SEO tips for Facebook and Twitter

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Quick tips for optimization

  1. Pick a good username. Your username, or handle, will likely affect if and where your Twitter profile appears on a search engine results page. Most of the time, the most appropriate username will be your brand name, but in certain cases a relevant keyword will be preferable.

  2. Choose a good account name, which is as, or more, important than the username. Search engines look at both the username and the account name to determine relevance for keyword searches. So if the name of your organization is Dwayne Johnson Fan Club, you'll likely want to choose that as your account name. This will increase the likelihood that your Twitter channel is returned as a result for the keyword search "Dwayne Johnson Fan Club."

  3. Add links and keywords to your profile. One of the reasons Twitter is so popular is because it is so damn easy to use. While this ease of use might be good for my mom, it's not the greatest thing in the world for your brand because it means that you have few opportunities to customize the page.

    Write your bio carefully and include relevant keywords if appropriate. For the "web" URL, it would be best to link to a landing page created especially to convert social media users, but you also might consider linking to a Facebook or YouTube profile. Linking to your homepage is a perfectly acceptable option too.

  4. The initial characters of tweets are important for search engine listings. The first 40 or so characters of each Twitter update are the ones that will appear in the titles of the search engines' listings when an update, or tweet, is returned as a result. As such, this is an ideal place to include any relevant keywords that might define the content of the message. And as a general rule, try to include keywords in your tweets whenever it makes sense. It's always best to tell the search engines exactly what you mean rather than let them figure it out on their own.

  5. Tweets should include back links when appropriate. A big part of SEO is link-building, so when it makes sense to do so, include links back to content on your blog, Facebook, YouTube, or website. If you don't overdo it, and keep the tweets on-topic, Twitter can be a good way to build some links back to a page you want to promote.

  6. Optimize your background image. Even though none of the links will be live, you can customize Twitter's background image so that your profile shows links to your other social media destinations. If it's a personal twitter account, you can include a headshot and even a phone number. And by all means, take advantage of this opportunity to stay consistent with your branding so that it matches your corporate website, blog, etc.

Who did it great
The Coffee Bean
The Coffee Bean has chosen a corporate messaging persona for its Twitter account. Therefore, the background has been optimized to display contact information for customer relations, media and entertainment, and career opportunities. The company has also set aside a small space for current promotions in a graphic labeled "Happening Now at The Coffee Bean."

Best Buy's Twelpforce is a Twitter-based customer service forum. It has optimized its background image to both stay consistent with the branding and messaging of the Twelpforce campaign and also to provide instructions for how to use the Twelpforce service. The bio section clearly states the purpose of the profile, and it even lists a non-live link to an associated Facebook profile.

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Catherine Johnson
Catherine Johnson March 29, 2010 at 1:24 AM

The SEO tips should assist the reader in forming a basic understanding of how to create human friendly web pages which are easily understood by the most popular search engines.
Some of the important SEO basic tips are:
With Regards
Catherine Johnson
Senior Manager

Florida SEO
Florida SEO January 17, 2010 at 3:30 PM

Your Twitter post is good and brings up some valid points, glad I found your post! I believe that social media is going to be the future home for any and all advertising and marketing. With Google's real-time search and other search engines catching on quickly you will see many SEO Companies becoming Twitter SEO Companies very soon! I wrote a post that you may be interested to read about Twitter SEO

I am an avid Twitter user and focus on building the value that I add to the rest of my social network, I help to promote any and everyone that asks me for help (as long as they are not loco in la cabessa!). I believe that optimizing your profiles is very important, just as optimizing your website is, but the most important part of any SEO efforts is having quality content. The same goes for Twitter, you need quality content and updates for people to read and link to. If you tweet about the right subjects you will notice more and more incoming links to your twitter profile when your tweets start being republished on other people's blogs (provides some temporary page rank). Also you can do your own personal "Social Media Press Release" and some good old fashioned article directory link building with your Twitter profile.

Social media is the first step to an "open-source" media and news. My twitter username is @gohewitt for anyone looking to follow. I am excited to see what comes of all of this and feel that we still don't have a clue what being "Connected" really means just yet!

Drew Hubbard
Drew Hubbard September 15, 2009 at 12:41 PM

@Zoe: I would discourage you from significantly altering the content of your Twitter updates just to optimize for search engines. Just keep it in mind when you are tweeting. Relevant content that is useful to your followers takes priority, but if you can change it up slightly to make your updates search engine friendly, great!

Zoe Sands
Zoe Sands September 15, 2009 at 7:20 AM

An informative article with valuable information, I'm glad you shared your SEO tips on optimising your business Facebook and Twitter profiles for search. I think most people wouldn't have thought about this whilst establishing a social media presence and strategy. My key take away tip is how important the first 40 characters are in a tweet, as these are the keywords which are added to the search engine listing. I'll try to craft my tweets a little more carefully now to be more search engine friendly. Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge.

Drew Hubbard
Drew Hubbard September 11, 2009 at 2:52 PM

@Memo: That's awesome feedback. It's true that small tweaks make big differences. If you don't mind sharing, what changes did you make?

Guillermo Corea
Guillermo Corea September 11, 2009 at 2:50 PM

I've done a few experiments with combining/linking LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, and it definitely affects the ranking and pretty quickly.

Drew Hubbard
Drew Hubbard September 10, 2009 at 7:08 PM

@Chris Barton: Absolutely. Remember that a social media profile page is just like any other page. Good content (to help the search engines understand what the page is about) and good links is what will get you ranked for relevant keywords. Therefore, the same advice applied to YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.

Matthew Greene
Matthew Greene September 10, 2009 at 8:12 AM

Might be useful

Chris Barton
Chris Barton September 10, 2009 at 7:27 AM

I guess these tips would go for other social networks too and youtube etc