Can I tell you one of the most common misconceptions in SEO?
Social Media backlinks are not pointless.
I get why many marketers think they are (perhaps including you). It’s because they’re no follow and they don’t ‘count’ in the realms of usual SEO.
But the truth is that social signals play a role as a ranking factor. And, there is a lot of attention on Social Media that just isn’t going away.
If you ignore social media links you’re ignoring a large portion of your potential audience.
Indeed, social media backlinks offer an audience that can benefit your website. People access sites by clicking on links that are located on their newsfeeds all the time.
Below are 28 ways you can use to build social media backlinks that will boost your traffic and your social signals…
…and if you want to build serious links that move the needle, I suggest you download this free link building checklist.
Table Of Contents
What You’ll Learn
Social media backlinks are ignored by a lot of SEO’s because they think that they are useless. But that isn’t true! Social signals and backlinks play a role as a ranking factor and let’s be honest about it – social media isn’t going away anytime soon.
So first I’ve tried to avoid the obvious ideas like, “Drop a link in your status”. Because you know how to do that.
Instead, I want to explore ideas you may not have thought of, or might be overlooking. So here’s what you’ll learn:
- 28 ways to build social media backlinks effectively
- How to track links from social profiles
- How to place links effectively without spamming
You’re likely a bit sceptical about this whole “social backlinks get clicks” thing.
Why not track the social media clicks you are getting from your social media backlinks
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:
Acquisitions > Campaigns > All Campaigns
That’s located here in Google Analytics:
However, be aware 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.
Facebook Link Building
First, we’ll start with the most popular social network of them all.
Link #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.
Link #2: All 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 as 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.
Link #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 the 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.
Link #4: Page Buttons
As well as your page’s about box, you can also have page buttons that work as a call to action to your followers.
These are the big blue buttons that show up under your cover image. To edit them just hover over them to reveal this drop down menu:
And then edit the button to include a link back to your site, just like that:
Link #5: 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.
Link #6: Your Group Description
Do you have a Facebook group attached to your site? Don’t let the description go to waste!
Get your domain in the first 96 characters so that when anyone visits your Facebook group, they’ll see your website:
Link #7: Facebook Group Pinned Posts
In your Facebook Groups, you can also pin posts to the top so they’re the first links that anybody sees when they come to your site.
You can incorporate this and get a big hit of traffic:
This is particularly effective if you’re running a group where members can add other members!
Twitter Link Building
Twitter may not be the powerhouse that it once was; but this bird is far from dead. Let’s look at how you can get some social link juice from here:
Link #8: Your Twitter Website Field
This is a no-brainer.
When you’re setting up your accounts be sure to enter your website so that it shows up as a clickable link on your profile page:
Link #9: Your Twitter 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.
Link #10: Your Photo And 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.
LinkedIn Link Building
Connecting with professionals? Here are some great social backlinks for your LinkedIn profile, page and groups.
Link #11: 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.
Link #12: Your Profile’s Featured And Posts Sections
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 featured and posts sections.
You can easily promote your website or your projects through the featured section:
Your best blog posts and lead magnets (white papers, ebooks, reports, etc.) can easily be publications/posts.
Both of these sections put 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!
Link #13: Your Company’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.
Link #14: 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.
Link #15: Group Announcements
Owning a LinkedIn group has a special advantage over Facebook groups. LinkedIn group owners can send Announcements – basically large group emails – to their members.
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.
YouTube Link Building
Video an integral part of your business? Well, it can now be a part of your backlinking strategy, too.
Link #16: YouTube About Page
This about page link comes with two perks. Firstly, you get a prominent placement on your about page where people are likely to click back to your blog:
But this also comes with a second perk. When people land on your YouTube channel page, those links will also be displayed beneath your header image:
Because of the proximity of this button to the subscribe button, it’s going to get a lot of attention. And is a link that is really worth having.
Link #17: Video Descriptions
Every video has a description. And, while it may look greyed out to the naked eyes, it’s a clickable link when you hover over it:
Try having this in the first 25-50 words of your video description.
Pinterest Link Building
Pinning your website content for traffic? Here’s what you need to know about social backlinks from Pinterest.
Link #18: Your Profile Link
You only get one link on Pinterest, so you need to use it!
Pinterest will also ask you to verify your link, which allows you to unlock the next place to get links on Pinterest…
Link #19: Rich Pins
Rich Pins allow you to post photos and images to Pinterest as if you would be doing it with an article on Facebook.
Meaning that you can seamlessly attach a link back to your content at the end of your pin:
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 Link Building
Instagram doesn’t give you a lot of options for links. But the links they do give you get used. Why else would people be pouring money into the advertising and marketing efforts there?
Link #20: 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.
Link #21: Instagram Stories
Instagram Stores now let you add links when you create them. This isn’t a permanent link and it’ll disappear.
But if you’re creating a story that is relevant to a topic you’ve featured, put on in there with a strong call to action.
Need help from the experts? Head over to RisePro who specialise in Instagram marketing.
Quora Social Link Building
Quora is a social media platform I feel more marketers should be using than they are. There’s lots of referral traffic in it if you do it right.
Link #22: Your Profile
Like every other platform on this list, you get a link back to your site. Only this time it’s in your description and you have to hyperlink it yourself:
Link #23: Your Answers
Definitely include links back to your site and content in your answers to people.
This content can be seen for months, or years, afterwards. And having one link there can create a good amount of referral traffic in the long run.
But don’t just spam. Be sure to add value with the comment.
Link #24: WhatsApp Status?
Did you know you can add links to your WhatsApp Status?
All you have to do is go to settings, click your profile picture and insert the link:
Link #25: Video Streaming Sites
Do you do any live videos as part of your marketing campaigns?
If so, you should consider streaming them through services like Twitch and Periscope, so that you can include links there too.
People can find your videos organically through these sites, so this is a great extra place to have them.
Link #26: 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.
Link #27: Add Comments To Online Discussions
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.
Link #28: Check Out Other Social Backlinks
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 media 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!
Frequently Asked Questions
Does social media count as backlinks?
By definition, backlinks include any link present on a website that links back to your site. Facebook (like all the other social media platforms: Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc) is considered as a “website” so any link present on Facebook that leads people to your website is a backlink.
What is an example of a backlink?
If you’re looking for an example of backlink, these words link to Facebook, which means that Facebook just got a backlink from this site.
What is social media link building?
Social media link building refers to the process of building links through social media platforms. In other words, it refers to people that use their social media accounts to publish (through their bio or publications, for example) links that lead to their website.