Here’s a scenario: Jane gets on Twitter and tweets about wanting a coupon for a company that I’ll call ABCWidgets, because yes, I am that dorky. The staff of ABCWidgets, being all forward-thinking, are monitoring Twitter to see what’s being said about them. They see this tweet, respond to Jane with a 10% off coupon, Jane buys what she wants, then blogs about this fantastic thing that’s happened to her. There’s a really nice legitimate link, brought about by simple good service and the desire to tell others about it.
There are many other positive takeaways from keeping an eye on social media: simple brand monitoring to know what people are saying about your company, the chance to right a wrong before it gets worse, the opportunity to personally connect with a past, present, or future client. With services such as Twitter, where people can quickly and easily make a statement without flowery clarifications, things can go downhill quite swiftly and it’s becoming crucial to identify and respond to issues as fast as possible, before someone else steps in with an offering that’s going to cost you a customer for life. What if, instead of ABCWidgets responding to Jane, their main competitor, 123Widgets, saw Jane’s tweet and responded with their own 15% coupon for switching to their company. A lovely opportunity has been lost for a client who practically had it handed to them.
And, of course, deeper customer engagement can trigger links.
Let’s say that Jane has a blog that’s new, and she rarely updates it unless something spectacular happens. Her blog has a PageRank of 0, and no backlinks. How will getting a link from her blog really help ABCWidgets?
It’s a link built out of the most basic linkworthy thing possible, and in the end, that type of link will mean the most. It may not up ABCWidget’s PageRank, it may not even send any sort of decent traffic, but it does represent the fact that Jane is now a satisfied customer. Jane continues to order from ABCWidgets, as do several people that she tells about this, both online and offline. When Jane’s ordering from them, do you think they care whether her link is technically “beneficial”? I can assure you that they don’t.
This type of link is obviously hard to quantify. As I said, it may send no decent traffic…it may send zero people to the site, in fact, but it’s sent a real human being there. So how would you make the case for this type of link building to a client? As you probably know, many people are ruled by simple numbers. If you can’t show an increase in something (PageRank, SERPs, page hits), a client might not be able to understand the power of a link like this, so you need to be prepared to explain it. Politely, of course. This isn’t anything that will involve a discussion of keywords to be used in anchor text, of site/page placement, or anything else that you may do when you’re building links. It’s simple link goodness.
With certain segments of the population being a bit reluctant to fully embrace social media, you may be up against roadblocks when you’re trying to convince a client that monitoring what’s said on Twitter may result in a fantastic link, so just be nice and monitor it yourself for those curmudgeons. It really won’t take too much out of your day. Services like TweetBeep allow you to set up alerts that can run every hour or every day, and if someone does tweet about your brand, you’ll be notified, you can notify your client, your client can respond, and everyone will engage in a giant group hug.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.