Someone asked this question today: “Why send people to other websites besides our own?” He was thinking about tweets and posts that send people to other websites instead of sending them to the same kind of information at your own site. I get that. When we read Forbes on SEO, we are definitely not seeing new information that we’ve never written about here. They’re not SEO specialists. So why tweet an article from Forbes?
The first answer, the answer I gave the guy who asked, is simply that social media for business can’t be about promoting yourself all the time. People won’t follow you if you’re just advertising your wares, because that’s not what social media is for.
Establish yourself as a good source of information, a trustworthy place to find the good stuff on your subject, and people will follow you. Then, when they need what you have to offer, they’ll come to you.
It’s really that simple.
But look beyond that. Here are some of the messages we’re conveying when we tweet a story fromForbes:
- You trust Forbes, and they’re saying the same thing we’ve been saying for years. Therefore, you can trust us.
- We give credit where credit is due. We didn’t just tweet this headline– we linked to the article. Therefore, you can rely on us to be straightforward with you.
- We show you someone else’s good article even if they say some harsh things about SEO or mention competitors. We only tweet the good stuff, but we don’t only tweet stuff that markets us. Therefore, you can count on us as a source of information.
Do I actually think about all that before I tweet an article? Not usually, no. We’re curating good things on our topic — and doing the same for our clients — in order to provide useful, entertaining content for followers. That naturally increases followers and reach, builds trust, and makes us (and the clients) valuable.
The strategy is to think about the people to whom we’re providing value. We can go back and identify the strategic benefits of a particular tweet if we’re called upon to do so, but we know that the overall strategy of providing value works. We don’t have to deconstruct it every time we tweet. We just have to do a good job of researching and sharing the good stuff.
Fortunately, not all the good stuff is at your website.
Despite the SEO advice I get to the contrary, I also love to link out to other blog posts and web resources. It shows you are impartial and, as you say, helpful.
For me, it’s also a better SEO strategy anyway, as the fundamental basis of the web is links.
And if you don’t voluntarily link out to others, how can you expect others to voluntarily link back to you?
Absolutely! There’s a lot of old-fashioned SEO advice out there. I think focusing on the value you’re providing is timeless good advice, though.