ImageYou’re out there. You’re writing entertaining blog posts. Creating illuminating infographics. Producing rib-tickling, eye-popping videos. You get it — content needs to be killer. Your blogs need to stop all those busy consumers out there in their tracks. Your newsletter needs to get people to visit your page and stay there. Content Marketing is King. So, you have great content, but how will people find it? According to Mashable, one major social media trend we are seeing for 2014 is the rise in referral traffic’s importance to search engines. And social media actions — shares, likes, retweets, and repins — are definitely affecting content exposure and even boosting organic search results. 

5 Practical (And Easy!) Steps to Optimize Your Social Media Posts 

While consciousness of more traditional SEO tactics can still come in handy (we’ll show you how to put your keyword know-how to use in just a bit), you also need to optimize your pins, posts and shares. As always, we’re here for you with a few fun illustrations and solid steps to take your content marketing — and sharing — to the next level and help you gain social media success.

Step #1: Make sharing your content a cinch

Take social media optimization into your own hands by encouraging people to share your content on their social profiles. Because, as you’ll see in a moment, once you get even one person to share your content, the possibilities are endless.

Case-In-Point: Say Bob shares your next blog post on Facebook. One of Bob’s best pals — let’s call him Steve — sees your post on Bob’s feed, loves it and shares it on his own profile. Suddenly, your content reaches not only Bob’s pals, but also Steve’s family, friends and coworkers. And Steve has this friend who… well, you get the picture.

As we talked about before, the more shares you gain, the more authority you generate. And this is not only with potential customers, but also with search engines. It’s true, Facebook posts don’t directly boost organic search results as well as Pinterest or Google+ does (more on that later, too). But with over a billion Facebook users monthly, it isn’t such a bad place to circulate your content.

Steven Rayson did an excellent job curating the key social media optimization steps you can (read: should) take to make it easy for people to shareyour latest blog or infographic. Here’s a few you can try today!

  • Add share buttons & social login options for seamless sharing, liking, or commenting right from your blog post or eCommerce product page.
  • Add social icons to your header or footer so people can connect with you (and see even more of the great content you post).
  • Provide subscription options for your email blasts, RSS feed or e-newsletter. The more content you can get to people, the greater the chance of more sharing later. 

Step #2: Clean up your act

Your content is sharable, good for you! Now, make sure you get the most value out of each share by controlling how posts of your content will display on each social media platform. You have to be ready when good ‘ol Bob (from step 1, remember??) loves your upcoming infographic.

How do you do this? By adding the correct meta tags to your URLs. These tags will tell each social media platform what to display — from providing a descriptive title and displaying the most relevant image to supplying a solid call to action. This little touch will make your content that much more enticing to click on and share when it’s out there.

Here’s a rundown of what a few major platforms use to manage their meta tags.

Is your head spinning about where to even start? Knowem.com has an amazing piece on social media optimization and an equally awesome tool that will grade your tag usage for each profile. Just plug in your URL for your score and hints on how to improve. Translation: You’ll end up with the best possible version of sharable content out there in no time. 

Step #3: Perfect your images and infographics with branding

Ready to share that infographic? Here’s a quick and easy tip you can use with every picture you want to share. Add your logo and URL to the bottom of your designs. That way, when people fall in love with your clear, informative voice and vibrant design, they will know where to come looking for more great content. Didn’t we say this tip was quick and easy? You’re welcome. 

Step #4: Improve your Pinterest results — and organic search — with keywords

Up until now, we’ve been discussing how to optimize your sharability. Our next two tips are powerful enough to help improve your organic Google search. Woo Hoo!

Although Pinterest is an image-driven platform, there are great opportunities to use strong content and keywords to boost your repins and even Google search results. This in-depth HubSpot article shares 10 solid ways to benefit from Pinterest’s SEO possibilities.

Here are a few we like:

  • Optimize your profile.

○     Start with an easy-to-remember business username that’s also easy to spell and associate.

○     Don’t forget to add keywords to your About section.

  • Break the mold with unique, descriptive board names. For instance, if you own a fashion boutique store, you will want to rename the default “My Style” board with something that specifies what the board is all about, like “Riding Boots” or “Cowl-Neck Sweaters.”
  • Generate solid content for each pin with a description that uses keywords, but still reads like it was written for a human (sound familiar?).
  • Rename photos with a descriptive, keyword title. No one will search for something like 12.jpeg, but they just might be on the hunt for something like Dark_Wash_Skinny_Jeans.jpg.

Step #5: Get on Google+

Newflash! According to the Moz blog, “After Page Authority, a URL’s number of Google +1s is more highly correlated with search rankings than any other factor.” If that’s not motivation to get yourself to Google+, we don’t know what is.

Make it a point to consistently share your content on Google+! Your SERP will thank you.

Kindergarten teachers are on to something — sharing really is a beautiful thing. So make sure your content is as sharable as possible. While you’re at it, make sure your sharable content clearly links back to your site. Yes. Optimizing your social presence is really that easy.