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Social Profile Linking strategy Linking to your social media profiles needs be as easy as linking to your home page. It’s enough work maintaining and monitoring your brand across all of the social networks and channels. Outside of monitoring, have you ever considered how many other pages are duplicated profiles or very close in the name. Personalized search can be your best friend or your worst enemy when searching with Google or your favorite social search engine. Forget personalization, we are living in a world of personalized-social search.

This social media strategy will help you create links that are easily remembered and controllable to your profiles across all channels and social networks.

Have you ever found yourself in a conversation trying to explain how to find your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles? The biggest challenge is the memory of the person you are talking to. You need to explain a full URL or profile name so easy that someone doesn’t have to think. You start talking # ! / and you will get the “deer in the headlights” look real fast or be forgotten quickly. In order to creating social links there are some general guidelines to use when creating links you will use a lot. A very common design theory in regards to all things web and even social media is: Don’t Make Me Think and Clean, Clear, and Concise.

It is rather surprising that most companies have not caught on to the fact that some profiles are just hard to find when dealing with personalized-social search.

How to Link to Your Social Profiles

To apply this process of the don’t make me think theory to links pointing to social media profiles. The best practice is by using sub-domains from your already known branded domain. You can capitalize on your online success and your popular web address and use it for some social media marketing.

Here an example of social profile links and social sub domains:

The bad, ugly, and worst social profile links

  • http://www.twitter.com/!#/dotcomken
  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/kenpendergast
  • https://plus.google.com/116589908179310356977/posts

Let’s clean these up and make them simple to talk about and sticky for our memory:

Clean, clear, and concise links using the sub domain method

  • twitter.kenpendergast.com
  • linkedin.kenpendergast.com
  • google.kenpendergast.com

Social Profile Clean URL

Just by looking at these URLs you can see how much nice and clean they are, we all love clean urls and so does our memory. This also gives you complete control over where people go to view your profiles. You will realize the importance of this as you keep reading.

Duplicate Content in Social Search

What if your company name, personal name, or brand name is so common that there is more than one in a search listing? From experience when I search Ken Pendergast there is another person with my name who is a musician. The worst part is we both play bass guitar. So now if I was recording artist and people searched my name you would see there are two bassists with the same name or 1 person in the middle of an identity crisis. This is the problem “don’t make me think” addresses from a social media perspective.

By using the sub domain linking method you now can control where people go for your profile even in a small conversation setting. You can partially remove the effort needed to find the correct profile. The algorythm for internal search on facebook, is very different from Google. As we can see today, there is nothing that shows evidence of the amount of likes being a factor within the results. Anything that can be easily exploited will not have a significant weight attribution in the ranking algorythm.

How to Implement Social Media Links with Sub Domains

This is the typical method for implementing social sub domains:.

  1. The first step is to plan which profiles you actively manage (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+)
  2. Create a document and copy all of the links to each individual profile

  3. Now this is where it gets tricky, you can contact your hosting company, webmaster, or your IT department and ask: “what is the process for creating sub domains”. When they ask why do you need one? You tell them it is a part of your social media strategy and you are following a standardized method for linking to your social media profiles, from your website and or printed materials

  4. You will want the sub domains to redirect to your profiles by using the direct links to your profiles

Integrated Multi-Channel Social Media Marketing

As social media continues to evolve we as marketers need to keep things simple for our audience. Linking and having visitors find our profiles – this need to be the easiest step in the engagement process. Without this there is no engagement. There is no reason to justify losing 1000s of referral visitors from different social channels. Consider this your first step into integrated multi-channel social marketing.

These links can be used across all of your social profiles to effortlessly connect them and your audience.

Social Analytics and Link Engagement Monitoring

Want to be a real analytics hero, take this a step further and use a page that redirects using a standard method that is unobtrusive and fast. Using server side code to push Google Analytics events to your analytics account and track which links are being engaged. If you are outsourcing your social media campaigns you are now able to track the real value of the agency’s efforts.

Social URL Engagement Metrics

On a given month for social – what percentage of users convert into followers or fans?

Total URL Visitors / All Site Visitors = Social URL Engagement Rate

Total New Fans and Followers / Absolute Unique Visitors = Social URL Conversion Rate

To find the true value in these metrics, there are a few challenges. You need to know how many of the unique visitors were not already fans or followers. The setup for this implementation will depend on your platform. Javascript is not recommended just because some mobile devices do not support all the fancy scripting tricks we use and the visitors could end up stuck on a blank white screen. You also need to remember to filter out any external referral traffic. This is not the easiest system to measure with only Google Analytics. This should serve as an idea for you to build upon internally.



  • http://www.birgerking.net birgerking

    Hi Ken,
    great article! I have often thought about doing this and pushed it away. You did a great job collecting all the relevant data, even including metrics. Thank you!