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Using social mediaUsing social media

The purpose of this article is to show you how to use social media to your advantage and the techniques used to get your messages and updates out there.

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Social media is massive all across the world. If something was to happen in America, you could find out about it on social media before it even hit the radio or TV stations. Social media is not to be under estimated!

Likewise, if you are promoting your business, a special offer or generated a buzz about something then a well-timed social media update can stimulate interest and bring instant targeted traffic to your website.

Setting up a social media account on different platforms is also very beneficial to you and your business' brand, as the chances are you'll start ranking in Google, multiple times, for your major keywords or brand name on these blogs, forums & bookmarking sites etc. This is a good idea as the more times you appear on the first page of the SERPs the less your competitors do.

It goes without saying that you should have at least, a Facebook page, a Twitter account and an official blog setup for your business. If not, go and do it now! 

  • Create a Facebook page here. Choose "Company, organisation...".
  • Create a Twitter account here.

Social mentions

Once people take a liking to you or your website, you will find that they start doing the following. All these methods leave a social mention about you or a link back to your site.

  • Liking your pages on Facebook
  • Tweeting your page and website
  • Google +1ing your pages
  • Making other references to you on different social media/bookmarking platforms such as  Digg, Redit, Squiddo & Delicious etc

Social media promotion

Social mentions are the best kind of promotion as it is all natural and real! However, some companies out there will, for a price, promote your site on the aforementioned list using many different accounts that they own, making you look more popular than you actually are.

All said and done, this is the kind of stuff that will get you ranking higher in Google in the future as they will be using the +1 data to order search results.

If you ask me this is heavily flawed and is wide open to abuse, and to be honest, it would be impossible to police too! Let's see what happens shall we? Will people start ditching Google search and move over to the next best thing, Bing?

So, are you keeping up with the times and implementing the social media buttons on your site? Links to each one are below.

Google +1 button

Twitter button

Facebook button

An example of these buttons in action can be seen at the top of this page. Please bear in mind though that the implementation of these buttons will slow your website load times down a little. See the article on Page Speed for more information on this.

Time is critical

If you are using social media for self-promotion, you need to understand your target audience and when they are active.

If you are targeting teenagers for example with the latest line of sports trainers, you'll probably want to target them after around 4pm weekdays and early Saturday morning, to ensure your updates get maximum exposure. There is no point updating your social media accounts at midnight as nobody will see it.

Also bear in mind that if you are targeting people in different countries then the time difference will be an important factor. To make it easier targeting different countries, you can schedule your social media updates with scheduling software such as:

You can create a whole week's worth of updates all scheduled at different times of the day for maximum exposure. If you are a retail site selling a product that is required worldwide, try scheduling your updates based on different time zones and see if your orders start taking off in different countries. There is an article on content dissemination here with more information on automating social media.

You can monitor goal conversions and look at the country from which the customer visited from in Google Analytics.

Did you know that social updates on Facebook and Twitter have a viewable life of about 3 hours? After that they get pushed down that much that they will be virtually invisible.

Twitter papers

Did you know that once you have your twitter account setup, you can further disseminate your tweets by setting up Twitter Papers? These basically take your Twitter feed and other information and create online papers for people to read. This gets you more exposure on different sites and more links that ultimately come back to you.

Examples of some twitter papers are:

Hosted blogging platforms

There are many blogging platforms out there that will allow you to sign up for free and create an account.

You can use these blogs for an official company blog or just set various ones up and get different areas of your business updating them and also linking to each other and back to your own sites. This will increase links to your site as well as the all import root domain links as well.

Below you will see a list of blogging platforms where you can create an account.

Micro blogs

Micro blogging is a little like updating your Twitter account. You are limited to 140 characters so the term blog is somewhat misleading as you can't really get into much of  a debate with anyone, well you could, but it would get very laborious and time consuming very quickly.

Below is a list of micro blogs that you can use for status updates.

Is somebody following you?

If you have Facebook like & Twitter follow buttons on your webpages then you might want to be able to see how many people are actually liking you and spreading the word.

Simply replace my website address below with yours to get figures for your website. You can even put a page name on the end and get stats for any given page on your website too!



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