You probably noticed every business thriving in the online world uses social media platforms to leverage their sales funnel. But why? Why do they go social when there’s already PPC search engine marketing, email marketing, affiliate marketing, and SEO?
Well, when Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter became the most visited sites on the internet, people started bringing the things that they sell on social media, most especially on Facebook. And it makes sense. Why sell somewhere people don’t visit every day? If you are a serious marketer, your instinct would tell you to put your efforts where people are. And that place is called “social media.”
Did you even know that there are 7.7 billion people in the world and 3.5 billion of this population is on social media?
Image source: Hootsuite
But back in 2014, Google’s Matt Cutts released a video saying that they don’t look at social signals like number of followers, post likes, and shares for search engine ranking. And it’s obvious why. When everyone puts all of their marketing funds on Facebook ads, then no one would go to Google for paid ads.
To hear Matt’s full explanation, please see the video below:
Matt Cutts – Are pages from social media sites ranked differently?
So I’m not saying not to use Twitter or Facebook, I love to tweet, there’s a ton of people who get a ton of value from both Facebook and Twitter. I think both of those services represent a fantastic avenue, it’s a way to drive visitors and traffic to your site, it’s a way to let people know about news related to you or your company or website, so I think they’re great ways to build up your personal brand. But don’t necessarily assume that just because there is a signal on Facebook or Twitter that Google is able to access that. A lot of pages might be blocked or there might be nofollow on links or something along those lines.
-Matt Cutts, Google
Now, it’s already 2019 and the rules seemingly changed.
While social signals didn’t have a direct influence on SEO ranking, a study carried on by Hootsuite in 2018 tested the SEO results of articles that were and were not promoted on social media. The results showed that those that were shared on social media boosted rankings by 22%!
If you’ll look at it, you are sharing your blog link on social media. If they are using chrome to open your link, then that’s counted as 1 share in the traffic of your article. It goes the same with your products.
Since social media is built for mass sharing, your visibility only is greatly affected.
“We should not be worried about whether links from social media platforms are valued in the same way as a link from a high quality and highly relevant website. Instead we should look at the benefits of utilizing social media to help boost ranking signals that we know search engines care about.”
– Simon Ensor
The relationship between search engines and social media is a bit complicated to understand but know that your social signals are slowly influencing your SEO ranking.
Another finding was by Matthew Woodward when he realized that contents shared by thousands of people on Facebook helped a website get into 2 top 10 search ranks for their target keyword. Consequently, it helped the content be cited by other authors in their articles.
So if you are in doubt, we’d say, you should continue with your social media campaigns as it is starting to impact on your SEO this 2020 and most likely in the years to come too.
But how do you do that exactly? What are the routines that will make your social media efforts reflect on your SEO?
Here are some things we found would be helpful.
5 Ways to Use Social Media for SEO
Social media can be tricky, but if you get it right, you will benefit on two results: traffic and sales. Here are tips on how you can achieve them:
1. Optimize Your Profiles
Optimize your social media profile so that you can establish your image and branding. If you want to leverage on all social media platforms available, use a uniform image, name, and details across all sites. Be sure to create a catchy bio that is also informational. Include a summary of the relevant details about your business and make it interesting. It is social media so be conversational. Don’t be too stiff.
Always make your weblink visible on your bio too. This is to instill on your followers’ mind that you have a website and that clicking on the link you posted will bring them to your main business page where they are about to see more.
2. Post Updates Regularly
Be sure to establish regular engagement with your followers. Be active in posting status or updates about your business, promos, products, etc. Be active but be sure not to overdo it, otherwise, the platform will flag you as spam.
Here is the recommended number of posts per day that you should make to let your followers, the platform, and search engines know that you are alive and real:
3. Improve Your Posts and Go Viral
We’ve mentioned it already – a post with thousands and millions of likes and shares can make an impact on your SEO ranking. And how do you go viral? It’s as simple as 1-2-3!
- craft viral headlines that people can’t resist to click
- create unique and eye-catching images
- explicitly ask you followers for likes and shares
Give your audience a reason to look into your update by giving them a catchy headline and creative. It’s like attracting someone in real life. We impress them first with our looks so they’ll be curious enough to learn about our inner self.
Now, the golden question is: do we use hashtags too?
Hashtags are like keywords. Since the search function on social media can’t be as accurate as it can be on search engines, people usually categorize their search through hashtags. But not all search engines use hashtags for searches. On Instagram and Twitter, they are everywhere but on Facebook, people hardly use them.
4. Add Social Sharing Functions to Your Web Contents
Like we pointed out earlier, the links you share on social media are from your website. When they go viral, search engines will be notified that you’re a link on your site is getting a lot of traffic. So for this to happen easily, you should place social media buttons on your content, so readers on your website can share them on their social media accounts.
Social Media Share Buttons
Of course, you need to create content that is of great quality. Topics should be timely and interesting. Images and videos (most especially those from Youtube – Google’s library for videos) will boost social media engagement too. Just look at 9GAG and Boredpanda. People love sharing them on social media because their topics are fun and unique or with breathtaking photos.
5. Engage with Your Audience
Social media is where you socialize with people, hence engaging with others will help you boost your social media SEO.
Sometimes, when you are just starting to build your social media page, you’ll notice that you hardly get engagement and you hardly convince people to follow you. That is because a lot of pages these days are run by bots.
Hands Holding Colorful Speech Bubbles Social Media Concept
Netizens love engaging with real people they can talk to. If you browse through posts on social media, those that go viral are those that gain a lot of comments. When you patiently reply to comments on your posts, people will start following you because you let them voice out their thoughts through your posts.
Of course, you need to do the same with other posts you see online. Drop your comments and start conversations with other commenters. Later, ask them to check out your posts that are related to your comments.
Another way is to connect with influencers. Catch their attention by commenting on their posts. But be sure to comment on posts that are related to your niche so you can later drop your link in the comment section.
SM is a fast-moving platform so keep your content coming. Run campaigns every month. Organize giveaways. Please your audience and they will spread the good news about your page to their network too.
SEO is alive in SM. The impact may not be huge but it can make a difference. So don’t forget to add social media marketing to your SEO plans. Billions of people are out there so go ahead and mingle with them.