Let’s get this out of the way before we begin, Social media does not directly have any effect on your SEO. But what about links in social posts, social engagement and brand mentions I hear you say, while these are all positive indicators, there is no evidence to show that they have any impact on your SEO, at least not ‘directly’.
The reason is that social media is a somewhat unreliable, incomplete signal for search engines. Google, as powerful as it is, simply doesn’t have the resources to crawl and index the millions of posts created on social media each day. Additionally, due to the complex nature of social profiles and posts, Google can’t guarantee the identity behind the social profile or post and therefore can’t reliably determine the authority of the source.
So, instead of looking at direct ways that social media affects your SEO, we are going to turn our attention to a number of strategies where social media can have an indirect effect in search.
Create link opportunities
This is by far the best way to use social media to supercharge your SEO, but it’s also the most difficult.
If you’ve spent hours creating your latest blog post, you need to tell people about it and one of the easiest ways to do it is through social media. The difficulty comes from having to rely on others to take action without any input or prompting from you. The key here is to create exceptional content that is worthy of sharing. Content creators can’t link to what they don’t know about, so If your content is informative, helpful and interesting, then it may also be link-worthy. The goal should be to get your content in front of influencers, industry experts and top industry sites, to influence links, brand mentions and in turn, rankings. Boost your post with paid advertising to reach a wider audience, the more exposure your post gets, the more chance you have of it reaching the right people.
What does great content look like?
You can’t just write a blog post, add it to your social media and expect to get shares. It just won’t happen. Your content needs to be good, better than good, it needs to be exceptional. Think about who you are writing the content for, if you are writing it just for the search engines, you are wasting your time. It needs to be written for real people. Start by thinking of what your audience would want to read, can you answer a question, give advice or cover a topic that others in your industry haven’t addressed? If your audience feels like your content was written specifically for them, they will be far more likely to engage with it.
- Write great content.
- Define a social strategy that involves the promotion of your content and follow this up with a procedure, so that all of your new content is promoted across social channels.
- Taking into account the way social media works today, only a small amount of your followers will get to see your post, so make sure you reshare your best content to reach more people.
- Boost your post with paid advertising for maximum exposure.
Social media is changing and it’s harder than ever to reach your audience organically. To combat this and expand your reach, we need to look at the thing social media does best, connecting with others and building relationships.
You should seek to build relationships with the following three groups of social media users.
These are your loyal followers, they love your brand and help your effectiveness on social media and expect nothing in return.
Don’t mistake this for paid influencers, that is a separate group entirely. We are talking about organic influences who have attained their position based on expertise, trustworthiness and authority in their respective field. Harnessing relationships with organic influencers in your industry is important, as any content of yours they share, will carry weight with their followers.
This group consists of other businesses or people of influence within your industry who you can work with for mutual benefit. Social partners are perhaps the most valuable group to target with your social relationship strategy, due to the long-term potential and the possibility of leveraging both your social followings.
- Engage with your brand fans and encourage them to share your content.
- Target influencers within your industry.
- Build partnerships for long-term mutual benefit.
Optimise your social media profile
This is something that a lot of businesses overlook, if you haven’t taken the time to optimise your profiles across social media, you could be missing out on substantial traffic to your website. By optimising your profiles you could be dominating the top positions in the SERPs with multiple listings.
So how do you go about optimising your social media profile for SEO? You can start with the basics, ensure your profile is set up correctly and comprehensively. Fill in all the information fields at your disposal with informative content, it sounds obvious, but you would be amazed at how many social media users fail to do this. Use high-quality images, choose a profile picture that reflects your brand and use additional brand imagery where appropriate.
Social media doesn’t sit still, you need to make sure you are posting to your account on a regular basis so visitors don’t think you have abandoned the account. Balance your promotional posts with other content to avoid bombarding your visitors with adverts.
Finally, link to your social media accounts wherever possible to promote discovery and increase relevancy and traffic. This could include from your website, company emails and third party sites.
- Comprehensively complete all of your social media profiles.
- Use only high-quality imagery and add brand imagery where appropriate.
- Post regularly to your social accounts.
- Link to your social media accounts wherever possible.