The Importance Of Social Media Marketing
It’s pretty obvious but for all businesses, online or bricks and mortar, you need to be visible to your potential customers. As an SEO agency this is something we do every day, mostly by improving the search engine rankings of clients’ websites. But that’s just one element of SEO.
With pretty much everyone on some kind of social media platform it is vital that businesses establish and maintain a coherent social media marketing strategy. Many business owners would focus on Facebook and Twitter. This is pretty logical given that these are the most high profile social media sites.
But here’s the thing – and it is vitally important. You might be on Facebook and/or Twitter every day but your customers might not. It all depends on your business and your target market. Younger people are more likely to be on Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit (or one of the many social media sites I’ve never even heard of). On the other hand, if your customers are professionals they are more likely to have LinkedIn accounts.
Three Ways Social Media Is Important In SEO
Building An Online Presence
Once you’ve created one or more social media accounts it is important to do the following things: First, regularly post articles, photos, Tweets, or whatever is applicable to the specific social media platform. This is a great way to promote your business and find customers. If the social media platform uses hashtags make sure you use them to increase your reach.
The second thing you need to do when you’ve started using a social media account is to like, share, and comment on other people’s posts, particularly people you’ve identified as potential customers. Last, and most importantly, talk to your followers. If people ask questions make sure you answer them as soon as possible. This direct interaction is so difficult to achieve in an online environment that you must take advantage of every opportunity.
And remember, first impressions count so it goes without saying that you should treat people online the same way you would in real life. It’s easy to get sucked into arguments online or be drawn into responding to seemingly innocuous comments that can quickly go downhill. This is the best way to lose customers and establish a bad reputation.
And don’t forget to include links to your website!
All of these activities increase your online visibility and promote your website.
More Website Visitors
Assuming you’re doing a great job with your social media marketing by following the steps mentioned above you should find that people are clicking on the links and visiting your website. But it’s also important to remember that the best way to ensure people actually click your links and share your social media content is to post valuable content that your customers find useful. In SEO circles there is a lot of talk about this kind of authority content these days, and with good reason.
Increasing the number of website visitors is obviously great but it also has the benefit of improving your SEO in two ways. First, Google includes social signals as one of the important factors in determining website rankings. So the more organic visitors and social media shares you have the better your Google ranking will be.
Second, shared social media posts mean that there will be more links to your website (backlinks) spread across the web. As I mentioned on our Social Media Marketing page Google views many of these social media sites as high authority websites, partly because of the level of user generated content. This means that backlinks from these websites are some of the strongest you can get. These high authority backlinks provide a great boost for your Google rankings.
I should add a word of warning here. Because Google rewards these organic backlinks some people are tempted to buy social media backlinks or spam the internet with them. These are known as’blackhat’ SEO practices and can result in Google penalising your website by deindexing it from Google searches. This means that no one will find your website unless they type the address into their browser.
Building Brand Awareness
It is important that your social media presence reflects your brand. Businesses should try to establish consistency between how they present themselves on their website and how they appear on social media. This relates to both images as well as the language you use. Obviously your brand should also reflect the elements that appeal to your target market.
As I mentioned earlier branding extends to what you say on social media, and how you say it. Adopting an argumentative approach is rarely beneficial. In fact, I know of an award winning boutique distillery that lost a number of customers because the owner decided to be abusive on social media.
Greater awareness also means that more and more people will be using Google searches to find your business using its name or through keywords associated with your business name. As a result your business will appear in Google searches for a larger number of keywords and keyword phrases. Google also rewards branded keywords with higher rankings if the keywords associated with your brand are positive ones.
As with most things associated with Search Engine Optimisation Google isn’t entirely transparent about how social media can affect SEO. However, we’re able to see the positive effects of a strong social media presence. So while we can’t say exactly what the importance of social media marketing is in SEO is as far as Google rankings are concerned we know it plays a part, and for that reason it can’t be ignored.