Linking to Your Social Profiles | Why, How & Where
Just so we are on the same page, this article is not about building social links to your website (or sending social signals); it’s about linking to your social profiles (like your Twitter or Facebook profile).
Now, Why Would You Do That?
Reason #1: Exposure
Remember that the “number of backlinks” was originally meant to measure a website’s or webpage’s popularity or level of exposure.
So the first reason would be to increase the exposure your profiles get, and eventually hope for (well, work towards) more likes, comments, shares, +1s, retweets, mentions, leads, etc.
Reason #2: Dominate the SERPs
Sure, having your website on Page 1 of the search results is nice. But how about having multiple spots on that page (less spots for your competitors?). You have probably already noticed how Facebook and Google Plus profiles appear on Page 1 anyway. They have the potential to rank high; building links to them will only help them get there.
Reason #3: Dominate the Social Network Itself
While we don’t exactly know how social networks rank their own pages and profiles in their own search engines, the number of links pointing to them might very well be one of those factors (And if they are not yet, they are very likely to be in the future, so why not invest in it now, before most other people).
Now That We’ve Got the Why Covered, Let’s Get Into the How and Where, Okay?
From your Website
Ignore the “2-way linking doesn’t work” advice some marketers like to give without any further explanation. Sure, if your link profile consists of 100% link exchanges, you might be flagged. But it’s (very) normal for a business to link to its social profiles. These are actually useful links, as the user can learn more about the company (by looking at reviews for example).
Simple ways of doing it are:
- Icons (or text links) in the sidebar, footer, or even header of your website linking to your social profiles
- Using scripts that the networks and third parties provide that allow people to connect to your network directly (It’s not technically a link, but serves almost the same purpose)
On Other Websites
I’m not talking about spamming. I’m talking about when you are a contributor (or guest poster). Insert your links in your author bio. Most blog owners won’t mind (as in, they won’t count it as part of your “maximum links allowed” if you ask nicely).
Don’t go about creating forum accounts just for this purpose. But on the forums you are already registered on, and the forums you genuinely plan on using, fill out the forms in the user profile. We tend to just pick a username and password, and maybe fill out the website field, but many of them now also ask for social profiles. Fill them out!
Cross-linking Between your Social Profiles
Again, some “gurus” advise against cross-linking, but here, it’s totally relevant. Google Plus actually specifically asks you about your other profiles, so that it can show on your profile. If Google doesn’t think it’s a bad thing, chances are it isn’t, right?
Pinterest allows you to connect as well. However, just because it’s not an “official feature” on the other networks doesn’t mean you should not establish a connection (*cough* link *cough*).
Get the Staff On-Board
Have your staff link to your company profile from their Twitter and Facebook accounts (in their profile bio). Twitter links are NoFollow. Facebook links are DoFollow. Use both!
Oh, and when on Facebook, make sure that they just don’t type in your business name, but actually click on the (correct) link that Facebook suggests to establish a “real” link.
You know how we used to feel smart when digging up the backlinks of our competitors? Well, we now have the chance to experience that feeling again, by playing Sherlock Holmes in the game of finding the backlinks of our competitors’ social profiles!
Chances are, you might be able to place your own links on there, too.
A quick search reveals quite a few tools that can help you with that.
Linking to your social profiles is a simple move that can do a lot for your business and its exposure on the social sites, in the SERPs, as well as in the “real” (online) world.