What Is Social SEO?


What Is Social SEO?

Social SEO Strategies:

Mastering the Art

of Social SEO

a publication of


Over the past decade, social media

has evolved considerably. From

its emergence with Friendster and

MySpace, to its massive explosion

with Facebook, Twitter, and countless

other networks, social media is now

a part of everyday life for people all

around the world today.

Not surprisingly, the search engines

want to capitalize on the social

signals produced when users

participate in social networks.

The challenge for today’ search

engine marketer is to learn how to

optimize for those signals, and to

integrate them into a SEO program.

This eBook is designed to provide

search marketers with the

framework needed to build and

execute an efficient and effective

social SEO campaign.

We hope you find this social SEO

eBook of value — please let us

know what you think. And be sure

to share it with your personal and

professional networks.

We would also like to thank our team

of authors for their vast knowledge,

innovative thinking, and unwavering

dedication to this project. For more

digital marketing insights from our

authors, please visit the Catalyst



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Contributing Authors

Andrea Caruso - Organic Search Manager

Andrea Caruso is an Organic

Search Specialist for Catalyst.

She has over eight years of

marketing experience, and

holds a master’s degree in

Internet Marketing from Full

Sail University. She has done

organic search optimization

for a variety of industries,

including higher education

and CPG, but also enjoys blogging, online communities,

and social media. She is originally from Orlando, Florida,

but currently resides in Boston, with her husband, daughter,

and cat.

Garth O’Brien - Organic Search Director

Garth O’Brien is an Organic

Search Director for Catalyst.

With a decade of experience,

Garth manages all aspects of

search engine optimization

(SEO), social media, and

online marketing and online

marketing for various B2B

and B2C clients. In addition,

he has experience in paid

search, and extensive community management including

engagement, recruitment, retention, and operations.

Jason Corrigan - Organic Search Manager

Jason Corrigan is an Organic

Search Manager for Catalyst.

He works with Fortune 1000

companies, overseeing the

planning and execution

of custom SEO and social

strategies for various brands.

Jason got his start in SEO

through sales, selling local

directories and social

media packages throughout the Albany capital district.

In addition, he has worked in content marketing and

distribution with hundreds of businesses across the US and


Clayburn Griffin - Organic Search Director

Clayburn Griffin is an Organic

Search Director at Catalyst.

He is an Internet marketing

guy with an entrepreneurial

mind who enjoys coming up

with ways to use technology

effectively for business. His

background in the crossroads

of social media and SEO

has helped him to provide

comprehensive digital strategies to Catalyst’s clients.

Previously he was a Social Marketing Director working on

brands such as Sony Music and HarperCollins.

Dan Cristo - Director of SEO Innovation

Dan Cristo is the Director of

SEO Innovation for Catalyst.

He is responsible for keeping

a pulse on industry trends

and ensuring Catalyst is

prepared for the future. He is

a New-Jersey-based industry

veteran with over 10 years

of experience leading SEO

strategies for some of the

world’s largest brands. A fullfledged

geek, Dan takes programming, chess, and table

tennis very seriously.

Matthew Proctor - Organic Search Manager

Matthew Proctor got his

start in Internet marketing by

opening a freelance copywriting

and SEO consulting

practice in 2007. As an

Organic Search Manager

for Catalyst, he creates

SEO strategies and provides

content marketing, social

media, link building, and

overall search marketing recommendations for Fortune

1000 brands. He is a member of the editorial team and

regularly contributes to the blog.


Mastering the Art of Social SEO © 2013, Catalyst Online LLC.

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Table of Contents

Part I: Understanding Social SEO ................... 5

Introduction ..................................... 5

Chapter 1: What Is Social SEO ..................... 6

Chapter 2: How Social SEO Works ................... 7

Chapter 3: Why Social SEO Matters ................. 8

Chapter 4: Preparing for Your Social SEO Campaign ... 9

Part 2: Making Social SEO Happen ................ 10

Chapter 5: Learn the Three Pillars of Social SEO ...... 11

Chapter 6: Define Your Social SEO Strategy .......... 17

Chapter 7: Select Your Social SEO

Performance Metrics ............................ 19

Chapter 8: Build Your Social SEO Team ............. 21

Chapter 9: Set-up Your Social SEO Campaign ....... 23

Part 3: Tactics and Tools .......................... 25

Chapter 10: Social Network Tactics ................ 26

Chapter 11: Social Network Tools and Automation ... 33

About Catalyst .................................. 36


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Part I:

Understanding Social SEO


In July of 2011, Google+ launched. Soon the social platform was hailed as the first legitimate threat to Facebook.

More than a year later, Facebook is still going strong, and Google’s new social platform continues to

develop. Today it boasts over 400MM users. And while its steady growth is impressive, Google+ is significant for

an entirely different reason.

Google+ represents a key turning point for the search industry. The platform brought more personalization to

web search than ever before. In doing so, it signaled a fundamental shift in how search engines present results

— one where your search results are determined as much by the people you know, as by the sites that have the

most links. In essence, Google+ created social search. Now all the major search engines strive for personalization

and rely on social signals to improve their results.

But this book isn’t about Google+. It’s about how the desire to provide better/more personalized search results

— combined with the social dynamics of the web, and the avalanche of content generated online — have

ushered in a new era in search: social search engine optimization (social SEO). This book is intended to help

marketers respond to this change by explaining how social SEO works, the implications it holds, and the tactics

needed to capitalize on it.


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Chapter 1:

What Is Social SEO

Social SEO is the application of social signals to the search engine results. But what does that mean What, exactly,

is a social signal And how does it impact the search results

Social signals are produced by individuals’ online activity. Each time you share some content, +1 an article,

Like an image on Facebook, etc., it creates a social signal. The search engines use these signals to help them

determine the quality/depth of an online relationship between individuals.

But how do social signals actually impact

the search results

Understanding the quality of an online relationship

between individuals helps the search engines deliver

better/more personalized results. Based upon their

assessment of an online relationship, the search engines

then determine if a particular piece of content would be

more relevant to an individual. If so, they give it priority in

the search results.

Let’s take a look at a simple example to illustrate:

Widgets R Us (WRU), sells widgets. The WRU website is

a leading authority on widgets and is already ranking

well. They have social profiles on Facebook, Twitter,

and Google+. Their connections on these social profiles

(fans, Likes, circles, etc.) include other trusted companies

dealing in widgets, industry experts on widgets, brand

advocates, and widget fans.

The company grows, and in addition to their existing

widgets, they release a brand new red widget. They post

content about the new and improved red widgets on

their website, and want it to rank well in the search results.

So what do they do They push links to social profiles to

leverage their connections and expand the reach of their


Since WRU is selling widgets, and is already a leading

authority, their push to social profiles builds a cascade of

online commentary from other reputable folks connected

to the widget industry. All that activity sends a signal to the

search engines. It basically says to them, “Hey, you may

want to check-out all this new widget-buzz, and consider

indexing and ranking it in the search results, particularly for

people who are logged into Google and are connected

to these brands, experts, fans, and/or advocates via

Google+, Facebook, or Twitter.”

That, in a nutshell, is a social signal. And social SEO is about

optimizing for those social signals.

Social Signal

Widget experts. Widget fans

& WRU advocates




Widgets R Us



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Chapter 2:

How Social SEO Works

Trust matters. Think about how it affects your everyday life. It influences the decisions you make for everything

from a serious health issue to choosing a movie. And the trust dynamic that exists between two people can be

forged over decades or over coffee. But the degree of trust you have in an individual is often determined by the

closeness of the relationship. In other words, intimacy is a strong indicator of trust.

Well, that is exactly the concept behind social SEO.

In fact, it was discussed in Google’s “Social Search”

patent submitted a year before Google+ was released.

The patent reveals that search engines can use the

relationship connections in a social network to better

answer searchers’ queries, and that trust can be

measured by intimacy.

This approach is very different from the earlier search

model of using authority as a measure of trust. In a

document-based world (such as the early days of

the Internet when only web pages existed), trust was

measured by how credible a document was. The

credibility was measured by how many citations (links)

a web page received. This is why link building is such

an important aspect of SEO. Web pages need links to

improve their credibility or “trust” in the eyes of the search

engines. This, in turn, improves their rankings.

But, as the patent states, in a social environment, you

don’t measure trust by authority; instead, you measure it

by intimacy. For example, if a family member recommends

a good restaurant, you’re more likely to believe them than

an anonymous reviewer online. That’s because you know

your family member, and because of that relationship/

closeness, you have trust.

Social search represents considerable opportunity for

search engines because they want to deliver more

personalized search results. But in order to do so, they

need to understand who you know and how well you

know them. Tapping into your online social signals allows

them to do just that.

A quick experiment from one of our team members helps

to illustrate how search engines are trying to understand

online social relationships, how search is changing, and

how social SEO works:

Shortly after Google+ was released in 2011, I received

an invitation from a friend to try out the site. I set-up

dozens of circles, +1’d my favorite sites, and started

a hangout (group video chat) with some friends.

The site and features were interesting, but I failed to

understand its impact… until I did a search.

I had a pharmaceutical client who makes a drug to

treat stroke symptoms. To prepare for an upcoming

presentation, I did a search for “stroke treatment” and

took a screenshot of the search results.

An article on stroke treatment written by a doctor

appeared at the bottom of the first page. I hovered

over the small picture of the author’s face in the list,

and noticed that I could add him to a Google+ circle.

So, I created a new circle called “doctors” and +1’d

the article he wrote.

Then I performed my search for “stroke treatment”

again. This time, the doctor’s article was in the number

one position in my search results!

So what happened What caused the doctor’s listing to

suddenly sky-rocket to the top of the search results

Once the doctor was added to a circle, Google

figured the individual knew him and trusted what he

recommended. Based upon that assumption, they moved

his web page to the top of the person’s search results. But

the increase in the doctor’s ranking wasn’t solely due to

him being added to a circle. His rise to the top spot was

also due to the fact that:

*The * doctor was highly relevant to the individual’s

search; after all, the doctor is an expert in stroke


*The * doctor is highly credible since he actually is a

physician, and his site has many other sites linking to it.

As you can see from this experiment, social SEO leverages

the trust that is passed along in online relationships via

social signals.

At its core, social SEO is about influencing the influencers

to engage with your content, and optimizing for social

signals. As the “well connected” in social environments

interact with your content online, they are, in a sense,

recommending that content to their followers. And it is

that recommendation that can improve rankings at scale.


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Chapter 3:

Why Social SEO Matters

So now that you know what social SEO is, and how it works, you need to understand why it matters today.

Social SEO is important for marketers because search has evolved. Gone are the days where search results

are determined solely by how many keywords are on a page, or how many links a site has. In fact, many SEO

tactics that worked in the past will actually damage your search rankings today.

Instead, the social signal — people talking about your

content on their social profiles — is becoming more and

more relevant to search. In fact, even Matt Cutts, the

webspam guru at Google, acknowledged that social

signals are becoming important. Now search results

are highly personalized to the searcher. They take into

account many data points including who you are, where

you are, who you know, what you like, and where you’ve

been online. In other words, search truly has changed.

Embracing social SEO is key because this trend of highly

personalized search results is growing exponentially

as the amount of data we share about ourselves and

others increases. For example, industry stats indicate that

YouTube members upload 72 hours of video content every

minute. In the same amount of time, Facebook members

share 684,478 pieces of content. Then there is the content

generated on the wildly popular sites like Pinterest, Twitter,

LinkedIn, Google+, Tumblr, not to mention all the blog

posts, emails, text messages, word documents, photos,

and billions of other pieces of content.

Now search engines analyze all this content to better

understand searchers’ queries and the type of results

they prefer. Their desire to provide more personalized

search results — combined with the social dynamics of the

web and the deluge of online content being shared —

underscores the importance of adopting social SEO.

Clearly, social SEO is a game-changer as it can affect

your visibility and rankings in the search engines. Smart

marketers will adjust their strategies to accommodate the

change to ensure their brands achieve maximum visibility.


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Chapter 4:



Preparing for Your Social SEO Campaign

Now that you know what social SEO is, how it works, and why it’s important, the next logical question is, “How

do you prepare to optimize for it”

The answer is to take what we know of traditional SEO,

and apply those principles to the social graph. Think of

it this way: if building authority was done by improving

the quality and quantity of inbound links, then building

intimacy is done by improving the quality and quantity

social connections.

But how do you judge the quality of an online social

connection You do it the same way as you do in real

life. You measure it by how well you know someone, how

deeply you’ve interacted with them, and how much their

interests align with yours.

For example, if you meet someone in person for the first

time, you may know their name, and you may be able

to tell whether you like to be around them or not, but you

wouldn’t say that you trust them yet. And chances are

that you would probably rate the quality of that social

connection as pretty low. In the same way, you might

know the name of a company or brand, and you might

Like it on Facebook or +1 them on Google+, but that

doesn’t mean you necessarily trust them, or that you

would rate that social connection as high quality.

In real life, a deep/quality relationship usually involves

two people spending time together. They hang out, chat,

call each other, ask for one another’s opinions, and share

experiences, etc. Today, all of those things can be done

online. When that happens, they produce the types of

social signals that search engines look for when assessing

how deep a relationship goes online.

To optimize for social SEO, you should start to engage with

your online connections on a deeper level. Doing so will

send important social signals to the search engines that

will translate into earned trust, and help your content rank

better in the search results.

In addition to improving the quality of your online

relationships, you should also strive to gain an

understanding of how each social interaction affects

rankings. Ideally, you want to be able to answer the

following questions:

*What * platforms and networks are most important

*How * much of an impact will a single tweet, Like, or

share have on the rankings

*How * do we get influential individuals to share our


*How * do we measure the impact

Your ability to address these types of questions is key to

developing a solid foundation for your social SEO program

over the next few years. Ultimately, your answers will help

you create a strategy that will determine whether future

algorithm changes will help or hurt your rankings.


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Part 2:

Making Social SEO Happen


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Chapter 5:

Learn the Three Pillars of Social SEO

Now that you understand the basics of social SEO, it’s time to put the pieces together to make it happen. The

first step is creating a solid foundation. That begins with changing your mindset about how you view social

media, social networking, and content creation. Many people tend to think of these core elements in silos, but

that’s a mistake. To fully realize the potential of social SEO, it’s helpful to view these pieces as one ecosystem.


We are all living organisms interacting together in the

digital, non-living world of social networks. Our valuable

thoughts and opinions are shared via tweets, Likes, and

+1s. Those social actions become content that provides

the networks with the social media it needs to fuel their

growth. In turn, social media feeds the individuals on the

networks, and drives more social activity.

But you also need to include the role of search in your

social SEO foundation. Search engines now look to pull

content from websites that have active social profiles that

encourage and sustain participation and communication

with online users. They use social activity such as consumer

dialogue, social shares, and views as a form of credibility. It

helps search engines determine which sites have the best

content to serve to an online user. Given that, you need to

consider how those outside your social ecosystem can find

your presence through search.

From Facebook to Twitter, from YouTube to Google+, one

thing is clear: if you want to get your brand in front of your

target audience online – and beat out the competition

– you need to set-up a great social media optimization

campaign. But how do you make it happen How do you

set-up a social media presence that not only ranks well on

search engines, but also entices your audience to interact

with your brand and continue the conversation with their

friends and followers

To get the job done, you need the three pillars of social

SEO: on-site optimization, social profile optimization, and

social network optimization. Below we’ll explore each:

On-site Optimization

The first pillar in social SEO is on-site optimization. This is

about optimizing your website in order to create the most

exposure for your social presence in the search engines.

Below are some on-site optimization best practices you

should employ:

Connect Your Website to Your Social Assets

It is crucial that your social media optimization strategy

connect your website to your social assets, and link your

social assets to your website. The best way to connect

these properties is by adding official social networking

icons to your site. Just about every social platform has

an official button/icon that directs online users to the

corresponding pages. Make sure that each social property

you participate in is represented on your website with the

appropriate button. For best results, place each button

on every platform that you have, from your main website

to the company blog. Try to include your social buttons

on every landing page within your website. This will ensure

that no matter where your audience is on your site, they

will be able to go directly to your social channels.

Place Social Buttons “Above the Fold”

Place each button

“above the fold,”

preferably in the top right

corner. That way, users

and search crawlers can

easily find them. Ideally,

they should be located

in the header of your site template so they appear in

the same location, in the same size, and using the same

images on every page. However, it is okay to display these

icons in the page footer as a secondary means for your

users to connect.


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Use the Official Social Buttons –

Don’t Redesign Them

While you may be tempted to tweak the social icons to

match the design aesthetics of your website, don’t. It can

confuse people. Remember, your goal is to drive engagement,

followers, fans, and connections. Don’t make it

difficult for people to connect with you. The below image

is a great example of these on-site optimization best

practices in action. The social icons are located above

the fold, and none of the icons have been manipulated

or redesigned. Together, these two elements help a visitor

to immediately find and recognize the social buttons so

they can connect.

Ensure Social Buttons Open in a

New Web Browser Window.

Obviously, social icons need to link directly to their

respective profile page URL. For example, the Twitter icon

needs to link to your Twitter profile URL. However, it is highly

recommended that you have a new browser window

load when a user clicks on a social icon. Otherwise, you

are essentially sending them away from your site, and they

may not return.

Connect Your Blog to Your Google+ Profile

If you have a blog on your site, connect it to your Google+

profile so your profile image will show next to your content

in the search results, as shown in the image below:

Include a Call to Action

Another way to maximize connections is by adding a

simple call to action. Studies have shown that including

an encouraging note — such as “Follow Us” — near your

social profile icons increases their usage. This is also true for

increasing how frequently your content is shared across

social networks.

Add Share Buttons to Every Piece of Content

Whenever you create and publish new content, make

sure that your audience has the ability to share it. Sounds

basic right But you wouldn’t believe how many businesses

don’t realize that they can easily add social sharing

buttons at the end of every piece of content they publish,

whether it’s a video or an article, etc.

Don’t Overwhelm Visitors with Too Many Options!

Include the “Must Haves”

Avoid using too many share

buttons — there is no need

to include one for every

social network under the sun.

Likewise, don’t use widgets like

“ShareThis” that show and hide

dozens of share buttons. Giving

users too many options is a sure

way to confuse and overwhelm

them. Stick with the major social

networks’ official share buttons.

While every social platform might not be appropriate for

your industry and audience, there are a few “must haves:”

Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Every business

should participate in these social outlets due to their

influence in driving search engine rankings and creating

credible, natural links. Learn how you can add the buttons

for these platforms to your digital environment by clicking

the links below:

Use Message Boards to Create a Community

The social media optimization strategy for your company

website should also strive to create an environment that is

conducive for discussion and communication. Fortunately,

message boards are an excellent platform for this type

of dialogue. They allow like-minded individuals to come

together and share their personal experiences. Ultimately,

message boards become an online community for users

to return to again and again. They will also signal to search

crawlers that you are an authority within your industry, and

boost your brand’s visibility in the search engines.

Beyond that, you can leverage message board for your

content efforts. Because social conversations influence

search behaviors, message boards contain relevant

concepts that are emerging in search interest and popularity.

Mine them for the important insights they contain,

and then develop and optimize content that will be easily

found in the search engines.


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Case Study: What Not to Do

The image below was snapped from a public relations

consulting firm website. Kudos to them for adding

social networking buttons to their website so visitors

can connect with them on their social properties.

Be Consistent

Profile optimization will vary depending on the social

network, but they all have common optimization areas

such as those highlighted here. These core areas give you

an opportunity to tell the network and search engines

who you are and what interests you. Be sure that you

provide consistent information across your various social

profiles. This will help you build your overall topic authority

by ensuring that you have a consistent identity on your

website and other online properties.

However, they made three key mistakes in the process:

1. Their social networking icons were located in the

bottom right corner, well below the fold. If their

visitors don’t scroll down, they won’t even know

about the opportunity to connect!

2. The colors of the official social networking icons

were changed to match the design of their

website. Unfortunately, it is the same shade of

gray as their background color. This can make it

confusing and difficult for visitors to connect.

3. When a visitor clicks on one of their social icons,

they are taken to its respective profile page, and

away from their site. As a result, they run the risk

that a visitor may never return to their site.

Instead, they should have had a new browser

window open when a visitor clicks on one of their

social icons.

Social Profile Optimization

The second pillar of social SEO is social profile optimization.

At this point you may be thinking that you’ve got this

covered because your social profiles are already set-up.

But optimization and set-up are very different. Think about

your social properties as digital assets. If you want to get

the most out of those assets, you need to optimize them

for better performance.

So how do you optimize your social profiles Below are a

few best practices to get you started:

Research Your Audience

Research your target audience to learn about their

personal search experience, and understand where they

spend their time online. This will help you determine which

social platforms to target instead of blindly dedicating

time and resources to them. Remember, just because your

teenage kids, the family dog, and even Grandma Agnes

all have a Facebook profile, that doesn’t mean that your

brand should have one too. But perhaps it should – your

research will tell you where your audience is. For example,

if your audience consists of 18-24 year-old males, your

research should tell you to invest with YouTube before

creating a Pinterest profile.

Social Profile Optimization Areas

About: A small chunk of text on your profile where you

can summarize who you are.

Headline: Your name, title, or company name.

Related Websites: A list of links to your other online

properties or profiles.

Interests: A list of interests or things you like.

Profile Image: A main photo of yourself, or company


Asset Gallery: A collection of photos or videos you

have uploaded.

Share Content: Status updates, posts, and links that

you’ve shared with your social connections.

Lists: Groupings of your friends or connections.

On Twitter and Facebook they are called lists, on

Google+ they are called circles.

Leverage Your Keywords

Keywords play an important role in optimizing your social

profiles. Be sure your target terms align with your keyword

strategy and incorporate them into the description

and biography of each of your social profiles. These

descriptions should sound completely natural, as if you

were telling someone about your company face-to-face.

Weaving-in target keywords that sound and appear

naturally will signal to search crawlers that your online

presence is dedicated to maximizing the user’s online

experience, as opposed to trying to manipulate search

engines by cramming in as many keywords as possible.

This will ensure that your online presence is seen as a true

authority. As a result, your visibility in the search results

should improve.


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Earn the Right

Your profile optimization efforts can help you earn the right

to answer searchers’ questions. For example, just because

your company makes sneakers doesn’t mean you have

the right for your content to show-up when someone

makes a query. You must earn that right by showing search

engines that the searcher trusts you, and that your content

is the best possible answer for their question. The first step

in building that expertise is by focusing your profile and its

contents on a small set of keywords that you dominate as

the single authority.

Be a Good Friend

Creating an environment

that encourages dialogue

and peer review is simple

if you follow this rule: Treat

your audience the way you

would treat your own friends.

In other words, be a good

friend. It’s really that simple.

Think of how you would

naturally make yourself available for your friends if they

needed to speak with you at any time. You should strive

to create that same level of availability with social media.

To do so, add your social buttons to as many places as

possible – your website, blog, publications, etc. This will

allow your audience to reach you when they need to.

Be Engaging

Think about the type of topics you would talk about in

a normal conversation with a close friend. Most people

discuss things like the weather, sports, news items, work,

and entertainment. These are the very same topics that

will help you create a dialogue with your audience in your

social efforts. Below are a few engagement ideas:

Share, Share, Share, Share, Share

Every news article that you publish on your blog, every

video that you post on YouTube, every new image,

landing page, and company announcement you make –

all of it should be shared with your social networks. Actively

updating your social media profiles will give your audience

a reason to visit often, and inform the search engines of

your new content. It will help your content get indexed

quickly and efficiently, and in turn, increase your brand’s

overall visibility online.

In addition, every time that you post new content on your

social profiles, your followers and fans may share it on their

own personal profiles, thereby amplifying your original

message. As a result, they can really help you spread the

word! For example, if you have 5,000 followers on Twitter,

and they all have at least 100 followers themselves, think

of the type of “word of mouth” advertising you can

benefit from with just one tweet! Combine this with the

fact that Google crawls and indexes postings from most

social media platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+,

and you are looking at a social media machine that

continuously advances your online authority and visibility in

the search engines.

*Be * controversial. For example, if you’re from the

Boston, Massachusetts area, post something about

the Red Sox and the Yankees, and watch how many

people will jump on the opportunity to comment on


*Be * selfless and provide value. List links that your audience

can benefit from, even if the information isn’t directly

related to your company. Offer tips and advice

on difficult issues that your audience struggles with, but

strive to present a fresh perspective.

*Be * controversial. “Stir the pot” with a contrarian point

of view on a business issue. Check the headlines or

conference agendas for ideas – every industry has

some hotly-debated topics to discuss!

*Be * yourself. Show some personality, and give folks a

chance to get to know you. This will foster trust and

participation. Being all business all the time is boring.

People don’t connect with businesses, they connect

with other people!

*Be * entertaining. Post fun and cool images, videos, and


*Be * timely. Watch the headlines for breaking news in

your space. Follow industry news accounts on Twitter

and blogs in your RSS reader. Use this information to

engage with your audience.

*Be * encouraging. Give a personal shout-out to individual

fans every once in a while to show that you are

interested in your audience. Make them feel special!


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Social Network Optimization

The third pillar of social SEO is social network optimization.

This is about engaging with your online communities so

you can grow your followers, and get them to spread your

branding efforts to their friends and followers! Below are

several best practices that will help you do exactly that:

Strive for Quality vs. Quantity

Clearly, having robust social networks is key for your

social SEO efforts. The bigger your network, the wider your

brand’s reach. But there is more to capitalizing on social

networks than merely amassing a huge following. In fact,

much like link building, sometimes a few highly trusted,

influential people can be a stronger social SEO signal

than many low trust, low influence followers. To get the

most benefit from your social networks for your social SEO

efforts, you need to think quality over quantity. Your goal

should be to grow a targeted and engaged following.

When you develop your social networks in this way, it will

help you spread your content, and in turn, further grow

your following.

Deepen Your Connections

Don’t be deceived by thinking that a follower, Like or

+1 is a relationship. Those actions are the equivalent of

saying, “Yeah, I met them at a party and they seemed

cool.” Create a deeper connection by having one-toone

conversations, video chats, tagging photos, playing

games together, or commenting on shared content, etc.

In doing so, you will begin to establish your credibility

and authority in the eyes of the search engines. This will

improve your ability to get in front of people the next time

they perform a search. The more people you can engage

with deeply in your social networks, the more they will see

you in their search results.

Connect with Influencers

It is not necessary to be in the network of every single

person online. You can instead be part of their extended

network by connecting with influencers. If a searcher has

a question, and no one in their immediate network has a

good answer, the search engines will look to see if anyone

in their extended network does. For example, if you move

into a new neighborhood, chances are that you’ll need to

ask around for some recommendations on places to visit,

the best local establishments, and doctors, etc. If someone

you trust recommends a doctor, you are more likely to go

to that doctor because trust is passed from the person

you asked to the doctor they recommended. Likewise,

when someone recommends a good website or a good

person to follow on a social network, your trust level in the

recommendation is increased.

Be Human

Social networks are designed to connect people with

other people, not companies. Considering that, it is

critical that your brand’s presence on social networks be

portrayed as human. This is important because humans

are very good at building relationships with other humans.

However, they are not good at building relationships

with non-human objects like a billboard, label, or brand.

To help your brand become more human in your social

efforts, give it a face. Brands instinctually want to use

their logo as their profile picture, but that won’t help the

company appear human. People have faces, and if

brands want to connect with people, they need to have a

face as well.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to bring a face to your

brand’s social profiles. If your company’s founder or CEO

is well known, you can use their image. For example,

Mashable uses a photo of their founder, Pete Cashmore,

for their Twitter profile.

Alternatively, you can combine your logo with a human

like Pandora does on Twitter.

Help Others

When you create a new article, video, infographic, or

other form of content, make sure it is meaningful to its

audience and provides value. Strive to create material

that speaks directly to the audience, solves their problems,

and/or answers questions associated with your industry

and services. For example, if your business sells natural

home cleaning products, you may want to develop some

content that addresses a dilemma that many consumers

struggle with today: they want to have a clean, sanitary

home, but they also want to be “green” and not harm the

environment. Your content could provide information on

how your products not only get rid of every inch of dust

and dirt that could possibly exist in a home, but also are

100% natural and earth-friendly.


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Be Active

Creating a social media environment that includes

thousands of fans and followers takes time. However,

actively engaging with them – and delivering value – can

certainly accelerate your efforts. Whether you have a blog

or are uploading videos on your YouTube channel, make

sure your content efforts are both frequent as well

as consistent.

Do Something


Ideally, you want to publish content on a regular basis – if

possible, one new article or form of content per business

day. On a social level, you want to engage with your

followers 4 to 8 times each business day, or about once

every two hours.

Using Search to Engage

Your product or service most likely addresses a specific

need for your customers. Use search to find people

struggling with an issue that your offering can solve. For

example, if your company sells eye makeup, you might

want to search for people who are complaining about

runny mascara from a competitor. Then you can send

them a free sample of your “non-runny” mascara.

Case Study:

A Great Social SEO Model

Samsung Mobile serves as a model for great social

SEO strategies and implementation. The company

consistently ranks as the world’s most socially engaged

brand, with over 800,000 Google+ 1’s, 3.5 million

Twitter followers, over 7 million views on their YouTube

channel, and over 15 million Likes on Facebook!

Their key to social success is determined by their

ability to reach out and speak to their audience in

a way that applies to both the individual and the

masses. From boasting new products and hosting

creative videos that highlight their company, their

products, and attract new customers, to posting

topical questions that relate to the individual,

Samsung has successfully created an environment

where communication between their brand and their

consumers is constantly revolving.

In addition, each one of their social profiles has various

calls to action that lead consumers to their other

social profiles to further engage with, as demonstrated

with their YouTube profile.

Join Groups, Chats, and Hangouts

Every social network has its groups. They can be formal

groups like those offered on Facebook, or informal groups

like Tweet Chats on Twitter, or Hangouts on Google+.

Look around to see what is happening on each network

and get involved. Ask and answer questions. Give away

products and services. Share and re-share valuable,

relevant information.

Share Like Your Social SEO Campaign

Depended on It

People will only allow you to be a part of their network

if you provide them with additional value. Constant

self-promotion is of little value; however, sharing good

content is of great value. Spend time discovering and

sharing unique, valuable content online such as industry

news, expert advice, proprietary research, thought

provoking articles, and original content from your

blog or website.

The amount of content you can share without annoying

followers varies per network. On Twitter you can share

content upwards of 15 or 20 times a day. On Facebook

you’ll want to tone that number down to less than five

times a day, but you can engage in other actives such

as commenting, tagging, or Liking content as much as

you want.


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Chapter 6:

Define Your Social SEO Strategy

In order to fully capitalize on social SEO, you need to create an effective strategy, complete with goals and

objectives. But you might be thinking, “I already have an SEO strategy, do I really need a social SEO strategy

too” The answer is yes!

Using Twitter is not a strategy. Social SEO should be an

integral part of your overall SEO strategy as it is about using

social media to make your SEO more effective. And your

social SEO strategy will guide your team’s use of social media.

Given that, you need to develop a social SEO strategy

and align it with your traditional SEO strategy.

This will help ensure that your time is spent working toward

appropriate goals, and that your efforts fit into the broader

plan. Without it, your team will be unfocused, time and resources

will be wasted, and reporting will be impossible. Be

sure to take the time to set-up a social SEO strategy before

getting started.

Setting Goals

The first thing you need to do to develop an effective

social SEO strategy is to establish your goals. It is critical

to do this early-on as your goals will inform your strategy.

But what types of goals can social SEO actually help you

achieve Your list will most likely include goals like increasing

organic traffic, and using social signals to boost your

rankings and influence personalized search result. But

social SEO has the power to help you achieve many other

goals, including the following:

1. Dominate Search Results for Branded Terms: Social

media profiles are generally great at ranking for your

brand’s name. As a result, they’re a “must” for online

reputation management initiatives as they can help

you dominate the search results page. Instead of

having your website listed as one of the ten results in a

branded query, why not own four of the ten Or six

Or even all ten

2. Extend Brand Exposure: Many social sites like Quora

and other forums rank for search queries, but it may

be difficult to outrank them with your website. Instead,

you can take your brand presence to those sites.

Social SEO can help you find these opportunities.

3. Obtain Links: Links are still extremely important for

traditional SEO. Considering that, adding a social

component to your SEO efforts can greatly improve

your link-building success.

4. Anything: Social media has brought a great deal of

flexibility to the web. That translates into lots of new

and interesting ways to solve whatever SEO problem

you might be struggling with, such as the “blue car”

example below:

How Social SEO Can

Help You Solve Interesting


Imagine that your brand needs to have images of

blue cars show-up when you search for its mascot’s

name (and his name isn’t “blue car”). Sure, you could

put a ton of pictures on your brand’s website, and

mark-up the alt tags with the mascot’s name, but

Google is not going to serve 20 top image results

from the same website. But social SEO can help you

meet the challenge!

To start, you can tap into social media to easily

distribute content on an infinite number of sites.

All you need to do is set-up a few Tumblrs, maybe

some Instagram accounts, a couple of Blogspots,

and some Facebook pages. It’s a lot of work to do

yourself, so get the community involved too. Run

social media promotions that encourage users to

share pictures of blue cars mentioning your mascot

on all their social channels. In addition, do some link

building to the content you and your fans are putting

out there. Then sit back and watch the rankings shift!


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Identifying Objectives

Now that you know what your goals are, it’s time to lay out

your objectives for achieving them. Ask yourself, “How am

I going to reach my goals” Let’s take a look at the many

tactics you can employ to do exactly that:

Increase Social Connections

More connections equals more reach. That means your

actions will affect the personalized search results of more

people. It also means you can get your link-bait in front of

more potential linkers. You can increase your network size

naturally overtime by engaging in a useful and interesting

way. However, you may also gain followers or Likes through

focused promotions. Social media contests are a great

way to grab a lot of new connections. Advertising can

also increase your network size.

Improve Follower Quality

Maybe you have a lot of connections already, or maybe

getting a million Likes isn’t a possibility in your particular

field. In either case, you may want to pursue quality over

quantity. This would require a social SEO strategy that

targets key influencers. Such folks have a wide reach

themselves, or they can get your content distributed, or

they are likely to link to you. Be sure to target your promotion

efforts at the right people. Do so by designing contests

that will engage the appropriate demographic, or use

advanced ad targeting.

Create and Optimize Social Profiles

These are the hubs of your social SEO. Note that if you expect

to lock down several results for branded queries, you

will need some well-optimized social profiles. Make sure

you have the appropriate vanity URLs where available,

and use the right keywords in your profile name. In addition,

be sure to fill out your bio or additional information

with meaningful and SEO-minded content.

Beyond Objectives

In addition to identifying the objectives for your social SEO

efforts, it is also important to include a quantitative goal

for the objective where applicable. For example, if one of

your objectives is to increase your followers, perhaps you

may want to specify doing so at a rate of an additional

200 followers per quarter

But establishing numbers for your objectives can be challenging.

Fortunately, a little market research can help you

determine appropriate targets. Checking out your competitors

is always a good place to start. How many followers

do they have What’s the average number of Likes

their blog posts get Use their numbers to get a feel for

the norm in your industry, and aim to beat them.

Tools such as the Facebook ad creator tool can also help

your market research efforts so you can better specify your

objectives. For instance, by creating an ad and settingup

your targeting options, you could use this tool to see

that there are about 1,105,000 men over the age of 40 in

the United States who Like cars on Facebook. So, if you

are marketing blue cars to older American men, it might

be unreasonable to think that you can get 500,000 Likes.

And remember that Twitter’s network is smaller, so you’d

probably be lucky to find 20,000 followers for your blue car

Twitter page.

Overall, the best thing about social SEO is that it can

provide a solution for every SEO problem. But to tap into

its full potential, you first need to set your goals and

identify your objectives. Then you’ll have a solid social

SEO strategy that is ready for implementation and success.

Be Where the Answers Are

If you can’t get your website to rank for the terms you

want, sometimes you can put your brand (and a link back

to your site) on the pages that do rank. Find out what

these pages are and engage with them. If a forum thread

is holding strong for a keyword that you want to rank for,

then consider posting your information there. Outranked

by a Quora question Answer it with your message.


Set specific engagement frequency objectives to ensure

that you’re participating actively and regularly. Answer

a question every week on Quora. Tweet an old link-bait

piece once a month. Each day send a thoughtful question

or response to a key influencer who isn’t following you yet.


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Chapter 7:

Select Your Social SEO Performance Metrics

After you outline a strategy for your social SEO efforts, you need to make sure that it will get the job done. That

means choosing your performance metrics and doing regular reporting.

Selecting KPIs

Assessing the performance of your social SEO efforts begins

with selecting the key performance indicators (KPIs)

to report on. They should align with your social SEO goals.

What are you trying to accomplish with your social SEO

campaign A good KPI should complement your goals.

For example, if you’re trying to increase organic traffic,

then you’ll definitely want to include organic traffic numbers

as a KPI. In the same way, if online reputation management

is a goal, then perhaps the number of owned

listings on the first search results page for branded queries

should be a KPI.

Since social SEO goals can be diverse, there is no standard

set of KPIs that you have to use. However, there are common

ones you should consider:

Organic Traffic

Social signals should have an impact on your organic

search rankings. Links shared through social networks tend

to get indexed by search engines quicker, and each share

is a quality signal of its own, improving the authority of the


Keyword Traffic (not provided)

Aside from overall organic growth, you’ll want to keep an

eye on the (not provided) referring keyword. This is where

Google dumps keyword traffic that it won’t reveal to you

because the user was signed-in at the time. The fact they

were signed-in means personalized results were possible.

That’s why this number is important to watch. If you’re

doing social SEO right, you should see a noticeable boost

in (not provided) traffic. Keep in mind that other factors,

such as growth of Google+ will impact your (not provided)

traffic. To account for that, factor in the natural growth

trend of (not provided) before your social SEO campaign

got started.

Organic Search Rankings

You’ll want to monitor your search rankings for your

chosen keywords. If you’re using them in your social SEO

campaign, sharing links in keyword-rich context, then you

could very well see an increase in rankings thanks to your

efforts. Or maybe you’re using social profiles to lock-up the

results page for your brand term. Search rankings can be

an important KPI for you.

Google +1 Metrics

You can monitor your +1’s inside Google Webmaster Tools.

This gives you the overall +1’s for your site, the change

in click-through due to a +1 annotation, and how many

impressions are served with a +1 annotation. Google+

should be a large focus of your social SEO strategy, so

these metrics will see movement and be a great indicator

for your success.

Average Shares Per Post

Your on-site optimization and content strategy, which are

part of your social SEO campaign, should improve the

shares (tweets, Likes and +1’s) that your content is getting.

Keep track of these numbers (by network) on each post,

and pay attention to the average. If a post comes in lower

than usual, perhaps the content could have been better.

If you aren’t getting many shares, maybe the share buttons

are not installed properly or are located in a less-than

optimal place.

Social Referrals

To make sure you’re hitting the right areas, it’s important

to keep an eye on the referral traffic from social networks.

You want to make sure that your content isn’t just shared,

but that it is shared by influencers. Check this number in

relation to your average shares per post. Also, you’ll want

to tag either your on-site buttons or your brand’s social

network posts. When you check reporting, you want to be

able to differentiate someone who visited because they

clicked the link you tweeted, from someone who visited

because they clicked a link someone else tweeted thanks

to your wonderful on-page optimization.

Find the KPIs that make sense for your goals, and don’t be

afraid to adjust them if necessary. Social SEO is a flexible,

almost artistic process. It can be a powerful supplement to

a traditional SEO strategy, and should be worked into your

SEO reporting in a useful way.


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Choosing the Right Tools for Reporting

Now that you know your KPIs, you’ll want to have the

proper tools for pulling together the necessary information.

After all, this data will help you judge the success or failure

of your efforts, and help you determine how to alter your

strategy moving forward. Below are a few tips on reporting


Facebook Insights

Facebook Insights will also provide you with great

information on your Facebook Page and the Like button

activities on your website. By adding the fb:admins or

fb:app_id meta tags to your homepage, you can gain

access to important Facebook user behavior happening

on your site.

Google Analytics

Of course, Google Analytics is the best option for on-site

traffic tracking. Combined with Google Webmaster Tools,

Google Analytics can provide the bulk of your reporting

data. But beyond using Google Analytics for your

standard SEO performance metrics, you’ll also want

to take advantage of its new social features under the

“Traffic Sources” tab.

Under “Sources” you can view your social referral traffic

easily by network. This lets you see where your efforts are

paying off the most. You may also find new networks

here that you weren’t aware of, but that are sharing your



Twitter also has analytics available; however, this service

is in beta and a part of their advertising program. You

can verify your domain in a similar way as with Facebook

Insights or Google Webmaster Tools. Then, Twitter will show

you how many tweets your content is getting, the number

of clicks, and even the individual tweets along with their

engagement metrics.

The “Social Plugins” section is also very useful. Here

you can see what social interactions your visitors are

performing on your site.

Knowing your KPIs ahead of time and choosing the right

tools for monitoring them will help you prove the success

of your social SEO effort. This on-going reporting is also

vital to making appropriate adjustments to your strategy

in a timely fashion. The data you’ll be getting back

should be insightful and actionable. Don’t neglect

reporting, or your social SEO will become undefinable

fluff instead of a strategy.


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Chapter 8:

Build Your Social SEO Team

Make no mistake about it, the success of your social SEO campaign greatly depends on the team running it. For

all practical purposes, your team is your campaign, and the difference between the results generated from an

“okay team” and a “great team” can be enormous – potentially 100 times greater.

For example, it is not uncommon for highly talented SEO practitioners to achieve rank for nearly impossible

keywords, and drive traffic and conversion at a level that the average SEO only dreams of. But note that the

potential for the disparity between average and great talent is even more pronounced in social SEO. That’s why

staffing considerations are critical to the initiative. Below are a few you should consider:

Team Structure

While it may be tempting to assign your social SEO responsibilities

to an existing SEO team, it wouldn’t be wise. Given

that they are probably a tad busy already, you wouldn’t

see much of a return from that set-up. Moreover, social

SEO requires a different strategy and different tactics than

a traditional SEO campaign. Ideally, you should have a

dedicated team for your social SEO efforts.

The most basic team structure should consist of two roles: a

manager and a specialist. The manager is responsible for

setting goals, leading strategy, and reporting to the business.

In general, they should have the equivalent of five

years of SEO experience and be very comfortable in the

social media space.

The specialist is responsible for tactical execution. This

person should have the equivalent of two years of social

media experience, and be competent in three core

areas: social network platforms, analytics, and relationship

management. Note that the relationship management

piece is key as this individual needs to actually participate

in the community you are growing on each network. This is

important because search engines are judging you based

on how well your social profiles interact and engage with

your community, not on how well you broadcast content

to them.

Hiring the Right People

The challenge with hiring folks for your social SEO team is

that most traditional SEO practitioners are too technical

to really thrive in the social space. At the same time, most

social media aficionados are not technical enough to really

understand how search engines work. That means you

either need to find the people who possess the right blend

of both skills, or you need to create a team where each

member’s skill set complements the other.

As you consider various candidates for your team, watch

out for the individual who doesn’t practice what they

preach. If they say they can optimize and grow your

Google+ profile, yet their own Google+ profile is empty...

run! In other words, it’s not enough for someone to know

how to optimize a social profile or following. You need a

person who has actually done it.

This is particularly important for social SEO because each

platform has a special community and tactics that require

a unique approach. For example, Twitter has an abundance

of “bots,” or fake accounts that artificially inflate

follower count and engagement, whereas Google+ has

far fewer fake accounts due to Google’s less open API.

You can’t use the same exact tactics that worked on

Twitter to grow Google+ followers. You need to apply the

principles in a different way for each platform.

But beyond looking for technical proficiency and tactical

experience, you should look for passion. Strive to hire

people who are truly excited about the role. With social

SEO, you are essentially paying someone to spend time on

social networks. Many people would love a job that pays

them to spend all day on Facebook! Be sure to use that

“fun” aspect to attract the people who absolutely love

social media. However, watch out for the casual players

who use it as a utility but have no desire to be immersed in

that world 24/7.

Ideally though, your target should be hardcore social

media addicts. Keep in mind that while they are tough to

find, they are easy to spot. These individuals love the competition

of having more followers than their friends; they

try to maximize their impact by using tools to automate

and track; and they create content on a daily basis just

because they love sharing their experiences.


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Assessing the Talent

Whether you are making a direct hire or seeking an

agency for your social SEO efforts, you’ll find that the

individuals who study it the most will rise to the top. The key

then is to gain an understanding of how fascinated they

are with social media and SEO. Below are a few questions

you can use to find out, along with some tips on what to

look for in the answers:

Walk me through your journey using social

networking. Talk about all the platforms you use,

why/when you joined them, and what you like/

dislike about them.

Look for an emotional response to the various networks for

this question. When someone is fascinated with something,

they tend to have strong, polarized feelings about it. For

example, you either love or hate Facebook. If you’re

indifferent about it, then you’re not fascinated enough to

spend time learning about it. And if you’re not going to

study something, then you’re not going to be very good at

using it.

What do you think SEO and social media

will look like in 3-5 years

Technology, and especially the Internet, is changing

rapidly. Five years ago nobody knew about Facebook;

now we’re hiring people to optimize a brand’s presence

on it. See if they mention anything about upcoming sites

and social networks, especially in the mobile space. Sites

like Instagram and Path are already going mainstream

today, and no doubt search engines will look to these

apps as a source for quality signals. Bonus points if a

respondent talks about the convergence of mobile apps

and offline social networks, or if they can theorize about

how human wearable computers and augmented reality

will change social networking as we know it. The crazier

they sound, the more likely they are to be right. Keep in

mind that if your social SEO team isn’t thinking about the

next big shift, your campaigns will always be reactive

instead of innovative.

How often do you write, share photos,

or record videos

Look for specific content-related skills in this answer. This

is important because both search engines and social

networks reward content creators, not content consumers.

If your team isn’t able to create content, you’ll be

standing still on the social SEO treadmill. Every member of

your team should have some content creation strength,

whether it’s writing, photography, or shooting video. If a

potential candidate has none of these skills, you’re better

off going with someone else.


The talent you need for your social SEO efforts is highlyspecialized

– they need to understand both SEO and

social media. Because of that, they are in great demand,

and depending upon their experience, they can

command six-figure salaries.

Onward Search, an SEO recruiting

firm, developed an infographic

that covers the average SEO salary

ranges across the United States.

While the data is from 2011, and is

specifically for SEO, not social SEO,

the breakdown should give you a

general sense of how much it might

cost to hire a team. Again, you’ll

want to hire at least a manager and

a specialist to manage your efforts.

Agency vs. In-house

Alternatively, you may want to hire

an agency to handle your social SEO

initiative. Doing so will certainly spare you the hassle of

trying to secure such highly-specialized talent. Since an

agency already has experienced talent onboard, they

will usually have a more up-to-date knowledge base on

training, best practices, and new tactics. The one potential

downside of hiring an agency is that you have less control

over who is on your team.

The agency fee for the social SEO services provided will

vary by shop, but could actually cost less than hiring an

internal team, especially once you consider all the costs

associated with taking-on and maintaining that staff. In

fact, according to the research above, salaries for SEO

positions are higher for in-house roles than for agency


At the end of the day, it really comes down to the level

of talent and effort your team is willing to put into the

campaign. If the best team resides within an agency,

then that’s the team you should hire. If your organization

can attract, manage, and retain superior talent at an

acceptable cost, then an in-house team is your best


Remember, a talented social SEO has the potential to

drive 100 times more traffic than a mediocre one. Spend

the time, energy, and resources necessary to put together

the best team upfront, and the rest of the campaign will

fall into place much easier.


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Chapter 9:

Set-up Your Social SEO Campaign

To create the most success for your social SEO effort, take the time to carefully set-up your campaign. When

you do so, be sure to address key areas such as policies, access, planning, resources, and costs. Below are a

few tips on each:

Create a Social Media Policy

Proper planning is key for social SEO efforts, especially

when you consider the potential reach of your initiative.

For example, a poorly thought out tweet or Facebook

status could easily cause an adverse reaction and

damage your brand. To prevent something like this from

happening, make sure your social media policies are

up-to-date. This may include compliance training for

individuals responsible for managing your social properties.

If you do not yet have a social media policy in place, look

into developing one immediately.

Secure Access

Beyond having a solid social media policy, you also

need to secure access to your social accounts. Take a

quick inventory of the social profiles your organization

has created, and make a list of who has administrative

privileges to manage them. At a minimum, your team

should have access to your Google+, Facebook, Twitter,

and YouTube accounts. Note that if an agency controls

your accounts, make sure you gain administrative access

as quickly as possible in case you need to update

passwords or restrict access in the future.

Create a Content Plan

Proper campaign set-up also requires you to develop a

content creation plan. The first step in doing so is to identify

who will create your content. Fortunately, you have a

few options. You can source it internally, which means

either hiring a writer, or spreading the content creation

responsibility across your marketing team. Or you can hire

a creative or social agency to create the content for you.

Alternatively, you can use a variety of online vendors that

specialize in content creation such as http://skyword.com.

Have Diverse Content

Your content plan should also outline the various topics

you plan to cover, along with the different forms of

content to be developed. If you’re not sure what type of

content to create, consider the following approach as a

general guide: 25% original content; 25% roundups (Top 10

lists); 25% refreshed content (older content that you rewrite

with a new angle); and 25% guest contribution. Ideally,

you should have a good mix of text, infographics, and

videos. This will ensure that your content can spread on

text based networks like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn,

and on image networks like Pinterest, and on video

networks like YouTube.

Identify Who Will Share Your Content

While your content should live on your website, it should

also be shared across your social networks. Your setup

needs to identify who will share your content. While

at least one person should be responsible for it, don’t

overlook the potential to leverage employees in your

content sharing efforts. This group is often overlooked for

this purpose, yet these individuals are ideal because they

care about your industry, have a vested interest in helping

your company succeed, and are easily contacted. Try to

have these folks share your content with their audience to

help you get the viral ball rolling.

However, you have to be careful with tapping into

employees for this purpose. Not all employees will be

willing to share work-related content with their personal

networks. That is why a clear social media sharing policy

must be in place before your campaign starts. Some

companies let all employees share content with their

personal networks at will, while others set-up company

profiles for employees. For example, John Clayton, a senior

writer for ESPN, tweets under the handle @ClaytonESPN.


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Leverage Your Social Networks to Amplify

Your Message

While it’s smart to get employees to share your content,

doing so will only get you so far. The core sharing must be

done by the people who like your content and want to

share it with their audiences. These folks are your Twitter

followers, Facebook fans, Google+ circles, and YouTube

subscribers, etc.

Understand the Costs

Your social SEO campaign set-up also needs to take costs

into consideration as growing your followers will take time

and money. In general, the costs to grow an audience,

and optimize it for social SEO can be grouped in three

categories: human resources, content costs, and tools

& marketing. If an agency handles your social SEO, they

will roll these costs into one statement of work. And while

the service fees for an agency tend to be higher than

the costs you might incur doing it yourself, they have

experience and access to the proper tools and people to

make a campaign a success, along with proven processes

in place to improve efficiency. If you have an internal

team managing your social SEO effort, be sure to budget

these costs ahead of time. Below are a few tips on each


Human Resources

This will be your biggest cost. Hiring a social SEO team

can be both difficult and expensive as these are highlyspecialized,

in-demand individuals. Agencies are

competing for such top talent, and leave little of it in the

market for in-house teams. You may need to consider

finding savvy individuals who specialize in traditional SEO

or social media, and who can spend time learning the in’s

and out’s of each platform. If that is the path you choose,

set aside part of your budget for heavy training, especially

in the first few months, and on-going training, such as

conferences and webinars.

Tools & Marketing

Assessing the success of your social SEO also needs to be

factored into your budget as a major cost for this initiative.

It could include a basic social media management

program like Hootsuite for $10/month. Analytics tools for

tracking follower progress such as http://socialstatistics.

com and http://twittercounter.com can run up to $150/

month. Advertising on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube can

cost several thousand dollars a month, but are by far the

most effective way to drive engagement with your social

properties. Each platform provides paid advertisers with

detailed analytics.

As you set-up your campaign, keep in mind that the

content and marketing costs for social SEO can be

reduced if they are performed by the team. Considering

that, be sure to look for individuals with strong writing

and marketing skills. In addition, a good campaign will

maximize the strengths of the team. If a team member

has a love for video, shift your content marketing efforts

towards YouTube. If an individual loves Twitter, hold tweet

chats to try and grow your audience. It’s better to have a

really strong following on one network than to have weak

followings on every network.

Overall, social SEO initiatives are similar to other

marketing campaigns in that they require careful

planning. Be sure to get your social SEO effort off to

a good start by taking the time to properly set-up

the campaign.

Content Costs

Actual content creation will be your second largest

cost. If you buy content from freelance writers, you will

probably end-up spending a few hundred dollars on

an article. Infographics can range from under $1,000 to

$5,000. Videos can be done on a shoestring budget with

a $500 DSLR camera and some lights for $200. But keep

in mind that videos will need a little editing as well, so

make sure someone has access to, and experience using,

professional video editing software like Adobe Premier.


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Part 3:

Tactics and Tools


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Chapter 10:

Social Network Tactics

With a total of over 2.5 billion registered online users active on social platforms each month, social media represents

a phenomenal opportunity for your business to get in front of its target audience. But building out social

profiles with social share buttons is not enough. The tactics in this section will help you maximize your social media

efforts to support your brand, boost your search engine rankings, and of course, help your business be more

successful! Keep in mind though that this is only a sample list of tactics — there will always be new ideas to try,

new features to utilize, and updates on old favorites.


Google+ is not only Google’s answer to Facebook and

Twitter, it’s an identification system and interest graph they

plan on using as the core of their search algorithm over

the next 10 years. The most visible layer of that is a social

network that incorporates all the best features of other

networks (photos, walls, news feeds, etc.) and adds-in

a few innovative features as well like Hangouts, business

pages, maps, and author profiles. Google+ has enabled

Google to build a social component into their offerings

so they can get at that sweet social data and use it to

improve their core search product.

Arguably, Google+ is the number one social platform

to use if you’re trying to leverage your social efforts

to improve your search performance. The platform’s

features have a direct line to Google’s search algorithm,

so the work you do on your Google+ profile ends-up

populating your circles’ personalized search results (thanks

to Search Plus Your World). So the more active you are

on the platform, the more brand awareness you build.

Even though the platform has a reputation for being less

populated than Facebook and Twitter, it won’t stay that

way for long. Why

Google strongly believes that highly personalized search

is the best form of search, and that data gleaned from

social media accounts will add an extra ingredient to

make it all come together for the end user. Google+ will

provide them with that data, so they’re doing everything

in their power to make it work, from integrating it into their

existing products like Google Places, Gmail, and YouTube,

to incentivizing webmasters with special perks like author

profiles in organic search.

Google has a great resource with basic tips for using

Google+ for your business, and below are a few tactics

you can start using today to put your Google+ profile to

work for you in the organic search results:

Cultivate Your Circles and Share

Relevant Content

The strength of Google+ is in the circles feature. The entire

platform is built around the idea that you should be able

to easily segment your friends, fans, and followers into

specific groups based on their connection to you and

their particular interests. As a marketer it is essential that

you cultivate your list of circles in such a way that you

only share the most pertinent and relevant information

with them.

The problem with most social networking platforms is

that every one of your followers gets lumped into one

big group. Let’s say you’ve got a consumer base with a

multitude of divergent and conflicting interests. On most

platforms, you’re faced with dilemmas such as “Do I share

this hilarious cat photo with all of my followers, and risk

alienating my dog-loving fans for the sake of growing my

cat-friendly fan base” Well, with Google+ you don’t

have that problem. Simply create one circle for all of

those cat lovers, and a separate circle for the dog lovers.

That way you can better align your content with each

group’s interests, and you won’t run the risk of offending

either one.


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Take advantage of the circles feature as much as you

can. Segment and hyper-target your circles so you are

never sharing something with someone who could care

less about it. Doing so will increase brand loyalty and the

likelihood that your circles will share your content with

their circles.

Action Item:

Create at least five unique circles that match-up with

the personas you are targeting. For instance, maybe

your targets are soccer Moms, college freshmen, or

middle-aged men who wear skinny jeans, etc. Then begin

grouping your followers based on their interests. Share

something relevant with each circle at least once a week.

Sharing Circles with Your Circles

An effective Google+ profile requires a lot of active

listeners. You need people to put you in their circles so

that they see your content when you publish it. One of

the best ways to grow your circles is to use the “Share

Circles” feature. This feature allows you to share one of the

circles you’ve been cultivating with all of the people in

your circles. You can use it to flatter the influencers in your

market and develop relationships with them.

For instance, let’s say you

run a website that sells shoes

and shoe accessories. You

probably have circles that

include shoe designers such

as Manuel “Manolo” Blahnik

Rodríguez, Maud Frizon de

Marco, and other popular

shoe industry influencers

from Converse, Threadless, and Clarks. Well, if you’re trying

to get a popular blogger to put you in his circles so that

he’ll share your content with his followers, it’s a good idea

to throw his name in a circle like the above when you

share it with your followers. By grouping him together with

popular industry figures, you’ll likely boost his ego, and he’ll

more than likely share your circle with his circles, and let

them know who put the group together in the first place.

If you do this on a regular basis, you will not only develop

relationships with your target influencers, but you will also

deliver value to your existing followers because they’ll

appreciate learning more about what profiles are worth

following for information relevant to their interests.

Action Item:

Put together a new circle of target influencers once a

month, and share that circle with them, and the circles

you have with interests relevant to them.

Hanging Out with Your Market’s Influencers

Another great way to persuade your target influencers to

put you in their circles and share you with their audience

is to invite them to participate in video hang outs. Video

hang outs are a huge advantage to using Google+.

Basically, you can set-up public or private video chats with

up to 10 people at a time. Each person can participate in

the video chat, you can play it live to all of your circles, or

you can record it and publish it to them later.

Just like with the Sharing Your Circles tactic, hang outs are

a great way to flatter your target influencers and get them

to share your content and recommend people circle

your Google+ profile. Let’s go back to the shoe website

example. If you wanted to convince an active blogger in

the fashion world to start sharing your content, you could

invite her to participate in a hang out with you and other

popular fashion bloggers. If she says yes, and you record

the discussion, you’ll be able to publish it to all of your

circles, and she’ll share it with hers. You could hang out

and conduct interviews with celebrity figures, talk about

the latest trends in the industry, or publically get their input

on your latest sneaker design.

Once again, this tactic

allows you to “kill two birds

with one stone.” First, the

bloggers you’re targeting

will want to join the hang

out because it will give

them added exposure. And

second, not only will you

get your target influencers

to share your content, but you’ll also be creating useful,

relevant, and entertaining content for all of your existing

followers. Just make sure you discuss interesting and

relevant topics in your hang outs with people who know

what they’re talking about.

Need an example of a brand doing this ESPN has been

hosting Google+ hangouts with all of their broadcasters

and players for a while now. Naturally, a ton of people

tune-in to get insights into the latest sports news. If they

invited one of the writer’s from the popular sports blog

Grantland.com to participate, not only would it be a huge

opportunity for the writer to grow his audience, but also

ESPN would get their content shared all over Grantland’s

pages and social platforms.

Action Item:

Host a Google+ hang out at least once a month, and

invite at least three target influencers to participate in

the discussions. Share them live to all of your circles, and

record them for later YouTube publication.


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If Google+ is a ghost town, then Facebook is a burgeoning

metropolis! It’s the most popular social network by far

with over 1 billion members. And while your efforts on

Facebook won’t be rewarded by the search engines

like your efforts on Google+ will be (except maybe for

Bing), the potential for engagement on the platform

itself is enough to make any marketer weak in the knees.

Consider this: in just 20 minutes on Facebook there are

over 1,587,000 wall posts, 2,716,000 messages sent,

1,484,000 event invites, and 1,000,000 links shared!

If you’re just starting out with Facebook, check out

this Best Practice Guide the Facebook team put

together. However, if you want to get the ball rolling now

that you’ve got your branded Facebook profile set-up

and ready to go, here are a few tactics to help you

get started:

Organize Exclusive Events in Real Life

Facebook gives you so much information about your

friends and followers that it’s almost scary to think

about. Lucky for us marketers, we don’t get scared, we

get resourceful! All of that data can be collected and

exploited for your brand’s benefit. One way to put that

data to good use is to host an exclusive event just for your

Facebook fans in a given area. You can use the Facebook

platform to send out invites to the event. Be sure to invite

influencers and fans alike, but keep it exclusive. If they’re

not one of your Facebook fans, they’re not invited.

The great thing about this tactic is that you can use it to

expand your reach into select cities or neighborhoods.

Is your brand just starting to get recognized in Chicago

Well, celebrate that with a block party, but only invite

Chicago-based Facebook fans. And be sure to ask them

to tell their friends to become a fan of your brand on

Facebook so they can get into the event too. If you throw

an event worth talking about, you’ll grow your Facebook

fan base and your customer base in that specific area.

Throw enough events all over the country, and you can

really start to grow your influence.

The exclusive events are also an incentive to non-fans to

follow you on Facebook. If you can get them to follow

you, and keep following you, you can feed them any

messaging you like afterwards.

Fashion retailer

Topshop used

this tactic when

they held a

runway event

exclusively for

their Facebook

fans. During the

show, they asked all of the attendees to take pictures

from their seats, and share them on their Facebook

profiles. The attendees got to feel special by attending

the exclusive fan event, and Topshop got more exposure

for their fashion line through all of the user generated

content shared.

Action Item:

Host an event this quarter in an area where you’re seeing

a rise in business. The event can be anything such as a

swag party, an info session, or a grand opening. Whatever

it is, make it exclusive to the Facebook fans in your target

area, and send out invites through the Facebook platform.

Like Us and Get a Coupon

Another incentive tactic

to acquire new Facebook

followers is the “Subscribe

and get an exclusive

coupon offer!” There’s

that word “exclusive”

again. You need to give

people a reason to friend

you on Facebook. It may

not seem like it, but it is actually a big commitment for

someone to friend a brand and hand over their personal

information. By friending you, they’re giving you access

to their profile, and they’re agreeing to receive all of

your sales and marketing materials. You need to make it

worthwhile for your fans, and one of the best ways to do

that is to cut them a break on the price of your goods and

services. Quiznos, shown above, provides a great example

of this tactic.

The only trouble with this tactic is that it’s hard to keep the

coupon code exclusive. You should expect it to leak out

to sites like RetailMeNot.com, but that will only cut down

on a percentage of your new Facebook fans. If the deal is

good enough, and you do a good job promoting it, and

you promise to deliver more deals in the future, people are

bound to become a Facebook fan.

Action Item:

Turn your next coupon promotion into an exclusive

Facebook coupon. Publish the promo code to your

Facebook wall, and make sure you mention that it is just

for your adoring Facebook fans.


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Open it Up for Discussion – Surveys and Polls

The two previous tactics will help you acquire new

followers, but how do you keep them from unsubscribing

as soon as the event is over or the coupon deal ends

Well, that’s where this tactic comes in. It’s about keeping

your fans involved in the conversation. And one of the

best ways to do that is to open up a discussion.

Everyone has an opinion, and Facebook users love to

share theirs. Use the platform to get fans to do exactly

that. Setting-up either a survey or a poll on Facebook is

a great way to encourage social reaction. Strive to have

your content focus on problems that your audience

frequently runs into, and/or ideas for how your services

can be improved. This form of engagement helps your

audience feel like they are involved and that their input

could influence your brand/products/services.

For example, if you’re thinking about making changes to a

product, putting something on sale, or developing a new

product, just float the idea past your fans on Facebook.

They’ll give you excellent feedback that you can use in

the development process, and they’ll love the chance to

get involved with a brand they admire.

Sears department stores once held a promotion that

allowed their customers to vote for which items would go

on sale the following week. They asked their Facebook

fans and customers visiting their website to place their

votes in the comments sections and through a survey

checkbox in their e-carts. At the end of the week, the

products with the most votes would go on sale (online

and offline).

Rich Images

Submitting humorous and compelling images is an

excellent way to keep your Facebook friends coming

back to your business page, and to attract Likes and

comments. You don’t even have to upload images

that are directly related to your brand – they can be

anything that your demographics might respond well

to. For example, if you sell air fresheners and your target

audience is mostly women 45-54, adding pictures of

cute puppies centered around your air fresheners could

be an excellent way to attract their attention, get them

to Like the image, and thus increase your reach and

traction on Facebook.


Product offerings and rewards are extremely effective in

getting people to respond to your business page, but

even better for growing your social audience. You can

set-up creative contests (such as Oreo has done here)

that center around your most dire needs at the time.

For example, if you are

looking to grow your

Likes, offer coupons

to every person who

hits the Like button on

your business page.

The same idea can be

used to get people

to comment, submit

testimony, or visit

your website.

But don’t let a dismal response rate hold you back.

Remember that when it comes to getting your audience

to engage, the easiest way to go about getting what

you want from them is to simply ask. Send out tweets and

updates on a daily basis so that you stay in front of your

audience and become a trusted source of information for

them to return to. This will ease your ability later on to get

them to Like your Facebook business page, hit the “+1”

button on your Google + page, and post snippets about

your products on Twitter.

The campaign was a massive success because it

managed to make subscribing to their Facebook account

appealing. It also drove-up sales. A customer who voted

for the item was more likely to go out and buy it when it

went on sale. Even the customers who voted for an item

that didn’t win the contest were more likely to stay tuned

for future products and promotions.

Action Item:

Use Facebook to start a product discussion. Ask your fans

to vote on which product they would like to see on sale

next week.


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At the end of the day, business is about relationships.

Fortunately, Twitter helps you foster them with your key

audiences. In fact, it’s the only platform that allows you

to see what your biggest potential fan is doing at any

given moment, what they have already done, and most

importantly, what they want to do next. Because of that,

you can use it to obtain crucial information about your

target market’s influencers, and keep a finger on the pulse

of your industry.

Twitter’s mechanics can be a little tricky at first, so if you

need a primer on how to use its features, check out a

few of these fantastic video tutorials on YouTube. But if

you’re ready to start leveraging the platform to get the

prominent voices in your vertical to share your content

and products, below are a couple of tactics that will help:


Target individuals by @mentioning them specifically. Talk

to them on a personal level by asking them about their

experience with your products/brand, what they would

like to see from it in the future, what would make their

life easier in an ideal world, and other topics that would

encourage a response.


Twitter’s advanced search page (http://twitter.com/

search) is one of the platform’s most powerful features. It

enables you to find consumers in your industry who have

questions or need help. For example, let’s say you sell dog

food. Search Twitter for common questions pet owners

have, and try to help them get answers. Don’t push your

product in their face; simply answer their question and

try to provide value. If they see that you’re a helpful

individual, they will follow you. Later on, your tweet about

your new line of dog food may hit their timeline just when

they are considering upgrading Fido’s pet food.

platform, and if they’re ever going to be in your area

asking for directions. Then, start publishing things that

speak to their specific interests and get them to talk to

you. That’s relationship building 101.

After a while, you’re going to get their attention, and

that’s when you can start building a relationship with them

that you can later leverage for content promotion. Gain

their trust now, and then when you ask them to write a

piece about your latest content, they’ll be more likely to

share it with their readership.

By the way, there’s a great free tool out there that can

make this whole process a lot easier. It’s called IFTTT.com.

You can use it to set up alerts to help you get in front

of your influencers at opportune times, like when they

mention a relevant idea or ask a question that is aligned

with your interests.

Action Item:

Pick a target influencer in your market, and set-up alerts

that let you know whenever they mention something

related to your product, service, brand, location, or

anything you think you can provide information on. Stalk

them, give them content they’re looking for, and build that


Use Hashtags

Grow your reach and attract new followers by mentioning

themes and concepts that are trending worldwide. Make

comments and pose questions that are relevant to a

particular trend and include a hashtag “#” in front of the

trending theme so your followers can go directly to the

particular topic and learn more. This will get your tweet

in front of the masses (who are interested in a particular

trending topic), and help get them to jump on your

brand’s bandwagon.

Stalk Your Market Influencers

One of the biggest complaints about Twitter is that people

just share what they’ve eaten for breakfast, pictures of

the places they’ve visited, and ramble-on about their

inane interests (like that Justin Bieber concert they went to

last night). But those seemingly mundane tweets provide

excellent insights into their whereabouts and personality

traits. As a marketer, you can take advantage of those

insights and create opportunities for relationship building

and content promotion.

Let’s say you’re trying to get that new infographic you

developed shared on a site like Lifehacker.com. It has a

huge built-in audience perfect for your particular product,

and you’d like to tap into that. Well, pick out one of the

Lifehacker writers, and start following them on Twitter.

Find out what their interests are, who they talk to on the


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One of the best ways to grow an audience is to

create unique, compelling content. Not only does it give

people a reason to follow you in the first place, but it

also generates traffic to your website, and spurs retweets,

which places your tweet in the timeline of your

audiences’ followers.

Analyze Your Followers and Tweet Targeted Value

Twitter is about relationship building through the sharing

of information. To carve out a space for your brand in

the Twitter feed, you’re going to have to show value with

every tweet. If you’ve been stalking your targets properly,

you should know what they like to talk about, what they

like to do, what they share, where they go, etc., and you

can leverage that information when you broadcast a

tweet to your followers. It will help you ensure that your

content is aligned with your followers’ interests.

For example, if your company sells scissors, and you’ve got

a follower base that constantly talks about scrapbooking,

then a tweet about cutting doilies probably wouldn’t be

the most valuable thing to tweet about. In fact, when you

tweet something off base – content that doesn’t align with

your audiences’ interests — you run the risk of losing them.

You have to stay tapped into your audience so you know

what they’re more likely to respond to.

The same holds true for growing your audience. If you

really want to talk about doilies, then you need to gain

followers who are into that sort of thing. You can use tools

like Follower Wonk to find the big players in your niche, and

then stalk them, tweet at them with relevant and useful

information that they’ll respond to, and get them to follow

you back. Do that enough times, and you’ll end up with a

follower base that responds to your doily tweets instead of

one that ignores them.

It is important to cultivate your Twitter followers in this

way so that you’re tweeting relevant information 100% of

the time. But you also need to develop the list of people

that you follow, and keep your own feed relevant to

your brand’s topic areas. Look to follow accounts that

talk about your industry. Seek out customers, vendors,

trade associations, news outlets, conference speakers,

competitors, and target consumers. This will enable you to

best take advantage of the opportunities they present.

To illustrate the importance of carefully cultivating your

follow list, let’s go back to that scissor company example

from before. If the staffer managing their Twitter account

is following people like Kim Kardashian – instead of

individuals whose interests are more aligned with their

offering – they might miss the scrapbooking star who

developed a new portfolio using their scissors. As a result,

they would also miss the opportunity to share that news

with the world.

In general, think of Twitter as a gigantic information fire

hose. In order to drink from it, you have to apply as many

filters as possible. If you notice that one of the profiles

you’re following isn’t relevant to your message anymore,

remove it. Keep both your followers and your follow list as

targeted as you possibly can. Doing so will help ensure

that you’re reading information you can use, and that you

are feeding them information they want.

Action Item:

Take a moment to read through the last few days of

tweets in your Twitter feed. If you find that a profile is taking

up too much “real estate” without providing anything

useful, cut it out of your list, and replace it by following at

least five new profiles related to your niche.


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Instead of spending thousands, or maybe even millions of

dollars producing a television ad campaign that would

only last a few months, you can use YouTube to get in

front of people where they are spending a lot of time: on

their computers and smartphones. Today the platform

commands over 3 billion views per day!

Having a YouTube channel to house brand commercials,

peer reviews, and product testimony is easy to do, costs

next to nothing, and allows you to reach entirely new

audiences each and every day. Below are a few tips to

help you tap into this awesome channel:

Brand Your YouTube Channel

If you are ready to capitalize on YouTube, the first thing

you should do is set-up your own channel on the platform

(as Procter & Gamble has done in the example below).

This will enable you to house all of your rich video content

in one environment. In addition, be sure to include a

YouTube button on your website, ideally on every landing

page, but at least on the homepage, above the fold.

This approach will allow you to attach your entire video

presence to your brand, enrich your SEO efforts, and

enhance your brand name.

Action Item:

Set-up a YouTube channel and place its social button on

the homepage of your website. Offer a series of videos

that speak to the performance of your products, and

one that aims to gain consumer trust and loyalty by being

creative and even humorous.

Use Specific Titles

Beyond having good content, you also need to develop

a great title for each video. This will improve its visibility in

the search results. When you create your title, take the

purpose of the video into consideration as it should dictate

the title style. For instance, if you are trying to capture

consumers who are looking for more general concepts or

themes, your title should take a creative approach — look

for something catchy and compelling.

But if the purpose of your video is to highlight consumer

product reviews, go with a very direct title as it will help

online users who search for product reviews find your video

right away. You should also include your brand name, and

follow it with the name of the product being reviewed. This

direct approach will increase your search visibility as online

users tend to search with basic terms. Crest provides us

with a great example below:

Action Item:

Go into your YouTube analytics and find 25% of your videos

with the lowest views. Optimize the titles of those videos

so that they are more enticing from a click-through rate

standpoint, and make sure they include the keyword

you’re trying to get the video to rank for.

Video Description and Call to Action

It is also important to create a compelling description that

conveys what your video is all about, and leads the viewer

to a next step, such as visiting your website or making a

purchase. When you write the description, think of it as an

elevator pitch. It should sound natural, and be succinct

(less than 450 characters). But it should end with a clear

call to action, and include a link that will take the viewer

to another step in their search progression (as Crest has

done below).

Action Item:

Write a few brief descriptions for your videos. Make sure

you ask the viewer to do something, and provide the link

for them to follow through with your request. Announce

new videos on your other social media profiles to spark

instant reaction, and watch the views add up!


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Chapter 11:

Social Network Tools and Automation

As you work to grow your social audience, you’re going to find that juggling campaigns that span multiple

social platforms and staying on top of all of those mentions, Likes, fans, connections, and whatever else, is a lot

easier said than done. Considering that, you’re going to be tempted to get a tool set that claims to make all of

your social media woes go away.

As you examine various social media management tool

suites, keep one thing in mind: the more you automate

a process, the more impersonal your campaigns

become. Remember, social networking is about intimate

connections between human beings. If you throw too

many algorithms, robots, or faceless logos into the mix,

you’re going to dilute your campaigns and remove the

social element from social networking.

Now, if Samsung had gone overboard with their social

tools and removed the human element from the equation,

they might have ignored this request or sent a generic

form letter in response. Luckily, they had a clever human

behind the wheel. Samsung posted the below on Shane’s

wall in response to his request:

With that said though, automation for social media

management can be a good thing. You can use it to cut

down on a lot of the monotonous tasks, and/or set-up

automatic alerts to keep you in the loop when you can’t

watch the social feeds closely. However, there must

always be an actual human being behind the scenes

thinking and ready to respond to those @mentions or

capitalize on a marketing opportunity.

Once again, Samsung provides us with a great example.

They made a genius social marketing play for their Galaxy

III S smartphone that could not have been accomplished

by an entirely automated campaign. Shane Bennett, an

avid fan of all things Samsung, left a message on their

Facebook wall asking for a free phone. In exchange for

the free phone, he offered up a picture of a dragon that

he drew. Here’s what the post looked like:

Then, the story of the

dragon and the kangaroo

went viral on the Internet,

and Samsung netted a

lot of media coverage

from it. So much so in

fact, that they decided

to send Shane his very

own customized

Samsung Galaxy S III.

The point is that you shouldn’t look to social tools and

automation to handle everything for you. In order to

be effective, social marketing requires a personal and

hands-on approach. If you get to the point where you’re

just hitting one button and automatically sharing on every

platform at exactly the same time of day, every day,

you’re missing the point of what makes social networking

so great. And you’d be doing your customers and your

marketing efforts a disservice.


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So, what tools are good for reducing the clutter

without cutting out the human element We’ve mentioned

some in the previous chapters, but below are a few

that can really make a difference in your social campaigns:

Tweet Deck

If you’re struggling to manage all of those Twitter feeds

and need a little assistance, TweetDeck is the app for you.

It brings you more flexibility and insight by allowing you

to arrange all of your feeds, add powerful customizable

filters, schedule out tweets, monitor and analyze what

you’re tweeting and what’s being tweeted to you.

Definitely check it out if you’re starting to get serious with

the Twitter platform.


Who doesn’t like

alerts IFTTT lets you

set-up sophisticated

cross platform “if then”

statements so that you

can stay on top of

everything going on in

your vertical. For example,

you can use it to set-up

an alert to email you if

anyone mentions your

brand or any of your targeted keywords. Or you can use

it to set-up alerts to let you know if anyone mentions that

they need help with a news story related to your content.

There are endless possibilities with this great tool.


This is a great little browser extension. It enables you to

quickly convert text on a page into a tweet that you can

add to your “buffer” or queue, and send to your networks

at the best possible times. This means you can store great

quotes or articles in one sitting, and Buffer will spread-out

those posts through the day.

Tweet Adder

Tweet Adder allows you to automate finding and

following people on Twitter. It enables you to search

profiles for keywords, filter by geographical location, or

find out who is following your competitors. However, note

that because this paid tool offers a lot of automation

capabilities, it should be used with caution. Most of these

automated features are against Twitter’s terms of service,

so it may put your account at risk. It is recommended that

you only use the tool to search for people to follow, and

you may want to use a dummy account to do so.


With a new twist on tribe marketing, Triberr is a content

marketing platform where groups of bloggers gather

to share each other’s content. After you conect your

company blog and join a few industry relevant tribes, your

content will be automatically imported into the site and

converted into shareable formats for the bloggers in your

tribe to easily share. With bloggers from well-known blogs

like Forbes, Inc., Mashable, and Huffington Post, you can

curate a feed of great content to share with your social

networks, either manually or automatically.


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This social media management tool is similar to

TweetDeck, but it allows you to manage all of your social

profiles across any platform. You can use it to schedule

messages and tweets, track brand mentions, analyze

social media traffic, and measure the results of your

campaigns. If you’re struggling to keep track of what’s

going on with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest,

LinkedIn, Tumblr, etc. accounts, then you should check out

this tool and make your life easier.

Any of the tools mentioned here will help you make

better use of your time while you run your social

campaigns, but you’ll need to explore a bit and find

what tools work best for your particular work flow style

and campaign requirements. There are thousands of

great social networking tools out there, and they all do

things a little bit differently. Just remember that you

always need a human being behind the wheel, and try

to stay away from anything that hands over total control

to impersonal machines.


MASTERING THE BASICS. Social SEO is the use of social signals to increase a brand’s rankings within the search

engine results page. Search Engines consider social signals as endorsements where customers are saying they

trust a particular site. As search engines further consider social signals, brands will need to invest in Social SEO.

MAKING IT HAPPEN. Catalyst breaks down Social SEO into three core segments: on-site optimization, social

profile optimization, and social network optimization. On-site optimization ensures your website is built to

communicate with your social assets. Brands should feature buttons linking to their social profiles as well as

prominently display share buttons on their blog. Social profile optimization ensures the content on your profiles

consistently answers consumer questions with targeted keywords. The third pillar is social network optimization

where basic social best practices such as sharing engaging, helpful, and high quality content frequently is

vital to Social SEO. These three pillars will help jumpstart your Social SEO strategy.

TOOLS TO SUCCEED. The first step is to be sure your brand is present and active on important social networks

such as Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Offering network specific promotions, coupons, or content is

important to growing your following. There is an array of tools and software out there to assist in building out your

social network. Some are automated, which can be tempting, but remember that social networks

still emphasize human interaction.

Now that you have mastered what Social SEO is, how it works, and why it matters, it’s time to get started!



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About Catalyst

Catalyst, a pioneer in developing strategic digital

marketing services since 1998, is renowned for search

marketing excellence in servicing Fortune 1000 brands.

Headquartered in Boston with offices in New York,

Chicago, Seattle, Toronto and Montreal, Catalyst serves

numerous B2B and B2C clients in a variety industries.

The search engine marketing firm prides itself on being

THE Search Innovator of the industry. Catalyst’s offerings

include: search engine optimization (SEO), paid search

marketing, Social SEO, content strategy, digital asset

optimization, mobile search, e-retail optimization, local

search optimization, global search, competitive reporting,

and more. Catalyst is a wholly owned subsidiary of WPP,

the world’s largest communications services group.

For more information about Catalyst, please visit the

company’s website at CatalystSearchMarketing.com.

Proper attribution requires that this eBook clearly be identified as

“Catalyst Social SEO Strategies: Mastering the Art of Social SEO."

Copies/PDF of the book can be downloaded at


Questions regarding this eBook should be directed to Catalyst

Marketing Assistant, Freddy Dabaghi, at (617) 663-1160 or



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