google hummingbird, social media, SEO, inbound marketing

How to: leveraging social media to make Google Hummingbird sing for your brand

One thing that amazes me about my job is that I meet so many industry professionals who still don’t know much about the infamous Google algorithm updates. Everyone who works in any type of marketing (because we’re all generating content for brands here, amiright?) needs to keep themselves apprised of these updates- because they do drastically affect a company or brand’s visibility/position within the organic results on search engines.

Which, you guessed it, wields the power to stuff your brand into the proverbial black hole under their bed to collect cobwebs and spiders, never to be heard from again.
So let’s stay on top of this- it’s not hard. I don’t want to come into meet with someone ever again to a shocked gaping look of “where did it all go so wrong?!” when the respective site is found on page ten or worse- not at all.

If you remember nothing else from this article, please heed these three sentences: Your website and online branding is a fluid, living, breathing thing. It needs to be fed and watered, talked to and petted lovingly, it needs to be PAID ATTENTION TO at least three to four times each week. Or else it will shrivel and die.

Here’s my list of how to make the newest addition to “THE ZOO” – the Hummingbird- sing for you.

Google+

Get on Google+ immediately if you haven’t already. Google is now indexing Google+ pages, which means that the new “communities” will be as well. Show your marketing muscle as much as possible, start a community about your brand for your audience, talk to people. Hummingbird loves Google+ much more than other social media sites for not so subtle reasons, one may guess.

LinkedIn

Hummingbird loves Tea. As in “T”-shaped authorities. What does this mean? It likes authorities who have knowledge in a wide range of topics but deep, critical understanding in a few. That means drive-by stops into Twitter and Facebook to post a back-link to your site doesn’t mean anything. Getting back links from your industries influencers- where your brand is actually influenced- DOES. Like Linked-In. Are influencers in your field linking to your brand? Are you engaging them? That’s good, keep doing that. If you haven’t, you need to be active in Linked-In like yesterday. I know. So obvious. Thank me later.

YouTube

YouTube- did you know it’s the second most trafficked search engine? And you didn’t have an active thriving channel because…. why? People love videos. Even if you’re making playlists of industry relevant videos or three minute “vlogs” about relevant topics (seriously, just use your phone!) – you can work it- no fancy camera crew needed!

Pinterest

This social media site has been oft overlooked. But lately has been very effective for brands- do you notice a trend here? This update is very visual. And if you’re not creating content- at least stay busy curating content- sometimes just as good- you can influence your audience as an “authority” on what is relevant on Pinterest because as we know there are a lot of Pinterest fails out there as well. Why weed through all that garbage when you can follow a trusted buddy and get what you’re looking for very easily? Exactly. Pinterest. Now.

Quora

It’s a total time-suck, but really it helps you stand out as the “world’s best” at whatever you do by showing off your deep understanding of certain topics (remember, the Hummingbird will sing for “T” authorities!).
Work on building your presence on these sites- along with other best practices as far as updating your blog, on-site SEO, etc. and you’ll start seeing progress. Consistency is key.

And if you’re unfamiliar with Hummingbird, before you freak out, just remember- just like the other two algorithm animals, it’s designed with information-seekers (read: your customers, your target audience) in mind. Content generation for your audience still wins above all else. So chances are if you’ve been optimizing your brand the “right” way (and not key word stuffing, or using any other shady black-hat SEO tactic) you’re still going to be doing just fine.

Written by Kristin

Marketing professional in Rochester, NY, with over 14 years of experience in the marketing and advertising field. Broad knowledge base with all forms of marketing, with critical understanding of search behavior, search engine marketing, and social media marketing.