The following is a guest post from Dan Zarrella. Thanks, Dan!

  1. Never Submit your Homepage
    Most social sites will allow you to submit each URL only once. So create a unique subpage URL for every social media linkbaiting campaign you do. You'll only be able to submit your homepage once and if it doesn't get popular you can't try again. We'll show you a few tricks later to maximize the effect of the new linkjuice from a subpage story.
  2. Put your Keywords in the Title and Description
    The title you or your viewers provide to the social sites for your pages is the most important element since this is the text that the vast majority of the links you will get will be using, so be sure to get your money keywords in here. The description many sites also require will be syndicated near your link on many sites, so make sure this contains your keywords also. Sometimes getting very commercial keywords onto the frontpage of a social site can be tricky, especially if the niche is traditionally spammy, if this is the case, sometimes you can take an attack angle to the story and make it work.
  3. Get Keyword Rich Comments on the Social Media Site's Story Page
    If a story gets popular on a well known social site, the story's permalink page on that social site will generally rank very well and provide a link to the target story. It can be helpful to make sure that the comments left on your story contain an array of keywords related to your story, to induce the page to rank for more words and to increase the relevancy of the link your story is receiving.
  4. Put Keywords in the Domain and/or File Name
    On some sites (both the original social sites and the syndication sites that re-publish every popular story from a particular social site) will link to the story using its full URL or domain name. If you include keywords in either the domain or the file name of the story page you'll increase your inbound link relevancy.
  5. Encourage Comments on Your Site
    If your story page has comment functionality, like a blog, and you encourage readers to add their own thoughts, comments, or criticisms, there's a good chance your viewers will create a whole bunch of free, organic and keyword-rich relevant content about your topic. Contests where people must leave a comment to enter are a good way to do this.
  6. Encourage People to Take the Conversation Back to their Blog and Link to You
    In addition to encouraging comments on your site, you should also try to persuade people to post about your story on their blog and link to you. Merely asking them to add their thoughts, or answer an opened ended question can go a long way for this, as well as contests where bloggers must post on their sites to enter (like the above suggestion for comments).
  7. Add Keyword Links to the Body of the Story
    After the huge burst of traffic from a story going popular on a social site, you can edit the content of your story to include keyword-rich links back into other areas of your site to help funnel some of the new link popularity the story has garnered.
  8. 301 the Linkbait Page to a Keyword Page
    If you weren't trying to get your story page to rank, but instead to boost the links of another page, or whole site, you can do a 301 redirection from the story page to another page or the root of the domain. Again, do this after the traffic from social sites dies down and the new links have stopped (or slowed).
  9. Comment on Blogs that Covered Your Story to Encourage Future Links
    After your story gets all the links it looks like it will be getting in the aftermath of it going popular. Visit each blog that re-posted your story and leave a comment thanking them and develop a relationship. Add them to your blog reader and return frequently to leave comments. This will encourage that blogger to link to your content again in the future.

Dan Zarrella is a social media marketing consultant and if you liked this post, you can check out his blog and vote for it at the SEJ search blog awards for Best Social Media Marketing Blog.