Leveraging social media for local SEO
Exploring new opportunities to integrate social media into your local brand's SEO strategy? Columnist Lydia Jorden reviews how to elevate your local search presence using Snapchat and Quora.
The challenge in an integrated search and social strategy is leveraging popular social platforms to increase website positioning on search engines.
Using social media to promote local brand awareness is critical when working to be the leader among competitors in the digital landscape. You want to make sure your brand (or the brand you manage as an SEO) is regularly utilizing these channels — before they become completely obsolete.
If you’ve been doing online marketing for any significant amount of time now, you’re probably already using the two major social media platforms, Twitter and Facebook. If you’re B2B, you might be using LinkedIn, too. And if you’re in the tech world, perhaps Google+ is a part of your local marketing strategy.
However, there are tons of other social platforms out there that local businesses can use to boost their local SEO. So how can you use these to broaden your local presence?
Today, I’m going to discuss micro-strategies for leveraging two popular social media platforms that aren’t as commonly used for local search: Snapchat and Quora.
Local SEO strategy: Use Snapchat Geofilters to promote your brand, then use local press, PR and social media campaigns to generate buzz and links.
How to use: Snapchat “On-Demand Geofilters” are now available for local brands to utilize in any way that suits the business best. You create your own filter design, then select the geographical parameters that you want the geofilter to reach and the dates you want the geofilter to run. Snapchat will review it, and your design should be approved within one business day.
These filters work for local brands that want to draw brand awareness, but I see it mainly promoting local business-specific events. For example, a university that prides itself on its football team can create a geofilter surrounding the game, have it displayed the day of the game and spark engagement in the digital landscape via Snapchat by targeting the university’s students and alumni.
Snapchat doesn’t create web content, of course, so to leverage this for SEO, I recommend reaching out to local news stations about the event and promoting the Snapchat Geofilter in the process.
Garnering links from these local news stations will help increase a website’s credibility which, over time, will strengthen search engine positioning. Additionally, it will likely also increase local traffic to ther site, which will ultimately increase the likelihood of conversions.
If you get enough engagement, you can further your SEO strategy by requesting that the audience save their Snapchats with the geofilter and enter them to win a caption/random/best photo contest through a social media outlet like Facebook or Twitter.
Local SEO strategy: Elevate your local brand by answering industry-relevant questions within the expertise of your business.
How to use: Though not a completely fresh digital source, Quora has revolutionized the concept of complete personalization through an open community forum. The site allows users to follow specific topics of interest and view questions people are asking about those specific topics. It also provides an outlet for the user to ask questions by seeking the help and responses of the Quora community.
Consumers want to engage with personalized content. Local brands that can deliver personalization throughout each step of the buyer’s journey have a higher likelihood to convert a lead — and ultimately drive more traffic to the site to breed a stronger SERP position.
The first step to building a local presence on Quora is building out your profile. Follow topics that relate to your brand, and answer questions that you have expertise in while also linking back to a page on your site or blog that expands on the question asked.
This strategy also drives your content creation because you are able to see what people are interested in regarding your industry. You can then tailor content on your site to speak to trends in questions you see on Quora.
Just like any social platform, you won’t want to inundate with branding, but occasionally you can find questions regarding your industry that you can use to drive traffic back to your local website.
Hone your opportunities
Social networks can be difficult to integrate into a local brand SEO strategy. However, with careful thought, you might find an interesting and engaging way to use such platforms to further your conversion goals.
Keep in mind that new social networks turn over quickly, as most have an inherently short life cycle. Yet this natural ebb and flow allows for immense opportunity in local branding. When new networks arise with unique capabilities, be the first company locally and within your industry to capitalize on the excitement of a new digital service.
By discovering and exploring these opportunities, you may find an entirely new audience that had previously gone unrealized.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.