Online Opportunities to Increase Branding and SEO with Staff Social Media Profiles
Think about using staff profiles as part of your social media army. If done properly, it can help branding, reputation management and SEO for a company website.
In the 2016 SE rankings landscape, it is not the quantity of backlinks to a website, but the quality that count.
How to Use Your Staff’s Social Media to Your Brand’s Benefit
Social media networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and Facebook all have huge domain authority in the eyes of Google and other search engines. Linking from a site with high domain authority will send some of that authority through to the linked domain.
This does bring with it branding and reputation issues that need to be addressed through policy documents but, done properly, it can massively increase a company website’s search engine ranking and brand visibility.
Staff social media profiles are a valuable resource when used strategically. Training for best practice and a company policy for staff social media is vital to ensure you get this right and make the most of employee SM profiles.
There are 3 main ways that staff social media profiles can benefit a business:
Taking advantage of employee social and professional networks, can give your brand a lot more visibility without the added expense of paid ads and SEO/SEM/SMM professional packages.
On top of this, a staff member’s personal career brand is well worth consideration and maintenance. Co-branding is a great way to bring new markets to a company.
Often staff members will come to a new job with existing social media profiles with connections from within the new employer’s industry. Even without targeted contacts, the added brand visibility, without extra advertising costs, can be very useful.
Linking from and to social media profiles, by staff, not only sends quality backlinks to a company website, but it can also send traffic and social signals.
While social signals do not have a direct effect on a site’s SE rankings, they can increase referral traffic to the site. This traffic often has a lower bounce rate and is usually more likely to be engaged because it’s coming from known contacts already interested in the topic/page.
Increased traffic and engagement can help a site’s search engine ranking position (SERP).
Strategies to take advantage of staff social media profiles for SEO:
– Encourage staff to share company blog posts on their social media networks.
– Consider having certain staff post or blog strategically to establish themselves as “experts”. This should not just be about link building but can often result in good backlinks.
– LinkedIn and Google+ are excellent places for staff to share longer posts on topics relevant to a business’ industry.
– Twitter is a great place to share short posts, increase visibility and branding as well as engagement with potential and existing customers. Google is now ranking relevant Tweets in their search results more than ever before (within weeks of the deal between Google and Twitter, in 2015, Google increased the number of tweets it was indexing by over 460%).
– Using hashtags and @symbols strategically can also help search engine rankings.
– If an employee has their own blog or website that is related or relevant to your own site or blog, the staff member may be happy to link back to your site.
– Include staff social media profiles, such as LinkedIn, in work email signatures.
– Include team pages on your website and link out to individual staff social media profiles. Encourage staff to link back to their company profile page from their own social media profiles. Make sure staff have profile images that are professional and up to date.
– Encourage staff to curate content and write fresh, keyword optimised content for your company blog. This helps to keep your blog content fresh and can bring different perspectives to your site.
On top of this, it can encourage a wider variety of traffic to your blog. Staff are very likely to share their own blog posts widely among their own social networks and this can help to increase traffic, search rankings and conversions.
For link building to work in this way, staff need to understand how linking works. It’s important they understand not to overuse anchor text. They also need to be wary of linking from spam or penalised websites can actually damage a company website.
Staff Training is Essential
Training in negative SEO and its impact on a site needs to be covered before you encourage staff to link their social profiles with their employment place and business. Try to encourage only branded or naked links (eg. Your Company or http://yourcompany.com).
While it is important to maintain good customer service, there are times when negative reviews are put online. The best way to deal with these reviews is to “bury” them beneath positive news, reviews and profiles.
Another bonus of well optimised staff social media profiles, is that it can help to take over the entire first page of search results with information and listings about your business and employees.
Increase Branding Opportunities with Social Media
Staff social media profiles can be a great way for a brand to take over the first page of Google’s search results for a brand.
This not only helps with reputation management but it also helps to keep a brand visible.
An excellent article (and source for this post) about using staff social media profiles to increase company visibility and branding: http://www.fastcompany.com/3053233/hit-the-ground-running/how-to-turn-your-entire-staff-into-a-social-media-army