Social media and link building are often looked at separately from a business perspective.
Although this is a fairly common practice, integrating these two areas should be imperative for marketers. Otherwise, you may put yourself at risk of missing out on major opportunities – especially when it comes to using social media for link building.
Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are great for humanizing your brand and engaging with your followers and other companies alike.
Are you wondering how can you best leverage your network as part of a link building strategy?
This article will discuss six effective ways you can leverage your social media presence to get more social media backlinks.
1. Connect with Other Brands and Bloggers
One of the easiest and most effective strategies to win more social media backlinks is to connect with other websites in your niche.
Other brands and bloggers love it when you interact with them via social media. This engagement can open the door for social media link building opportunities such as guest posts, content mentions, and exchanges.
Here’s how to connect with brands and bloggers:
- Create a list of top bloggers and websites in your industry. Now, you might want to avoid your direct competitors, but you can still find plenty of opportunities who compliment your own product or service. For example, if you provide search engine optimization services, you can search for website developers or marketing blogs.
- Next, add or follow the selected bloggers and websites on social media.
- Engage with them. Comment on their posts, retweet their content, and like their photos on a regular basis.
- After a while, you should start to notice that some of the bloggers or websites engage back and like your own content.
- At this stage, you’re in a position to message them directly and explore potential link building opportunities.
You can contact the bloggers or websites via social media, but email is also an effective strategy. You want to make your communication as personalized as possible to increase your chances of a positive response.
Here’s an example of an outreach email for a guest post pitch:
Subject Line: Your Twitter post on top YouTube influencers
It’s Mike here from Linkbuilder.io. I saw your post on Twitter about the top 10 YouTube influencers. It’s a great article, although I was surprised that Ninja wasn’t on the list!
The reason I’m emailing: I noticed your blog hasn’t covered how to use YouTube for SEO. I’ve got experience in this area, so I’d love to make a contribution if possible?
Yes, I’m keen to mention my website, but you’ll get a highly informative (and free) piece of content that will hopefully provide a lot of value to your users.
It would be great to chat and brainstorm some ideas.
Thanks in advance, Mike
This strategy takes patience, so don’t lose motivation if you’re not getting many responses at first. Take a personalized approach and the hard work will surely pay off.
2. Connect with Journalists and Influencers
When it comes to link building strategies, most people use the “cold email” approach to contact journalists and influencers. This often involves emailing people you’ve never spoken with or engaged with before.
Now, this method does work, but you can be a lot more successful if you build a relationship or point of contact first.
The best way to do this is through social media, with platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn being particularly useful.
The goal is this: To build a relationship with journalists and influencers in your niche or industry.
Journalists are often looking for stories, opinions or contributions for topics they’re writing about. If you can provide them with valuable input or commentary, you’ll typically get mentioned in their article in the form of a quote and link back to your website.
Here’s how to connect with journalists and influencers:
- Make a list of journalists and influencers in your industry, or those who have created content surrounding your industry before.
- The next step is to follow or add them on social media and keep an eye on what they’re writing or posting about. If you see an interesting story, picture, or tweet, make sure to engage with them.
- Keep engaging with the journalists and influencers of your choice, and you’ll start to understand what they like to talk about and the topics they cover.
- At this point, you might start to see opportunities where your own expertise can be useful to them. Feel free to share your own thoughts or opinions directly, or mention a story or content you’re creating.
- If the journalists and bloggers like what you have to say, they might come back to you for a quote or opinion. And if they use your input, you can generally expect a link back to your website.
This is a long-term strategy and can’t be forced. Journalists get hundreds of pitches each week, so it’s best to take your time and build a real relationship with them step-by-step, rather than looking to pitch a quick story.
Once you have built a rapport, you can also consider emailing them directly. Here’s an example outreach email:
Subject Line: Your article on Empower
I saw the article you wrote about Empower – the Norwegian startup. This topic is something that’s close to my heart, and it’s great to see a positive use case for blockchain technology.
Why I’m emailing: I have experience in the blockchain space (I’ve been in the industry for 5+ years) so if you’re ever looking for an opinion or commentary on a piece you’re writing I’d love to help out if I can.
It would be great to keep in touch. I’m writing about the topic regularly on myblog.com.
Enjoy your Wednesday.
3. Use Twitter Hashtags
Everyone on Twitter uses hashtags as a way of communication. And there are plenty of hashtags that are useful for social media link building and journalist outreach.
Some of the most popular hashtags include #PRrequests, #journorequest, and #bloggerrequest and they’re usually used by reporters, brands, or bloggers asking for information.
You can filter out tweets containing these hashtags and contact their authors. If you can provide them with valuable input, you can normally expect a link in return for your efforts.
This strategy is also useful to build long-term relationships with journalists who are regularly seeking information for their stories.
4. Join Blogger Groups
There’s tons of niche-relevant blogger groups and hashtags on Twitter and Facebook that can be a gold mine for building your network.
For example, this Blogger Opportunities group has over 8,000 members. It’s a great way to build relationships and explore opportunities for social media link building.
Because people make specific requests for information in these groups, you can easily learn about their niche and assess whether they’re a good source of backlinks.
Joining blogger groups also helps you to build your network, and gives you a list of people to test out strategy #1 (connecting with other brands and bloggers).
The only downside to this strategy is that it can be time-consuming – after all, you need to search through different platforms to discover relevant groups. Still, this manual process is definitely worth the effort to find valuable link building opportunities.
5. Leverage Pinterest
If you’re in a niche that produces high quality visual materials or infographics, Pinterest can help your brand grow in popularity.
Not only does Pinterest bring you referral traffic, but you can also expect to pick up natural links. People love to link to great images and infographics, so it makes sense to showcase the best of your visual content on the platform.
You also have a chance to be listed on the “best from Pinterest” articles (e.g. 15 Most-Pinned Healthy Dinner Recipes). If somebody shares your picture without giving credit in one of such articles, you can always reach out and request them to link to the original.
6. Consider Other Platforms Such as Quora and Reddit
Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are the most commonly used social platforms for the majority of companies. One error we often see is companies overlooking platforms such as Quora and Reddit when developing their social media link building strategies.
These two platforms enable you to post links, and although they are normally “nofollow,” you can still pick up referral traffic and natural content mentions.
Take Reddit for example: If you post a piece of content that is informative and engaging, it will likely become popular, so a lot of people will see it. Some of these people will be journalists, bloggers, and news websites who might link to your content if they find it relevant.
The bottom line is, posting on Quora and Reddit is quick and easy, and can help you earn quality social media backlinks that will boost your SEO ranking.