Why the Social Media Search Engine is Important
When devising a social media marketing campaign, many marketers forget about social media search engine results. Here’s why social SEO is important.
You’ve been rocking your SEO campaign. Except, you’ve been neglecting your social media search engine connection in your campaign. Which means your campaign could be performing better.
Let’s put it in context: 72% of adult internet users are on Facebook. And if you’re not there too, you’re missing out on their business.
Here’s what social media SEO is, how it works, and how to incorporate it into your existing SEO strategy (plus a few potholes you should dodge along the way).
What is Social Media SEO?
First things first: what is social media SEO? It’s the thing that makes the social media search engine connection make sense.
It’s also what makes your social media sing.
You could be forgiven for being confused – Google used to give contradictory statements about how social media factored into their algorithm. These days, it’s a boon. It has something to do with how social media has evolved in the past several years.
Let’s break it down.
How It Works
Let’s be clear. Social media isn’t currently a direct ranking factor.
However, that doesn’t mean it has zero effect on your ranking. Actually, neglecting social media’s role in SEO is one of the biggest mistakes social media marketers make.
Content that performs well on social media – strong engagement, likes, and shares – correlates with content that performs well on websites and blogs. That is, content that performs well on one platform is likely to see similar engagement metrics on the other because it’s good quality content.
A good social media presence, combined with a good content marketing strategy, create strong brand awareness and engagement, which boosts your rankings.
Social Media and Search Engines
Nothing is ever simple, is it? Certainly not when we’re dealing with the social media search engine relationship.
So it pays to know what the benefits of social media are for your next SEO campaign. As we said, social media isn’t a ranking factor officially, but it can help boost your SEO rankings indirectly.
That’s because of how social media works. Many of the benefits of social media translate over into your SEO.
Links, Links, Links
Also known as the boon of any SEO campaign.
Let’s be real. You need links. Earning links is what you want – it allows you to gain multiple links from a single posting (SEO folks call that angels singing).
But unless you’re a big site with tons of traffic, it’s hard to earn links.
Unless, of course, you’ve got social media.
Think of it this way. You have x friends on Facebook, y followers on Instagram, etc. They all have their own list of people who friend and follow them.
If your content sees traffic on social media, it has a higher probability of reaching more eyes – and being cited by other websites.
Et voila. Link earning.
Front of Mind
How often do you check Pinterest? Or YouTube? Or Instagram?
Probably more than you’re willing to admit. But you’ll notice something.
The successful social accounts post often, which means you’ll usually see them when you log on. Depending on the platform, many will post several times a day.
Guess what you get as a result?
Every time you log on, you remember them.
So not only does your business get frequent user traffic from social media, it keeps you front of mind with your customers.
It’s not just brand awareness.
Frequent production of high-quality social media content establishes your brand as an authority in your area while it familiarizes your followers with your brand, style, and products.
Of course, people are more wary of false information on the internet in general and social media in particular. That shouldn’t be a deterrent – if anything, it should be your cue to make sure you’re producing quality content every time you post.
And if you’re playing your cards right, there’s a fair chance that the next time your followers do a search that’s relevant to your product, they may even search you.
Things to Know About Social Media SEO
Ready to jump down the social media search engine rabbit hole?
Hold your horses. You need to know a few ground rules first. It’s not as easy jumping into a pool.
You also probably have a few assumptions about social media SEO that are frankly inaccurate. Those will hurt you in the long run if you’re not careful – or just hold you back from making your social media campaign that much better.
Here are three things you need to know about social media before you start to incorporate it into your SEO campaign.
Social Links Aren’t Guaranteed
We said earlier that link earning is one of the big pluses of taking a leap of faith into the social media search engine rabbit hole.
Thing is, those links aren’t guaranteed. Not even a little bit (if they are, or someone is
guaranteeing them, there’s a fair chance of something shady going on up in here. Don’t do it.)
There’s also a chance that the links won’t boost your rank. Wait, what?
That’s because the quality of those links matters more than the quantity of them – you’re always better off with five backlinks from reputable sites than ten backlinks from questionable sites.
Take your time, make good content, and use content marketing best practices to earn those links you have. Patience, as they say, is a virtue.
The Social Media Search Engine – Social is a Search Engine Too
Fun fact: you should actually be considering a social media search engine as, well, an actual search engine. Because there are more search engines out there than Google.
In fact, YouTube is the second most popular search engine on the web.
Profiles Rank Too
Social media might not directly impact your spot in the rankings, but it can directly change the content that shows up in that ranking.
In fact, social media profiles rank just as much as your business website or blog.
Why does this matter to you, way down there in the social media search engine hidey-hole?
Because social media channels aren’t just another office cubicle. They’re often the place where your company can show personality before a viewer takes one look at your website.
And if potential customers have fun getting to know you, there’s a much better chance they’re going to buy from you.
Making Social Media Work for You
It’s not just a matter of handing over the keys to your Adwords management. Although that does tend to make your life easier.
You need to make sure what you’re doing on this social media search engine deep dive. Here are three things to get you started.
Optimize Your Posts
It’s a strategy that relies on available pre-existing content, but it has the benefit of opening you up to another avenue of search. Fun fact: Google will sometimes feature popular social media posts in the first few SERP slots.
More avenues of search are always a good idea in the social media search engine rabbit hole.
The easiest way to do this is by using your standard SEO best practices on your posts. We’re talking strategic (not obnoxious) keywords, links to great content, and, of course, great post content.
Influencing Social Sharing
Need brand authority? Enter stage right: social sharing.
It’s just another way to give Google a clue that your site is an authority on your subject area, whatever that may be.
The best way to go about this is to target it directly. Give your followers an incentive to like, share, retweet and comment on your posts – like, say, a promotion.
It rapidly becomes a self-perpetuating cycle – the more people share your posts, the more people can see, like, and reshare your posts. You get new followers, more traffic and, if you’ve done it right, more business.
It all comes back to quality content.
Encourage External Inbound Links
And, finally, our old friend in this social media search engine journey: links.
If you’re doing your social media right (with great content, frequent posts, and good SEO practices) it encourages more external sites to share and link to your content.
Know what happens when they link to your content? Authority in the eyes of the almighty Google.
Like we said earlier, there are no link guarantees. You’re going to have to do your time and pay your dues – in the form of consistently creating useful, engaging content that’s worth sharing and linking.
Rock Your SEO (and Your Social Media)
Think you’ve made sense of this whole social media search engine thing?
Great. Let’s make it even better.
Check out our blog for all kinds of useful information to bring your social media SEO to the next level, like this post on the four errors that can damage your company Facebook page or this post on planning for your first Facebook ad.
If you have a question we haven’t answered, head on over to our contact page to let us know. Or, if you’re a writer, come write that answer for us.