To understand what is popular, relevant, and credible, the search engines are turning to social media. And so too must brands. Social Media can contribute to the overall organic success of websites in several ways.
Social media marketing and SEO are two tightly interwoven strategies. Both are organic, inbound strategies that focus on building an appealing identity that naturally attracts visitors. Since social media relies on high-quality content and a visible, strong brand presence, the efforts you spend on SEO can doubly improve your social media reach, and as most search marketers will tell you, your social media presence can greatly increase your search rankings.
Unfortunately, when discussing how social media can influence your Google rankings, most search marketers leave out the details. Rather than discussing exactly how and why increased social media attention can improve your SEO, it’s written off as a generality, leaving social media marketers to wonder whether their strategies are actually effective.
To remedy this, I’ve compiled a list of six social media practices that are shown to effectively boost your SEO. For more ways social media benefits online marketing campaigns, see “The Top 10 Benefits of Social Media Marketing.”
1. Growing Your Number of Followers.
The total number of followers and connections your social media profiles contain does have a significant influence on your rankings. A company with 100 Twitter followers won’t receive nearly the ranking bonus of a mega-corporation with a million Facebook likes and a million Twitter followers. However, there are some stipulations to this; Google can detect the quality of your followers, meaning buying 100,000 proxy Twitter followers isn’t going to do much for your overall rankings. Instead, you’ll need to build your following organically.
Growing your number of followers is a slow process, but effective so long as you’re consistent. Present your brand uniquely and consistently, using the same voice to update your users on a daily basis. Post useful articles, helpful tips, open inquiries, and general discussion items, then follow up with your users by engaging with them in conversation directly. Conversations and direct customer engagements are the key to building and retaining a sizable, interactive following, since they encourage current followers to return and help build your authority for new, potential followers.
2. Encouraging External Inbound Links.
Social media is also useful because it encourages more external sites to link to your content, and the more diverse external links you have, the more authority you’ll gain in Google’s eyes. Of course, the catch to this is that you have to have high-quality, authoritative content to begin with. Otherwise, you’ll have nothing to use to attract links.
In this case, social media serves simply as a broadcast channel. Your content, assuming it’s original and useful, is going to serve as bait, and your social channels are going to serve as fishing poles, putting the bait in front of the right eyes. Use hashtags to gain visibility for your initial rounds of syndication, and don’t hesitate to bring your content into existing threads and discussions. Doing so will improve your social reputation as an authoritative leader, but more importantly, it will maximize your potential external link sources.
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