top of the interview skills list that you should learn.

Taking a proactive approach with giving and receiving feedback and incorporating it into your work style is a desirable quality that your employers will note.

To do: Reflect on the positive feedback you’ve received from past employers to bolster your confidence.

To discuss during your interview: Share a time when you received feedback that made you grow in the job. If you’re a manager, share a time when you gave feedback to an employee who needed to better their job performance.

9. Project Management

Staying on task with projects has evolved far past a to-do list, with electronic tools that can track time, manage team workloads, and even do the client billing. While your prospective employer may have its preferred project management program, your experience with any of the various options—whether it’s Basecamp, Teamwork, Smartsheet, or another—will be applicable.

To do: Know which project management software is likely to be used by the industry in which you’re interviewing, and familiarize yourself with its features.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a project management feature that is particularly useful in helping you excel in your work, and explain how you utilize it.

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10. Staying up to Speed

Employers expect their remote workers to be technically proficient so that technology runs smoothly and doesn’t create work disruptions. Bosses count on remote workers to know enough about their systems to manage them without relying on the help of overworked IT staff.

To do: Make sure you have a fast internet connection and have a back-up plan, such as a second computer or other tethered devices.

To discuss during your interview: Note that you are diligent about keeping your computer and software up to date.

11. Attention to Cybersecurity Issues

“Virus” is a loaded term these days. Spreading a computer virus in your company, however, will not only bring productivity to a halt, but it will also make you a pariah. While working from public places using free Wi-Fi (with uneven security provisions) has waned, in pre-pandemic times, coffee shops accounted for 62 percent of Wi-Fi security breaches.

To do: Keep antivirus software updated and don’t download software without verifying its authenticity.

To discuss during your interview: Emphasize your awareness of cybersecurity risks and your care in taking necessary safety measures.

12. Teamwork

Work relationships now mostly happen in virtual settings, yet employers value team-oriented workers.

Being a part of a team gives you a sense of connection and shared purpose. A well-honed team understands how mutual reliance makes the sum of its parts greater than when individuals act on their own, improving the end product.

To do: Take stock of your attributes as a team player and where you can cultivate skills that will enable you to work more collaboratively.

To discuss during your interview: Inquire about the company’s culture and how it encourages a sense of community despite working remotely.

Final Thoughts

Preparing for remote positions available in today’s job market will mean honing your interview skills to highlight your technical abilities as well as your adaptability. By adhering to these To-Do’s and perfecting your online interview skills and charisma, you will rise above the competition and win over any prospective employer.

More Tips to Improve Your Interview Skills

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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