Lee Odden

Optimize & Socialize: Social Media SEO Tips For Large Organizations

Lee Odden     Online Marketing, SEO, Social Media

Social Media SEOWith nearly 50% of consumers reporting that both search and social media influence purchases, Social Media and SEO are hot topics for most online marketing firms. But there’s a world of difference between the notions of social dominance, super-powered with search ubiquity and the ability to successfully implement – especially in large companies.

One of the most common issues is that social media efforts themselves are often uncoordinated activities, let alone working in sync with search engine optimization.  Additionally, many online marketing consultants are accustomed to Social Media or SEO projects for small and medium sized businesses, which is a very different thing than working with a large or complex organization.  Being prepared to adapt independent and coordinated social media and SEO processes requires a unique combination of organizational finesse, adaptability and subject matter expertise.

Enterprise marketing initiatives typically involve multiple stakeholders, layers of approval and messaging guidelines that can stifle ambitious social content optimization and promotion.

However, it is possible to make significant progress in a reasonable amount of time with the right mix of planning, communication and expertise. Once departments or business units have an understanding of common and individual goals, confidence in allocating resources, adjusting processes, training, building out reporting and forecasting potential outcomes can open up a wide range of Social SEO opportunities. The key is to understand the nature of the business and how a coordinated social media and SEO effort can help the company solve problems and achieve goals.

To that end, here are 5 Tips to Empower Enterprise Social Media SEO:

1. Education

There is no substitute for an informed online marketing client, especially when it comes to coordinated Social Media & Content Optimization for Search. It’s essential that key contacts understand how today’s “Google Panda” and social-influenced SEO works and what the potential business benefits are to the organization.

Companies create content to communicate with the outside world for a variety of reasons: far beyond sales and marketing purposes.  Improving the relevant “findability” of content, both on and off the corporate sites, via search and social discovery across departments (Public Relations, Human Resources, Customer Service, Investor Relations, Community Relations, etc) can improve reach and desired outcomes. That lift in reach and engagement for other corporate content producers can help motivate those involved outside of marketing to execute social SEO best practices.

2. Advocates

With nearly 1 in every 6 minutes spent online on a social network and Facebook reporting over 750 million users, there are social media advocates and super users in every organization. Most companies have implemented some kind of SEO effort as well.

To gain support, it’s important that online marketers leverage individuals that have demonstrated a personal and/or profession interest in social media and are excited about the program to help “sell” the benefits throughout the organization. Tapping into SEO advocates works the same way. As evangelists for corporate site optimization and social media engagement, client side team members can use various tools to spread the “Social SEO” message, whether it is progress reports, internal update meetings or brown bag training sessions.

3. Results

Suggesting that a large corporation implement overall coordinated Social & SEO is often unrealistic, so such efforts can start by identifying high impact areas of opportunity. Is there a fledgling blog that’s showing promise but could boost traffic with basic SEO?  Or are there social networks building relationships that could be involved with sharing links to relevant corporate website content? Links & social sharing can boost search visibility.

Showing results at multiple stages in the program with careful attention to those areas of focus for respective decision makers, can help motivate support for people and resources. Imaging being able to improve traffic to a blog pet project for a Marketing VP by 50% though smart SEO & social sharing. Success inspires more success (and support for expansion).

Another example could involve shared search & social keyword glossaries from the Marketing team that have helped improve online visibility for PR, Job Listings or Customer Support content for one business or division. That exercise can help apply updated processes for other groups.

Coordination between social media community managers and marketers with SEO expertise is the frontline of Social SEO impact.  There are numerous SEO opportunities for large web sites and off-site social participation. Showing progress will help create momentum and buy-in from others in the organization.

4. Availability

Large scale Social SEO implementation can be daunting and involve many opportunities for outside subject matter expertise. Online Marketing consultants need to be available to client contacts in various mediums. For example, IM or text messaging so when he/she needs information during a meeting, questions can be answered quickly.  GotoMeetings, training or support via conference call are also helpful in providing timely information for internal meetings and decision making.

Many Social & SEO engagements involve an audit and meetings at specified intervals – but little communication in between. Being available at opportune times supports your client side contact as they represent corporate Search and Social Media leadership, empowering them to get agency recommendations implemented.

5. Content Creation & Curation

A Social Media & SEO Roadmap often requires agencies to provide assistance with implementation or support of internal training. Many large company social media marketing and SEO groups are understaffed or simply 100% allocated with current work.  Wether it’s web pages, blog posts or social content like Tweets, be prepared to create content specifically for social media and optimization initiatives.  The needs for the creation of content in such a scenario can include: presentations, newsletters, images and even training sessions.

Repurposing content, crowdsourcing and curation are also effective resources to fuel coordinated social media and search optimization. Curation can involve aggregation and annotation of industry news or it can be the repurposing of useful content from within the organization – from different departments or groups.  If there’s content being created, it can be optimized and socialized for relevant improvements in discovery and engagement.

It takes considerable resources and talent to execute and manage a successful enterprise Social SEO project. Not many consultancies are prepared for the demands in communication, education and patience. It can also be a challenge to manage the billable time for the kind of support recommended here, so setting expectations and parameters up front is essential.

Large scale Social SEO takes an equal measure of search engine optimization and social media marketing smarts as it does the ability to navigate complex organizations. By empowering client side advocates with knowledge, tools and ongoing resources to promote Social SEO processes and results, large company social media optimization projects can see a better return on their agency investment.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.

Comments

  1. I think organizations do not really realize just how much overlap there is between social media and SEO sometimes. Part of the overall game is educating the business community on the concepts of how the overlap can really strengthen a brands visibility online.

    • You’re right – from a process standpoint there is some overlap in terms of standards within an organization. Education and reporting the effect of actions are essential for building and maintaining momentum.

  2. Social media is here to stay for
    good. Given vast variety of the existing channels to choose and stick with,
    it’s time for such a hot space to enter into a new category.
    Here is my 2cents on this whole
    internet -> search Engine -> Social media things and my rational on why there
    is a need for a portal to provide a quick and intelligent decision for both the
    consumer and the companies about their online connections. A Platform to Help
    us to Distinguish Our Quality vs. Quantity Friends, Fans, Followers, and
    Companies:- Early 90s: WWW was born…

    – Mid – late 90s: Yahoo &
    Google were born to help us to find the right pages on the WWW…

    – Early 2000: Social media was
    born…

    – Late 2000: There are now
    millions of pages created by people, 
    companies, and organizations on all these social media channels.

    – 2011: We are back to early 90’s
    That is why I built awesomize.me
    to accomplish such a mission – the portal to all your existing social media
    channels.
    EliasCEO & Founder

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is the first time i visit your blog..It’s very useful for me.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I recall an adage that says..’you have to fix your product first and the marketing will flow seamlessly..’ and this may mean as simple as fixing your site’s SEO and making it easier for users to navigate.  The content should be easy to understand as well.  I think that content curation is the future of search and we may just find the key to real engagement with our peers online.  Thanks for the awesome tips!

  5. Hey,Lee

    It’s so great for you to offer such article!I just hope to hear more from you!

  6. Hi Lee,
    “Optimize and socialize” I like this! I agree that links and social sharing can boost search visibility. Link building is an important part of getting improved rankings over time.
    Thanks for the detailed article.
    Regards
    Catherine

  7. I think social media has more of an effect on consumers from peer to peer influences. For example when friends post things like, “I love my new iPhone,” or “The Super 8 movie was fantastic, everyone should see it.” I don’t quite agree that people know what they are referring to when saying that social media influences their purchases to make that 50% number a real number

    • I think the impact is more than what’s reported myself – but I can see that it could be a challenge in qualifying responses. The good news is that data on websites can support some (not all) customer interaction with social content before arriving to a website for purchase. Google’s social integration is a move in that direction and the implementation of their PostRank purchase should bring even more insight into social, search and web.

  8. Harsha S says:

    When i publish my blog post, i will go to each and every social bookmarking websites like digg, reddit, facebook, twitter and still many more  to just submit my post. It was very hard to get at least 25 backlinks for each of my post. after along time i have found a good backlinks submitting tool. that is only wire. this tool can create forty plus automatic free backlinks when you publish your new article in your blog or website. Hold on this tool lets you post free upto 300 submissions as on now..but if your are more porfessional then hope you need to go on their paid service which is upto 1000+ submissions.hit this link www(dot)onlywire(dot)com

    • Harsha, submitting your own links isn’t as credible as sharing your content with a network resulting in submissions on their own. You can still promote your content, but consistently being the first one to submit your own content doesn’t provide as much value and may against the terms of use for a number of social bookmarking and news services.

      Another consideration for such submissions for link building is that links from most social news and bookmarking services are nofollowed and do not add any direct link value in terms of PageRank.

      We’re not against promotion, but make sure you create content worth linking to, grow your networks and include promotion in a relevant way, vs. trying to automate it all.


  9. Some people think that social media is largely
    similar to search engine optimization. For me, engaging in social media needs
    more time (for you have to be available all the time for any customer concerns)
    and more attention (for you also need to be keen to all the details).            

  10. I have come accross developers who refuse to put social media icons on client’s websites as it pulls people away from their site, but if that is the case then their social marketing strategy certainly needs to be looked at – it should be that users are pulled AWAY from the social media sites TO your company website by following links on your account.

  11. Social Media is truly one of the participants the most important role behind the effectiveness of SEO. And the content of the current input is extremely looking for one of the great example of that. And this is indeed the promise for large organizations. The content of message with respect to really know the best of the incredibility of the media for effective SEO.