Social Media Optimization tips to build your international presence
Social media should be a part of any digital strategy targeting foreign markets, and your company should harness its power to expand internationaly. The true power of social media comes from the ability to create a community around your company and create digital conversations with your target customers and clients at an international level. Whether it’s using a blog to showcase your company culture, or using Facebook for a more personal interaction, at Openvalley we will harness that power for you.
Under traditional SEO practices, a normal company would have no chance at ranking for highly competitive keywords in international markets. The other sites have been down in the trenches too long; it’d be nearly impossible to knock them off their SERP pedestal without years of campaigning.
Social SEO makes it easier for SMEs compete in this overcrowed internet. A tweet that receives a viral-size number of retweets can mean as much as a link from a top-ranking site; a +1 from a friend can send your site to the top of the social SERPs for that friend’s entire network. Here are some social media tips we would like to share with you:
1. Make it easy to share
It’s to your advantage to make it easy to share and “give up” a little control. The benefits of allowing people to share your content are great. From gaining links to driving traffic to your site and so much more, making it easy to share only helps you meet your end goals.
If you don’t allow your content to be shared, you run the risk of another company, platform, or site being known and becoming the authority for your “idea.” Include social sharing and follow buttons on your site, your blog….
2. Start producing great content
Simply updating a status message or just tweeting a link to your site won’t do much for your efforts. Try posting great content on your site and share on social media to engage with users. Video, images, infographics, or just blog posts are all great content ideas. Whether it’s a post about new product or one video that explains how to use it, it’s a piece of content that can get visitors to your site and keep them there longer – enticing them to browse and know your company better.
Offering an exclusive deal for Facebook or Twitter fans or exclusive content only able to be viewed by fans is something that some brands have found to work well – no matter the time of year. Think about what types of exclusive content you can provide to your fans or followers that they’d be interested in. Is it a coupon only for them, or maybe an infographic or game ?
Relevant, valuable content will turn a stranger into a fan and a fan into a customer. To make an impact on your ideal audience, you must share and give. Focus your content on the core social outlets that matter most to your brand.
Social content is different than traditional content. Today you must create content that educates, entertains and empowers. And when you deal with an international audience, content has often to be adapted to the local culture as well as translated.
3. Create separate social media accounts for each market
If you take the time to create separate accounts and manage them locally, your account will have a more personal feel. Twitter has turned into the definitive vehicle for businesses wishing to spread their message. But there’s one caveat: however tempting it may be to create one account and tweet from it in different languages, bear in mind that your followers in Italia, for instance, will not have a clue what your German tweet means – and vice versa. An individual approach can work wonders!
4. Focus on shareable content
Social shares have always worked in a SEO’s favor by granting us endorsements similar to direct inbound links. Now, shares have another benefit: if someone (even someone that doesn’t follow you on any social media sites) shares your content, the sharer’s entire network may see the post by searching for relevant material in Google Social Search.
In addition to getting a nice boost in your rankings, you’ll also have access to that power user’s network.
5. Translate but don’t forget to localize
Automated translation tools may be free and help you to understand foreign websites but as far as business is concerned, you can’t afford to take the risk of using them to communicate with your customers. Even Google Translate’s creators have conceded that it is imperfect in rendering the nuances of discourse, be they Facebook updates or quick thoughts Twitter style. It certainly pays to invest a little in hiring in-country native-speaking Social Media editors who would be switched on about local social media intricacies.
6. Be omnipresent
Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Google+… if you’re serious about wanting to establish a solid social media presence, you should engage on all fronts. Don’t forget that the communication channels popular in the English-speaking countries are not the be-all and end-all of social media. Renren or Sina Weibo in China, Yandex or VKontakt in the Russian-speaking world, Orkut in Brazil, and a host of hyper local social networks… if you’re looking to expand to the respective countries, establishing a presence on these social media platforms is probably your best bet.
7. Take into account the country demographics
Don’t forget that social media usage varies from one country to another. Make sure that you are using the right social media: Twitter or Facebook will not be very effective in China or in Russia, and you will have to work with other players such as Sina Weibo, Renren or Tencent or Vkontacte for the Russian market.
8. Optimize and integrate all your digital assets
If you create a video, make sure you create a transcript, and that it is translated for the market you are targeting. Make it easy to share, and provide some content around the video so that when both users and search engines encounter your digital assets they can relate it back to the idea, story, or concept you’re trying to relate. The same goes for any photos, audio pieces, or infographics.
Titles, descriptions, tags, and even links go a long way to optimizing your digital assets as well, so plan ahead for all of your content, not just the written form.
Integration across multiple platforms whether its social media, SEO, e-mail, or offline is just as important as creating the content for a particular marketing medium.
9. Fine tune your social media strategy at a country level
You need to ask some basic questions: Who am I speaking to? What do they want from me online? Which social media tools are they using in the market we are targeting ? How will this strategy evolve? It’s not tools or tactics or having the perfect definition for either one. It comes down to these basic ideas that are all about tying social media to your businesses needs. What is my goal with social media marketing? What do I really want to achieve?
What are different activities or behaviors on social media that could help me achieve it?
How can I encourage this behavior?
10. Use social media data to find your key influencers, outline your media plan, and develop your messaging. By listening to customer conversations on social media, companies can learn a lot of information about their competitors and industries that will help them better craft their marketing programs.
11. Keep an eye on trends
Use tools like Google’s Keyword Research Tool to gain insights into seasonal trends of different words and concepts. But with content creation and integration you need to take it to the next level. Use Google Trends and Insights in each country of your interest to help you keep an eye on what’s hot.
Along with that, you can use Twitter for trending topics. Being able to adapt and relate your content to these trends can help drive traffic to your content. With the search engines now incorporating social media platforms into their results and showing what’s shared for keywords that are searched upon, keeping up on the trends becomes even more important to content creation.
12. Put a new emphasis on building relationships & increasing followers: interacting is key
Social media is all about interacting and engaging with one’s audience so don’t just broadcast your message – create discussions, encourage conversation, and you’ll soon see your social media influence take off.
Everything you write or share can pop up in your followers’ search results – even if they’re not a member of the social site you shared the link on. The relationships we forge online now have a huge impact on our search results.
Every new follower you get on Google+ may see your brand’s site in his or her SERPs in the future, so it’s in your best interest to ramp up your follower count. Host a giveaway (entrants must follow you on G+, for example), increase your outreach efforts, or give away an eBook exclusively for your followers.
13. Consider the timing of your social media posts – time of day, time of week, and time of year. If you’re posting to your Facebook Page in the mornings but your audience isn’t looking until after office hours, your updates are lost in the mix. If you work for a seasonal brand (think swimsuits), how do you need to better tailor your content during the summer vs. the “on-season” of the Southerm hemisphere?. All this depends heavily on the country targeted as well as on the local culture.
14. Ramp Up Your Google+ Presence
Google’s searchbots have long relied on humans to endorse relevant and useful links. A few years ago, Google upped the human ante by introducing Google Social Search.
Google recognizes that one personal endorsement from someone we know easily outranks endorsements from 10,000 strangers. The same applies for a trusted authority: a blogging link shared by a famous blogger carries more weight than something a casual user shares.
So as a result, we have Google Social Search: meaning a site can jump from #30 to #3 in the SERPs just because someone in your Google+ circles shared the link.
From authorship to +1s to shares to circle numbers, Google is injecting social G+ results into nearly every Google Social search. Jumping to a first-page ranking solely because someone put you in a G+ circle? That’s a benefit no site can afford to ignore.
15. Start Posting Your Articles Immediately On Social Media
tweeting your content actually helps your content get indexed faster (especially vital if you’re posting time-sensitive material). Set your articles to automatically post on Google+, LinkedIn, etc. and you’ll get indexed even quicker.
16. Use “Rel=author” & “Rel=me” Tags To Link Your Work To Your Name
Searchers can now see thumbnails of the person who authored the article they’re about to read. If they liked what they read, they can simply return to the SERP and click “More by ________” to see the author’s entire catalogued body of work.
To clue Google in that you’re the author, you’ll need to use “rel=author” tags in your posts.
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Whatever your business, or your interests, contact today Openvalley to develop your company’s presence on social medias, and to create an interaction between you and your potential customers in the countries you are targeting.