If someone wants to learn more about your organization, the first place they go isn’t your company website. It’s Google.
When someone types your organization’s name into Google, where on that list do you want your company website, blog, Twitter and Facebook accounts to show up? The top of the first page, or at the bottom of page three?
Today, I’m going to talk to you about how to make Google love you. I’m also going to answer one of the most frequently asked questions about social media use for businesses: Do I use my own name/photo/etc. or my organization’s?
Make Google love you
When you use social media to build your employer brand, you’re having a conversation about your culture, about job hunting, and about your industry. You want to make it easy for people who are interested in talking about that stuff to find you and join your conversation.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the art of helping Google and other search engines find your stuff and put it in front of people who care about what you’re saying.
There are entire websites and numerous books devoted to SEO. Today, I’m going to give you the lazy man’s guide.
Search Engine Optimization
Google, Yahoo and other search engines are in the keyword business. When you type in “How to build a birdhouse,” a website that contains those words will rank higher in the search results than a website about cranial surgery.
In future articles, we’ll be talking about blogging, using Twitter and Facebook, and integrating photos, video and audio. Here are some things to keep in mind as you setup your accounts.
The URL matters
If someone wants to learn how to build a birdhouse and does a search on Google, a site called howtobuildabirdhouse.com would probably be the number one result.
(Case in point: I just did a search on that, and howtobuildabirdhouse.net is the first result – and it doesn’t even have any content!)
When you write or post something, you should think about what keywords people would use if they wanted to find an article, Tweet or whatever just like yours. Then, make sure your post, where ever it is, uses those keywords.
If you’re writing a blog post about how to be a better interviewer, include the phrase, “how to improve your interview skills” or some other similar bundle of keywords a few times. If you’re Tweeting (posting on Twitter) about an open position at your organization, include the phrase, “Job opportunity at Acme.”
There’s a fine line between adding useful keywords and seeming spammy. Don’t go too overboard, but do add a few relevant keywords and phrases to make it easy for Google to find you.
We’ll get into a bit more detail about SEO tactics specific to each platform in future articles.
Putting a face to the name
Has anyone ever thought, “Man, I really wish I could talk to Acme Widget Corp.” Probably not! More likely, they’ve thought, “I really wish I could talk to someone at Acme Widget Corp.”
People don’t want to connect with your business. They want to connect with you.
Do I use my own name and photo or my company’s logo?
You’re trying to build an employer brand, so it’s important that your corporate branding elements are there. That means including your organization’s name and logo.
At the same time, no one wants to talk to a nameless, faceless entity. They want to connect with a human.
So how do you balance the two? I recommend using your organization’s name as your URL, but attributing your personal name to the content you create. Use your photo, and superimpose a corporate logo into it.
When you look at those accounts, there’s no doubt you’re learning about Sodexo and their career opportunities. But you never feel like you’re talking to a robot, either. You’re talking to Kerry (who’s phenomenally nice, by the way – definitely reach out and say hi!).
So what now?
Next time, we’re going to talk about blogging.
If you haven’t yet, make sure you’ve developed an employer branding strategy. Spend some time thinking about the kind of things you’re going to talk about, and consider how people would search for that kind of content.
If you have any specific questions around blogging that you want me to address, leave a comment or send me an email.
PS: This article is part of an ongoing series about Employer Branding through Social Media. If you liked it, you may want to check out the rest of the series.