The interactive nature of social media is an ideal platform for generating word of mouth buzz around your website, brand, etc. There are many different goals and ways to go about creating social media campaigns, but there is no tried and true way to go “viral.” If we knew the answer to that question, then everyone would be doing it all the time. While there’s no established method for going “viral,” there are tactics marketers can employ to better engage their customers, improve online visibility and drive traffic. In this post, I will relate an experience I had with creating SEO content that generated a significant amount of word of mouth.
I’ve created several social media campaigns for SEO purposes on behalf of my luxury apartment client, but one particular campaign has been more successful than the others. My idea was write an article for the client’s site that was targeted towards their audience, entertaining and SEO-friendly. Once we got the article up on the site, we strategically placed social bookmarking buttons on the article page, so people could share the article via Twitter and Facebook if they found it interesting. But having interesting content does nothing, if people can’t see it online or find it via search. So we took our strategy one step further by purchasing a two-day sponsored listing on a popular site to drive targeted traffic to the article. From there it took on a new life of its own.
My client has a medium-sized website that receives a little less than 200,000 organic visits per month. By the time the sponsored listing completed, we received 1.3 million impressions, 80+ comments on the sponsored listing, 1,100 Facebook likes and dozens of Tweets for a total of about 24,000 page views in two days. Since the campaign ended, the article has also received several thousand organic SEO searches for relevant topics. As a result, it’s quite possible that the residual benefit of the campaign will eventually out-perform the initial promotional push. For the tight-fisted marketers out there, the average CPC of the campaign was about two cents. The Google +1 button wasn’t released yet at the time we did this campaign, so we may run another campaign once the button has been integrated onto the client’s site in order to conduct further SEO analysis.
The key takeaway from this campaign is that we were able to generate such a response, because we wrote content that was aimed at entertaining people. It wasn’t written to sell anything and it wasn’t created specifically for search engines. Not every client will be able or willing to create optimized social media content. When the opportunity presents itself, however, you should give it a try. SEO and social media have been on converging paths for several years and it’s time for marketers to get onboard and take advantage of these amazing opportunities.