I know what you’re saying. You’re thinking social backlinks don’t count because they are (mostly) nofollowed.
But guess what? There are tons of great reasons to get active about building social media backlinks besides SEO.
The biggest reason? People are clicking on links in social profiles and their news feeds.
What You Will Learn
- Why you need social backlinks
- Where & how you can place links on social profiles, pages and groups
- How to track link clicks from social profiles
While this guide may be long, actually updating your social profiles, pages and groups will take probably only take you an hour, based on the actual number of social properties you own and manage.
Also note that I skipped the obvious “drop a link in your status update” as you know you can do that. Unless there are special ways to do it or ways that people are not doing often.
Why You Need Social Backlinks
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Reddit are in the top 20 most visited websites globally, according to Alexa.
These websites all have a domain authority of 99 to 100.
What does this mean to you? It means you can have social backlinks to your websites that are guaranteed to get tons of traffic and tons of respect from Google. Nofollow or not.
Although the role of nofollow social media backlinks in search optimization is debatable, the goal isn’t purely SEO juice. The goal of social media links is to get clicks.
So keep an open mind and let’s move on with the social link building strategy.
How to Track Your Social Media Backlinks
You’re likely a bit skeptical about this whole “social backlinks gets clicks” thing. To help with this, why not track the social media clicks you are getting from your social media.
The easiest way to track social media backlinks is with UTM parameters and Google Analytics. For example, if you used the following links on LinkedIn profile…
Google Analytics would be able to tell you that you got clicks to your website from your LinkedIn profile from each of these sections: contact info, projects and publications.
You’d find this information in your Acquisitions > Campaigns > All Campaigns report when you click on the social profile campaign.
Note that you can’t use UTM parameters on all of your social profiles. For example, on Twitter, you would end up with a really long link in the website field.
On any social network that displays the full URL for your website, you can only use UTM parameters if you shorten your URL with Bit.ly or a similar service. This tactic might not be a good strategy for branding purposes though as people are sometimes wary of Bit.ly links.
So let’s look at all of the places where you can – and should – add links to your social profiles, pages and groups.
First, we’ll start with the most popular social network of them all.
1. Your personal profile’s about tab.
When someone visits your personal profile on Facebook, you’ll want to connect them to your website. To do this, add your website link in the website field under Contact and Basic Info on your About tab.
Be sure to mark this field as public so everyone can see it, regardless of whether they are connected to you. When someone’s not even logged into Facebook, they’ll still see your website link in the bottom right column of your profile.
You can also link up your Facebook page to your Facebook profile by adding it as your current employer. This link will give visitors to your personal profile two ways to connect to your website and business.
2. All of your personal profile (and page) posts.
Obviously, you can add a link to a Facebook post and drive traffic to your website. But what about those posts that aren’t links to articles?
Facebook now links any reference to a domain.com. Anytime you post something to your wall – especially posts that are publicly visible – add your website URL in that manner.
For example, you could say thanks to someone for including your website when sharing a link to an article mentioning you.
You could use it when you’re sharing quotes you’ve written, quotes published on your blog, statistics published on your website and so on. You could sign every post you write on your Facebook wall with your domain like this.
Think of it like part of an email signature.
If the updates are public, your followers and anyone who visits your profile will see your website link in your latest update.
For those currently capitalizing on Facebook’s love of video sharing, this tactic can help you get your website URL out to hundreds of thousands of viewers. Or even millions…
Remember this little factoid – it works just about everywhere on Facebook. Posts, profile tabs, page tabs, groups, etc.
3. Your page’s about tab.
Your Facebook page’s about tab gives you lots of opportunities to link back to your website, especially thanks to the domain.com links.
At bare minimum, you need to use the website link as that will show up on your page.
You can get double the benefits by including your domain.com in your page’s short description and using a landing page in the website field.
For example, you could have a link to your best lead magnet’s squeeze page in the website field.
4. Your profile and cover photo descriptions.
This area is the spot that most people forget. But when someone clicks on your cover photo or your profile photo (on your personal profile or your page), they’ll get the lightbox with your photo.
To the right of the photo, you have the perfect opportunity to link to your website. Take HubSpot, for example. They use their cover photo to advertise a lead magnet.
It’s the perfect way to get people to click on that cover photo and then on through to your website.
5. Your group description.
Don’t let your group description go to waste! Get your domain.com in the first 96 characters so that when anyone visits your Facebook group, they’ll see your website.
You can also pin posts in your group. If your group relates to a website, make sure that pinned post has your domain.com in it!
Now, let’s look at some good Twitter social link building opportunities.
6. Your profile bio.
Yes, you have a website field on your Twitter profile. But you can also have a link in your actual 160-character bio, giving you the opportunity to share your link twice!
Why does that spot matter? Not only does it give you the chance to share two different links to your website, but the link in your bio will show up in other places on Twitter, like search results.
The link you put in your profile’s website field won’t show up here.
There are also a lot of sites that lift your Twitter bio information for profiles, such as Klout. It won’t get the URL in your website field, but it will get the one in your 160-character bio.
Some of these types of sites are giving out followed links, so be sure to give them the chance to grab yours.
Note that while Twitter will hyperlink domain.com without the http://, other sites (like Klout) that pull your bio will only hyperlink if the http:// is included.
7. Your photo & video tweets.
Notice that box of photos and videos? It is created when you share photos and videos in tweets. If you’re sharing photos and videos to Twitter, make sure you include a link to your website.
This way, when someone clicks on one of those thumbnails, they’ll get your website URL in the lightbox. Otherwise, they’ll just get this.
For those of you sharing viral quote images and funny videos, this applies especially to you. If you get retweeted, you’ll want your link out there for everyone to click.
Connecting with professionals? Here are some great social backlinks for your LinkedIn profile, page and groups.
8. Your profile’s contact info.
Your profile’s contact info tab allows you to add up to three links. These links will be shown at the top of your LinkedIn profile for non-logged in users.
Be sure to use all three and customize the anchor text for them by choosing other instead of choosing the other options they offer when adding a link (company, blog, website, etc.).
Also, track clicks from these links with UTM parameters.
9. Your profile’s projects and publications.
The contact info tab is obscure at best for logged in users. For this reason, you’ll want to add your website link to other sections of your LinkedIn profile. Specifically the projects and publications sections.
Your websites can easily be projects.
Your best blog posts and lead magnets (white papers, ebooks, reports, etc.) can easily be publications.
Both of these sections puts a direct link from your LinkedIn profile to your websites and landing pages without having to rely on visitors clicking that little Contact Info tab.
You can track clicks from these links with UTM parameters too!
10. Your company page’s basic information.
LinkedIn company pages allow you to enter your website URL as a part of your basic information.
In lieu of the former products and services tab, there are now showcase pages that you can create under the umbrella of your LinkedIn company page.
You can add your product or service landing page URL to the corresponding showcase page.
You can also post updates to both your company page and showcase pages, so be sure to do so to give your followers more chances to click through to your website.
11. Your group’s website.
If you own a LinkedIn group, you can add a website to the group information during setup or in the group settings.
This information shows up by default to anyone who isn’t a member of your group. So if someone clicks on your group to join it, they’ll be introduced to your website as well.
12. Your group’s emails.
Owning a LinkedIn group has a special advantage over Facebook groups and Google+ communities. LinkedIn group owners can email group members once a week.
That’s right – once a week, you can legitimately get in the inbox of people who haven’t opted into your mailing list.
Just go to your group’s management menu and choose the send announcement feature.
If you haven’t been motivated to create a LinkedIn group before, here’s the best reason to now.
Pinning your website content for traffic? Here’s what you need to know about social backlinks from Pinterest.
13. Your profile link.
Your profile allows you to have one website link. Be sure to use it!
14. Your pins.
Did you know you can edit your Pinterest pin links after you create them? This tip is especially helpful if you want to upload a photo from your computer to create a pin as opposed to pinning an image on a page.
Just go to your pin and click the edit button!
Affiliate marketers tip: if you’ve pinned stuff from Amazon, edit the link to include your Amazon Associate’s URL. While Pinterest is cracking down on affiliate links on pins, they haven’t seemed to catch this one. Yet.
Make it an obscure tracking ID for best results.
If you’re linking to your own website, use your UTM parameters to track the clicks.
Instagram for links? Why not!
15. Your profile link.
You can – and should – add a link to your Instagram profile. Preferably add it with some icons that draw people’s attention to it.
That link will also get some love from the desktop version of your Instagram profile when people find your profile in search.
16. Your updates.
No, you can’t add a hyperlink to your Instagram posts. Well, you can, but it’s not clickable.
The popular trend is to tell people to go to your profile and click on your profile link to learn more about what your Instagram photo or video is about.
Just be sure to keep updating that Instagram profile link if you change your promotions.
Google+ is going to be changing soon, or dying, depending on which post you read. So I’m not sure how long these social backlinks will last. But they never hurt to try for the time being.
Especially since Google+ profiles and pages do get lots of views (mine currently has 341k).
17. Your introduction links.
On the about tab for your profile or page, you should have an area where you can write an introduction about yourself or your business.
The link you place in here can be customized with specific anchor text, or just placed as a URL. The best part – it’s a followed link!
So be sure to take advantage of placing a link or two in this part of your Google+ profile or page.
Especially since it’s much higher than your actual links box.
You can track clicks from these links with UTM parameters.
18. Your profile and page links.
Google+ profiles have a link section that allows you to link to your other social profiles, websites to which you contribute and your own websites.
Pages, on the other hand, allow you to set an official website link and then enter links related to your business.
While these are nofollowed, they should be utilized for click purposes. And you should track clicks to your website with your UTM parameters.
19. Your community’s about description links.
Do you have a Google+ community (similar to a Facebook or LinkedIn group)? If so, then you need to add website links to your community’s basic information.
Combined with a short description, your links will show up at the top of your community.
Since there aren’t many well-known tools to auto-publish to Google+ groups, people have to visit them (even to spam).
Therefore, your links will get lots of visibility.
You can track these with your UTM parameters too (along with the rest of the links mentioned within Google+ profiles and pages).
More Social Link Building Ideas
Looking for more social link building opportunities? Here are some additional ideas.
20. Do an AMA.
If you get the opportunity to do an AMA (ask me anything) on sites like Inbound, you’ll get some followed links in your introduction.
Since people are coming to get your expertise, they’ll likely be interested in learning more about you and connecting with you through your website.
21. Drop links as part of a discussion instead of as links.
Sites like Reddit can be brutal if they deem you a spammer. But they’ll love you if you’re being helpful.
Dropping a link in as part of a discussion helps you get a followed link and keeps you from being deemed a spammer if you do it the right way. Like this.
It’s a discussion in the appropriate subreddit as opposed to a link share. And it performed pretty well.
22. Check out other social networks.
Did you know there are over 500 social networks out there? KnowEm has them listed on their website. You can even have them create your profiles for you for a fee.
Wrapping It Up
I hope that you’ve gone out and created some social backlinks with the profiles, pages and communities you have – or that you are going out to do them now.
And I hope that you’ve discovered a few new ways to build some clickable social media backlinks!
Did I miss any social link building opportunities? If so, share them in the comments!