10 Strategies To Find Backlinks Using Social Media
While there are some in the SEO community that restrict themselves to finding backlinks from articles, writing guest posts, and using more traditional methods of acquiring links from trusted authority websites, getting backlinks using social media could be the new wave of the future.
Social media connects you with potential customers, but it can also connect you with peers in the industry that may be more than happy to link to you - especially if you're not in direct competition with them.
Target Your Audience
Regardless of which social media website you are on, you have to target your audience. Find the industry players in your niche. Hopefully, they are somewhat SEO savvy. Even if they aren't, it doesn't mean that you can't get a link from them.
Reach out to larger platforms than you are used to. If you try chasing down the big corporate names in your industry, it's going to be an uphill battle. First, you probably don't have enough of a value proposition to attract the big names. Consider personal bloggers who are on Twitter or Facebook who are just starting to gain influence in your niche or a niche related to yours. If you run an insurance website, for example, consider making friends with a finance blogger.
Finally, find the movers and shakers in your industry. Some websites actively seek out content from other blogs, but they may be easier to contact via social media than through the normal channels. Social media is, well, social, so if you have something interesting to say, there's a good chance you can start a dialog without shooting off an email.
Develop Your Online Persona
While you should never lie about who you are online, you do have to develop a persona. This persona doesn't have to be something you're not. In fact, it actually makes you come off as less genuine when you do try to fake it. Developing a persona means letting the best of yourself come out in all of your writing. This helps to add value and will attract good linking partners who mesh well with your persona.
Where this becomes an issue is if you ever do social media campaigns for someone other than yourself. It's tough to pretend to be someone else. That's why you have to do a really good job when taking on clients as an SEO expert. Setting up social media accounts is one thing, but posting as your client and being his "voice" is a whole other ballgame. It takes skill and a good sense of who your client really is.
Quality vs Quantity
This is probably beating a dead horse, but don't skimp on content quality. There is no substitute for it. There is so much garbage on the Internet today, that it's difficult to sort through it. If you're just adding another "spun" article, or something of little or no value to your website, then you won't attract anyone worth a link request.
When posting to Twitter, Facebook, Digg, or any social site, make your message unique. There's always a way to approach a subject or niche in a way that's never been done before. If you're just a "me too" kind of company, don't expect much in the way of popularity and backlinks.
Search Twitter for hashtags and keywords. Aside from that, use Twitter directories like Twellow and WeFollow. These directories are probably the easiest way to find relevant Twitter users. Search by relevant tags (i.e. if you're in the finance niche, search for words like "insurance," "money," 401(k)" or whatever it is that your site is about). You can also use Twellowhood, which is a searchable map that lets you find Twitter users near you.
Use sites like Listerious and Followerwonk to find Twitter bios for desired keywords. Followerwonk even lets you analyze a Twitter user's followers. This basically means that if you find a good link prospect, you could end up with more since you can search his followers.
Klout lets you search influencers in your niche by keyword or category. Since Klout connects to a lot of other social media websites, it acts as a sort of "hub" for these sites. It also means that you don't have to do much research to find link prospects.
Using Delicious to find link prospects takes a bit more work, but it might be worth it. Generally speaking, the harder it is to get a link (or find a link prospect), the better because most people won't go through the effort required. With Delicious, you can search by tag, by site, or by related article. For tags, enter the keyword and you'll be served up the most popular links from that category. Enter your competitor's URL. You'll see users who have bookmarked them. Chances are, some of those bookmarks come from people you could also snag a link from. Finally, searching by article lets you see who has saved it. Once you know those users, you can contact them for a backlink.
StumbleUpon cuts your workload down when looking for new blogs. Enter your target topic and you'll be able to browse through relevant stumbled blogs. You can also network, leave comments, and get some new ideas for whatever you're stumbling.
Digg has a beta feature called "Newsrooms." This feature collects influential topics and users by category. If your niche falls under one of Digg's Newsroom categories, you can browse it through the Newsroom's "Leaders."
Google+ isn't as popular as Facebook yet, but there are major players over there. You can search Google's network for potential link prospects by doing a simple "site:plus.google.com" search. You can also use peopleonplus.com.
LinkedIn is a professional network, so this will really only be good if your niche caters to more professional people. You can use advanced search to find member profiles by keywords, by answers, and by groups. Profiles by keywords lets you find people and email them directly. You can get yourself involved in the discussions that happen on LinkedIn and provide answers to people who ask questions. It's even better when you can answer a question posted by a link prospect. Finally, searching by groups allows you to find groups with members who would be your ideal link partners.