Many marketers use social media channels like Twitter etc. mainly for promotional tasks. They are sharing links all the time, often automatically. Instead I use social networking in manifold ways. I
like any real user does it. While at it I noticed some great organic ways to get mentions from powerful accounts. None of them are about sharing links.
Mentions from authorities
When it comes to Google optimization everybody knows that links from authority sites are much better than those from generic blogs nobody knows. So for years link builders are aiming to get those valuable editorial links from quality sites. A link from the New York Times or the BBC is the holy grail of quality link building.
On social media there is a tendency to follow influencers or to beg for their attention.
That’s not wrong technically but in many cases it’s hopeless. Influencers or even likelier celebrities are far too busy to take care of everybody’s wishes. They won’t spread the word about you or even address you because you are just one in a huge crowd out of thousands shrieking teenagers at a Justin Bieber concert.
Now that Google does not display author images in search results anymore the only reason to use authorship markup is the mythical author rank. When you take a look at how such a ranking method could work it’s quite likely that it will be similar to influence measuring services like Klout.
I know that Klout is quite controversial in some circles because many real life influencers who rarely contribute on social media do not show up as influential there. The types of people who brag about working with Fortune 500 companies but rarely share their their knowledge with the general public for free. Klout is a perfectly legitimate tool for assessing influence online. It doesn’t measure a brag score for selfish people though.
Google’s internal Klout score
Google’s internal “Klout score” is probably more sophisticated and does rely to a large part on mentions other than social media but your social media mentions and relationships will have a growing impact on any future author rank initiatives. Why? It’s just the way the Web works these days. It’s about social media sharing to a large extent.
How could metrics like Klout or Author Rank work? Similarly to the Google PageRank algorithm. They take a look what other accounts mention you and how important they are. The importance is not measured by sheer follower number but on more intricate metrics like how active, engaged and influential each account is. By influential I mean things like: how often does it get
- replied to
and by whom of course. Do always the same accounts interact with you or do different people and even strangers address you? I can only summarize the most evident aspects here. You’d rather need to read blogs like SEO at the Sea for deeper insights. Let it be said that authority and influence are not easy to keep track of. That’s why we need complex algorithms whole teams work for years on to achieve that.
Apart from algorithmic influence metrics it’s obvious that getting mentions from influential accounts gets you in front of many people directly on social media sites. So how exactly can you get mentioned by influential accounts organically?
When I encounter a bug or problem using a tool I usually ask by way of Twitter what’s happening. This way I ensure that both the company providing the tool and other users get informed at once. I could write an email for sure but it would take longer and everybody else would be left out to wonder what’s wrong. I don’t do it for additional publicity but that’s what you get.
Other individuals encountering the same issues will notice you in a positive context
where you are already the helpful person confirming that the problem exists and it’s not just their fault. I’ve noticed over time that companies with proper customer service will reply even though I may be just a “free” user. These accounts are often very powerful as you can see based on their Klout score.
My Klout score not that low either - for an individual at least - with around 60 but these accounts run 24/7 by whole teams are of course much more active. MailChimp is an excellent example of customer service. They even took the time to take a close look at my particular problem via mail and provided a solution even though I’m a newbie user of their free plan. This is just one example. They are very quick to react.
Another great company I often try to help with feedback is Zoho. I use Zoho services for several years now. I don’t do it extensively, after all I’m just an independent consultant or freelancer but long and thorough enough to not only report issues but to praise them. It’s well deserved.
The Zoho team is not just a bunch of mindless drones despite the company being based in India. It’s an Indian company too. So this is not about exploitative outsourcing. In case you are looking for ad-free business email or an online office suite now owned by one o the US based monopolies that are subject to the Patriot Act I recommend Zoho.
Despite 15+ years of online experience and daily Zen meditation I still get angry sometimes over things I see on the Web. No, it’s not just Google that vexes me. Sometimes it’s even people I look up to and have known for years from their Web activity.
I don’t provoke people on purpose but I talk back when they provoke me with their updates.
There are some things I simply can’t accept. You may know me already: I don’t keep quiet out of opportunism. You may know zaibatsu, a legendary social media enthusiast with a huge following. Sadly nobody is perfect. I don’t do influencer ass kissing usually but I don’t swallow everything either.
When you ask questions, ideally intended to be used for crowdsourcing of articles, influential people who are short on time are willing to reply. In this ad hoc crowdsourced article of mine, I have gotten several very valuable answers to my question from some leading SEO industry figures, Larry Kim among them as you can see. I don’t obsess about the Klout score but for those who don’t know the founder of WordStream yet can take a look at it:
It’s not just about the answer here. Larry Kim was also eager to share my post when it went live. It’s the same principle as with larger group posts. Those involved are keen on spreading the word. That’s a classic win to win strategy.
Sometimes social media is not social at all, it’s more like a monologue. You just don’t know whether someone really has seen your message let alone was moved by it in some way. I like to get and give feedback by simply commenting even on social media like Twitter where it’s not the most common way of using the service.
I don’t care whether you’re a celebrity or not. When you say something strange I don’t understand I will likely comment on that. I’m not even afraid to sound stupid. After all I may not get it so I need to ask for clarification. It’s just like in school. Sometimes that can result in 15 seconds of fame when there is someone famous on the other end. Again I don’t aim fur such things on purpose but not “talking to strangers” is a much worse social media strategy.
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