One of my basic lessons to any client wondering about social media and SEO is to “go where the people are.” It is not up to companies to determine where they want to post content; it is up to the audience to drive where the content should be posted. Marketing has changed in this manner. Investing time and effort into your client relationships, where you once would have applied an advertising budget, is the new norm.
For those with small sites, like mine, content is usually duplicated across several sites. This blog, for example, will be automatically regenerated on three other sites for which I have a membership or affiliation. Adding an “#in” tag to any Tweet I write will post that Tweet on my LinkedIn profile.
Go to where your clients are.
Not all potential clients will subscribe to a WordPress blog. Many will prefer to follow me on Twitter or Facebook. Others will prefer a local-business site with a limited number of followers or LinkedIn as their social media outlet. It makes sense to be present, then, on any one of those sites.
However, the long-term effects of duplicate posting are murky. I stand to confuse SEO robots scanning my content and realizing I’m duplicating myself. Thankfully, SEOmoz has a great article on duplicate content that explains why copying blog and site content across several URLs can hinder exposure. Using a 301 redirect to point content to the original page is the best option for duplicate content created by the author.
When duplicate content is present, site owners suffer rankings and traffic losses, and search engines provide less relevant results. (“What is duplicate content?” from moz.com)
Similarly, many businesses will create content for social media, lumping all the different platforms together and copying identical articles across all of them.
This is not a best practice.
Prevent engaging in spam-like tactics (and duplicate-content SEO blocks) while sharing your content across social media channels. Use links to direct readers to the original content (such as a blog post on your domain), but keep in mind that business pages that only broadcast links to their own content are generally considered rude, even obnoxious.
How to tread this fine line?
It’s simple: engage your audience.
Know your platforms. Be present.
On Facebook, be aware that a user’s newsfeed will feature all pages, both friend and brand/business. Be conversational and interesting, and answer comments left on your Facebook page.
On LinkedIn, post links to your content, but also share interesting links and ideas that are relevant to your industry. Share posts from people in your industry, and participate in groups to build trust and establish yourself as an expert.
On Twitter, post short, interesting statements, retweet judiciously, and keep your tweets relevant and regular. Be sure to use hashtags to reference current events and topics, and always reference other companies, blogs, or users to show collaboration.
Always return to the source.
Of course, you should link back to your original content, posted on your own domain, for optimal SEO. But don’t simply broadcast links and think your work is done! In this age of information-share, marketing has become more collaborative in nature. We offer interesting content, and our audience determines the value. Marketing is no longer a one-way street. Take the extra effort to interact on different sites; the investment of time will be worth it.