With the number of Twitter users hitting the 100 million mark and after watching Rand Fishkin’s Whiteboard Friday episode titled "Yes, You Really Can Build Links with Twitter",I decided I had to share this wisdom. It seems that many in the industry seem to have a difficult time believing that Twitter is an effective tool that can build high quality, long-lasting backlinks for their websites. Rand detailed eight very effective methods to do just that in his video.
- The "Serendipitous Connection"
- The "Top X List"
- The "Let me Build/Do/Find That For You"
- The "Storyteller, AKA the Summify"
- The "Link Suggestion"
- The "Content to Match Your Query"
- The "Must-Have Testimonial"
- The "Biz-Dev Deal"
This is an ambiguous tactic and is perhaps the hardest one to obtain. It is also perhaps one of the most organic tactics you can engage in. By creating and nurturing friendships and connections through chatting, you can build up a powerful network that will usually leads to a link from one to the other. Building up your interaction with select followers in a good way to consider long term friendships and can help with several of the other described tactics.
This is a targeted approach and is brilliant from a content development perspective. An example of this tactic might be to research and list the Top 5 personalities in a particular field or industry that you are targeting for links and build it up in the desired hub etc.
"Let’s say I am in the business of selling snowboard equipment. So what I want to do is I am going to take the top five snowboarding videos of all time, snowboard stunts. In fact, I might even get more septic because getting more specific yields much better results oftentimes from a link perspective. So, what I want to do is I am going to say the top five snowboarding videos taken in Whistler BC, and I am going to make that a piece of content on my blog, on my website. Maybe it is a blog post, maybe it is just a piece of link bait, maybe it is a list, whatever it is."
"Then I am going to figure out all the Twitter accounts of all the people who appear in those videos, and I am going to use Twitter as a way I connect to them. I am also going to talk to all the people on Twitter and say, “Hey, does anybody know the best snowboarding videos? Do you have any recommendations?” I am going to reach out to people who have shared snowboarding videos in the past, who have the word snowboard in their profile that I find through a service like Follower Wonk, and I am going to create those top X lists. Then I am going to tweet at all those people and give them all badges for having won that they can place on their websites. Suddenly, I am getting links from all of the top places in industry X."
Very soon after you will find that you are getting links from the top industries in your targeted area. Maybe the best thing about this tactic is that you can use it over and over again in various industries as much as you want.
This is a good method to use when you see someone who is stuck, or who otherwise has a question or problem they are experiencing. If you are in the know, or can otherwise help them, do so. People are very appreciative when you help them for free. And almost assuredly will want to do something to return the favor. This is when you get your links. This may not always be the most time-effective strategy so you should use it sparingly.
Oftentimes there are stories or events occurring through social media where the tweets are scattered about or drawn from several sources. You are looking for those stories that are very hard to track unless you are paying strict attention to every tweet and source and sifting through it all to find the story.
The tactic involves you taking these separate stories and amalgamating them into a cohesive narrative that people will want to follow, link to will want to share with others. You can pull in snippets from LinkedIn, Quora, Facebook and Twitter with the Summify. This tactic is particularly useful with breaking news stories coming in from several sources.
This one is really only effective when you have already formed an ongoing relationship with someone. It is most useful when you find potential linking possibilities (or just information) missing from another’s blogs posts, rss feed, website or article. By suggesting a relevant piece of information when you have already developed the relevant blog post or article or url to offer them is a great method of building links.
Many social sites are filled with questions from its users. Not just on Twitter, but on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Quora etc. If you are able to build the content to match the individual’s questions, or if you see many questions on the same topic a lot and can provide facts, and relevant data and information for these people, not only will they be appreciative, but they almost certainly will be linking back to your quality answer. It is going to bring you traffic to your site, time on site, drive links and produce some quality, valuable content as well.
Anyone with a website is looking for people to say wonderful things about the product or service that they are offering. You can engage a startup, small business or a local business by engaging those people through Twitter. You can tell them that you have written a blog post about how much you loved their product/service and that if they would like a testimonial from you that they can to direct message you since you are already following them. Not only will be likely to get a follower and a direct message, but they are most likely put the testimonial on their site and link back to yours to boot. This is a win-win scenario. The site owner gets a glowing review and you get a quality link.
This is a particularly effective method to employ, as most businesses are looking for ways to jumpstart their reach. The thought here is that anyone involved on the social web is probably going to be actively involved in a lot of other inbound marketing activities as well. You can connect with preferred companies that are good fit for the company you are linking for. Let them know what a fan you are of what they are doing and that you would love to discuss ways to form a mutual partnership. This approach requires that you have already built up a communications to a strong level of interaction. The Biz-Dev deal will inevitably lead to linking between sites.
New tactics and approaches are being developed regularly to utilize social media to its fullest potential. These tactics clearly demonstrate that Twitter is useful as an SEO tool and is a phenomenal tool for link-building.