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How to Use Social Media to Boost Your Local Link Building Efforts

How to Use Social Media for Local Link Building

Link Building Means Variables

Link building, in general, is a set of measures aimed at getting other websites to link to yours.

Link building is a lot more nuanced than on-page SEO and technical SEO. You have to rely on a lot of assumptions and there is a certain degree of risk. Google obviously tries to keep the link ranking algorithm as obscure as possible, and there are a lot of misconceptions circulating.

However, one thing is certain — links work, and they are not going anywhere as a ranking factor (not any time soon, at least). Receiving a lot of inbound links is a signal of an authoritative website that has popular content that people want to consume and share.

Backlinks are a ranking factor in Local SEO as well, and even though local SEO link building techniques may be special, the essence is the same. You need to maximize the amount of diverse, natural, quality local backlinks to your domain from websites that have real traffic and visitors.

So how does social media help in your link building process? Let’s go over some practical hacks — and some conceptual ideas too.

The Value of Social Media Links

Let’s start with the basic understanding that social media links are, in fact, a type of backlink. Most social media websites are pages that Google crawls and “understands.” Social media pages can mention other sites, and these mentions are usually clickable links. So let’s get the false dichotomy “social vs links” out of the way: social media links are links.

The reason why social media links are usually discarded in terms of their SEO value is because of the way they are set up technologically.

These links are usually redirects, images that link to sites, text mentions, and everything else that most professional SEOs would normally discard since they are not your “good old” anchored do-follow links. But that’s a very skewed approach that makes businesses miss out on a lot of promotion opportunities.

Yes, social media links may not carry too much “conventional” SEO value, especially if you try to measure it with third-party SEO tools and link analyzers. But Google still crawls and detects them — it would be naive to think it doesn’t affect the authority of your website.

Google has explicitly stated that “Organic or word-of-mouth buzz is what helps build your site’s reputation with both users and Google.”

Remember how valuable citations are in local SEO? Well, citations are not necessarily backlinks either — but they mention your NAPW (name, address, phone number, website) details, and they give you a boost.

Profile Link Optimization - the Concept

Absolutely anyone can create a Twitter profile with a link. But every time you send a tweet, every time you follow a user, every time you quote a tweet — each time that happens your profile gets an internal link on As a result links from popular and active profiles do carry more SEO weight.

The same goes for every other social media platform. Every new follower and every new interaction they have with your profile & content — all that gives you another internal link on the platform.

So the way you build out your social media presence matters. Your profile links can be weaker or stronger, depending on how interconnected your profile is with the actual social media platform.

Diversity and Creativity

With social media, you can get creative with the type of links you place there. There are profile links, but there are also opportunities for placing your links into descriptions, comments, quotes and share text, and a lot more — all based on each platform. See some practical ideas for inspiration in this post.

Audience-Centric Promotion

What would you rather take: a redirect link that sends 50 visitors per month to your website, or a do-follow link that sends zero? If you are not sure then you are probably prioritizing your SEO goals over your business goals.

Links are not just there for SEO, they send direct traffic to your website. That traffic may convert better than any other source depending on how and where it’s placed. 

Think of your backlinks as a direct marketing channel that’s immune to Google updates and algo changes. 

That’s exactly what social media link building is, as well — creating links that can bring you new website visitors.

Social Media Relationships and Outreach for Link Building

Being active on social media locally will help you run outreach naturally and organically, which is the best way to go about it. No one likes to be pitched links — but when you contribute to the conversation regularly your pitch does not seem inappropriate or forced.

Focus on non-competing businesses and adjacent industries, don’t just stay in an echo chamber of your direct and indirect competitors.

Be consistent and automate as much as possible. Have lists of users you need to interact with and update it regularly.

Use the Search

Sometimes you can use the search on social media to find link placements — just like you would use Google’s search; e.g., searching for “guest post/blog post/new blog post” + “yourkeyword” and switching to “latest” on Twitter will give you a bunch of recently shared content that you may be interested in. Pick between the accounts and interact with the best and most active ones.

Ask and Interview

Social media websites can help you connect with experts in the field. Each of the experts has a following and an ego — you can use both to your advantage. You don’t even have to look for local experts to get the local SEO benefit.

The funnel for link building this way would look like this:

  1. connect with experts on social media websites
  2. produce a post on your site interviewing them (the best part is you can take many at once)
  3. ask them to share and promote their interview

This can result in a lot of backlinks to your site and a lot of traffic. Each of the experts interviewed will link to the interview post from their site, and some of their followers will as well.

Align your Efforts

If you are running outreach via email — connect to those brands on social media too, and vice versa. 

If you are running your outreach campaigns through CRM software or a similar platform, always include social media profiles and have sequences that engage these profiles.

Connect With Consumers, Not Just Brands

Try to spot some fans of your products and services — establish relationships with them and interact in fun and outside-the-box ways.

Most consumers will not be running their blogs (although some of them will!), but they will be able to leave reviews and engage with you socially using likes and shares.

All of that adds up (especially the reviews!) and boosts the authority and relevance of your domain.

Social Media to Power up Your Links

Social media activities can help you make your other local backlinks stronger. 

Each time you get a link from another local business or a blog, make sure to get as much social media action as possible around that new link. Share the article that hosts your link in posts and comments, and post it to groups.

Promoting the guest posts you got on your social media accounts is a sign of good manners really. The other business lets you place a blog post on their site — so showcase these posts to your audience as a sign of appreciation.

Do not just share your link placement once, add it to your scheduled sequence of posts and repeat it every once in a while. If it’s a tweet or a LinkedIn post, repeating it every once in a while will help you keep your presence consistent and build relationships.

The fact that you are actively promoting your link placements and sending traffic to your link donor sites is a big selling point for your future link building pitches. Give your prospects an idea of how many new eyes will see their sites if they host your backlinks. Consider building a pitch deck for outreach — let everyone know that letting you guest post is a win-win scenario.

Social Media Events and Contests for Local Link Building

Engaging online communities can bring you some of the best links you can ever get. Also, these links will be the hardest for your competition to replicate, since they can’t be just bought or traded.

There are many social media contest ideas (e.g. in this post by Hootsuite or this one on SproutSocial) — you can engage social media users with contests, trivia, giveaways, viral challenges, call for poems/stories/submissions, and a lot more.

The best part about these activities is they can give you several tiers of links — the first tier coming from the actual event participants, and the next tier of links coming from people and brands writing about your activities (recaps, case studies, reports, guest posts, etc.)

This creates potential for perfect promotional sequences:

  1. Run a giveaway
  2. Get links from participants
  3. Publish a recap post with giveaway results and stats on your own blog
  4. Run an outreach campaign promoting that post
  5. Guest post about the results of your giveaway to marketing blogs
  6. Pitch links to your recap and the guest posts to more sites, and so on

Activities like these can be repurposed, and if you are working with smart link builders who know what they are doing, one engaging social media event or a contest can put you light years ahead of your competition.

If you need help coming up with these ideas or managing these events, get in touch with us and we might just be able to help.

These events and giveaways are where you can also purchase paid ads to advertise your contest on each social media platform.

Watch Competitors on Social Media

You need to be closely monitoring everything your competitors are doing on social media, and you need to be strategic about it. Try to understand why they are doing what they are doing and how you can leverage that for growing your own backlinks.

Keep in mind, however, that your competition may actually not know what they are doing on social media and just act randomly. This is where you have a chance to get a step ahead of them since they would be easier to beat.

Hijack your competitors’ fans and followers, repurpose their content, engage with their partners, and outreach to their links. No need to get obsessed with it, but it’s always a good idea to be doing everything they are and a lot more.

Participate in Campaigns and Events That Other Brands Run

Sometimes it’s a good idea to take part in a social media event, contest, or a viral challenge that’s run or started by some other brand. If you see an opportunity — jump on it, especially if the campaign is started by a non-competing business.

However, as we remember our main goal here is building more links, so gather all mentions of the contest/event/challenge you took part in — use Google or Google Alerts for that and gather all the mentions. Reach out to them, tell them you participated, and offer your commentary as a brand or a professional (it has to be meaningful though!) the chances are pretty high that your commentary will get published with a link.

Keep Track of Your Goals

While using social media to boost your local SEO link building results, always remember why you are doing it all. Your business interests and KPIs need to be above your SEO KPIs, so if you see opportunities with little SEO value but decent chances of traffic and conversion — explore these opportunities!

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