“4 Uses for Social Media” is a 4-part series that you don’t want to miss, covering professional branding, networking, content, and search engine optimization (SEO) and the social media apps that work with them.
SEO, Hashtags, Tags
SEO, hashtags, tags, links, images are all ways for people to find you in the vast space of the web. It enables people to Google, finding you. if you build a presence using those tools, people are more likely to find you whether they know you or your field. The more of these tools you use across your social media for professional branding, the more likely your current network builds and your future career moves.
Like the song, What’s SEO, hashtags, tags, links, images got to do with it?
SEO and Tags
SEO refers to Search Engine Optimization, and it is how people find you in website listings. If you Google your professional brand tag, how far down the Google list do you show up? This is how visible you are to those looking for your service, product, or brand.
SEO is very important for blogs. Because of it, you focus on a few key words, or tags, that frequent your blogs and professional brand. It isn’t an easy or quick task, but if you use tools such as, Google Trends, answerthepublic.com, and SEO Tools & Search Engine you make life a little easier for yourself. These tools allow you to punch in words to see how well they are trending. If they aren’t trending, the tools will either show you topics around your words that are trending or show you another word close to your blog or brand topic. You may also purchase apps, such as plugins in WordPress, to do the work for you.
Along the same lines as tags are hashtags which is a # sign immediately followed by a keyword, like #writer. You use them to categorize your posts on social media such as Twitter, sometimes Facebook and LinkedIn, and other apps. If you want to network with nonfiction writers, you search #nonfiction or #NF to find your peeps. They find you, as well. If you want to find out which hashtags are trending, start typing in your word and look down the list that pops up, or use tools such as, Social Mention to search author, topic, or topic across web; Union Metrics to search topic, author, handle, or name to see how many reached by those tweets; or Google Trends for insights into traffic and geographic visit patterns good for news topic. Top Hashtag Tracking Tools gives you a rundown on available hashtag tools.
Make hashtags part of your professional brand. Develop a hashtag, representing you, to add to posts or tweets. You hope with time it catches or that it propagates among your followers when they like or retweet your post. It is best to limit your hashtags per post to only a few per post and per your social media footprint.
In Forbes article, Big Mistake: Making Fun of Hashtags Instead of Using Them, they write, “tweets that contain one or more hashtags were 55% more likely to be retweeted than those that did not include them … a hashtag immediately expands the reach of your tweet beyond just those who follow you, to reach anyone interested in that hashtag phrase or keyword.”
For more on hashtags take a look at Kevan Lee in his Buffer article, How to Use Hash Tags: How Many, Best Ones, and How to Use Them.
Links from one of your blogs to another and links to popular, well-regarded sites build your Google ranking. In Google searches you are more likely to come up alongside a website like Forbes, if you link to their posts. The more embedded links to other sites the more likely you see traffic routed to your site.
Images and Videos
Adding images that are labeled for reuse from Google Images or videos from sites such as YouTube also have data that act like links. Insert them both because they are interesting, and they generate traffic. Intriguing photos are always better than clip art for the quality of your site.
Sum All is an analytics tool to find rankings, search engine words, links, and keywords.
Blogging not only offers the opportunity for you so show your expertise, but it offers the opportunity to get your personal brand out through SEO, tags, and links that draw Google search engines and other bloggers to you. WordPress allows you to link to your Facebook and LinkedIn sites, so your posts are broadcast over your social media apps. Links to the blogs may also be copied to share on other social media apps.
Using WordPress need not be overwhelming as you see in this short tutorial, Posting WordPress Blogs. Plus, remember the audience and content we discussed in Pt 3 Content and Facebook. How often you blog depends on how much you want to get out of it. Every week is optimal, but 2-3 times a month still nets you value.
You may use blogs such as Medium and Linkedin to post, but WordPress is most often used for a good reason—it is easy to set up and use and it connects to most other bloggers. It is a way to build your professional brand. Fauzia Burke in her online marketing book, “Although blogging may not provide instant gratification, it should be viewed as an investment in your career, brand, and future … Blogging is a gateway to building your personal brand. Each blog offers the opportunity to share your knowledge and expertise, and build a following. With a little bit of focused effort, a plan, and allotted time, you can become known as an expert or thought leader in your industry” (80, 81).
All those tags, links, and SEO connect your social media apps to establish an online presence through content for your professional brand that, in turn, enriches your networking. The best part is there is no last say in social media. The interactions and possibilities are endless.
Burke, Fauzia. Online Marketing for Busy Authors. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.: Oakland. 2016