Social Media and SEO Go Mainstream – The Archers
Synopsis from The Archers episode transmitted on 31 August 2011:
Tom tries to educate the volunteers at the village shop about E coli, but admits to Pip that they don’t seem to want to know. Pip reminds him that he’s fighting back on-line. She’s linked their website to her Twitter and Facebook pages. Tom tells her how he and Brenda keep visiting their website over and over again. Pip checks if he’s deleting his browsing history to ensure that that each visit is recorded as a new hit. Tom assures her they are, then immediately phones Brenda to tell her what he’s just learned.
Pip, Tom and Brenda are working together to promote their business and that’s what social media is all about. Despite early resistance, the concept is starting to gather some impetus and it’s great that The Archers will be introducing their listeners to a vital component of modern marketing, but there is still a lot of confusion and misunderstanding about the way it works.
Just as some business owners think that having a website should be all it takes to bring in new business, a Facebook page or Twitter account does not work on its own. Whether you’re using search engine optimisation or social media for business, it requires regular traffic and interaction to prod Google into recognising that they are relevant and active sites which are worthy not only of indexing but of inclusion in their search results pages.
Google decides who to put on their SERPs using an algorithm that is based on Activity, Backlinks and Content so you need to work on all three to really push your claim for that top ten listing.
I have recently begun working with a collective of therapists at The Therapy Life Centre in Southend and helped them to set up a Facebook page. Working together and using a cohesive social media strategy, it is possible to publicise both the Centre and their own individual businesses by linking to each other. They can then share informative content about their own therapies across the networks, as well as advertising the various classes and treatments to their own friends and fans.
It was also interesting to hear Tom and Pip talking about promoting activity on their website by repeatedly visiting it – and the need to clear browser history between visits so that each hit will be counted as a separate visit.
Personally, I’m not sure that I would necessarily recommend such a time-consuming course of action. If you regularly put good content onto your website, keyword it so the search engine spiders know what it’s about and promote it properly on your social media profiles and with bookmarks, then you should be able to get sufficient activity and backlinks to nudge Google into noticing your site. This would be a far more effective and productive use of time.
Part of the problem with all these methods is that they require regular updates and interactions – effort needs to be put in to start building relationships with people who express interest in your products. But it’s a worthwhile investment of time.
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Tags: Social Media and SEO