A question many entrepreneurs and starting businesses ask is – does Social Media Marketing (SMM) help SEO?
More importantly, how can you use these external channels to develop your business? Social medias like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram have a lot of good qualities on their own. But they can actually help your digital marketing efforts for SEO also.
Simply put, your SMM or social media marketing efforts might positively impact your SEO both in performance as well as on Google search rankings.
So, even though some marketers still see SEO and social media marketing as two separate things instead of seeing them holistically, social media should be a valued companion to SEO. But how does social media marketing impact SEO? And what are the benefits of using social media when it comes to SEO? And what kind of social media platform is the best fit for your business?
Let’s take a closer look at the questions above throughout this article.
Does Social Media Marketing Impact SEO?
There are a lot of different opinions and ideas on this topic, despite several studies and claims. Point blank, it is important to understand that SMM does not directly contribute to your SEO ranking, but the links you share through social platforms will create awareness around and improve your brand exposure.
In other words, Google does not count a share on Facebook to the same degree as it does for a backlink from an high-authority site, but it does value the traffic and “talk” around your website and brand altogether.
So, social media does have an impact on SEO but in a less direct way. When your social media marketing efforts add up, they will influence your search engine optimization in six different ways:
- Extensive content distribution;
- Longer lifespan of your posts;
- Improve online visibility and organic traffic;
- Increase brand recognition;
- Enhance brand reputation;
- Boosts local search engine optimization (SEO).
How does this work? Simple. A study analyzing 23 million social media shares on specific platforms, showed that this activity around your posts, likes, and comments is sending out signals which search engines use to rank your website’s relevancy to your market.
So when people interact with your brand and content social media, it will generate triggers that indicate your social media posts are valuable to your target groups or specific market.
How Does Social Media Marketing (SMM) Help SEO Efforts – 5 examples
1. Boost Your Content Performance
If you are not using social media to share your content, then you might be missing out on some great opportunities.
These external platforms are important to distribute any type of content your business produces as they give you access to a wider audience compared to your website alone. The more people visiting your content, the more traffic, and implicitly the more positive user signals and benefits to your search rankings.
2. More Opportunities to Gain Backlinks
Backlinks are a large part of SEO, as they show search engines that other people find the content on your website important. So using your SMM strategies to attract more eyes on your content, will improve the odds of someone linking to it.
Content expands easily through social media, even if you don’t have a lot of followers. It only takes one person to link back to you for more people to see it. Social media is a good place to get started.
But beware! Google is looking for qualitative backlinks not quantity. So, while you might get a ton of new backlinks to your content, you will want to do a backlink report and remove those toxic ones from your list.
3. Social Media Gives A Different Perspective
When people look up your business, your social profiles will rank along with your website. And you might think if people are searching for my brand, they are already interested in what I am offering.
That is partially true – most people searching for your brand will go to your website. But, there are also a lot who don’t know you just yet, or simply don’t trust your brand as much, and want to see what kind of social media presence you have.
Your social media profiles will provide them with another view of your business than your website alone – how do you present your brand on each channel, how do you interact with your users, are you active on social media or are you slacking?
All these questions help them understand if you care about your users, how personal your customer relations management is, and if they should engage with you or is it a waste of their time.
4. Bring More Traffic to Your Website
When it comes to SEO the ultimate goal is to increase visibility, which will bring more visitors to your sites. And, being active on social media and creating content that the audience likes will bring a lot more traffic to your website.
You are worried because you only just started with SEO?
Even more reason to use social media marketing to your advantage as it can help attract visitors before search engines do. It takes on average between 3 to 6 months for a search engine to crawl, index and rank a page before it is presented in the search engine results page (SERP).
So, for businesses trying to attract visitors quickly or simply fighting to get more traffic to their site, learning how to use social media will give you the boost you need.
But, be careful. Just having a great social presence is not enough. Your vibe, tone of voice, brand and content has to be consistent throughout all of your digital marketing channels.
5. Good Social Profiles Build Trust
Users have a general mistrust around new businesses (new for them, not necessarily new to the market). And because there are a lot of businesses that aren’t reliable, people are very careful of the those they choose to engage with.
Well maintained social media profiles help people build trust and see the genuine business behind the brand. Nonexistent social media marketing can be a bad sign to consumers.
In other words, while if you have been using SEO to create trust with your target group and improve your online reputation, your social media efforts are just the cherry on top. It gives you a chance to personalize your brand, be consistent wherever your users search for you and simply show them you are worthy of their time and patronage.
How to use different social media channels for your marketing strategy
The choice of what social media platform to use for your business depends on the goals, products, and services that your business provides, but also on where your users are most active. You need to look at what your target group wants when promoting your business on social media, including how it works and how it’s used best.
Social media marketing will require some extra time and effort depending on the platform and level of your commitment. This can include good content, PR, events, or creating specific groups for your users. Deciding which ones are right for you requires a good understanding of these platforms.
Let’s look at a few top social platforms and how they can be used to enhance your digital marketing efforts. Note, no two businesses are alike and this is just a limited list, so you might want to go deeper into your research to find to she platforms that suit your needs.
Marketing strategies for Facebook
In 2007 Facebook allowed Google and other search engines to crawl some of its pages. This means that Google and other search engine bots can read content on Facebook. So, when users search on Facebook, these pages will show on SERP.
You can even see Facebook reviews in some of Google’s knowledge panels. A good piece of advice for you is to take advantage of Facebook for SEO, to drive more traffic to your site.
Facebook is perfect for personal businesses that want to promote their goods and services on social media, boost their content, or attract more engagement. A Facebook ad also comes with different ad formats, Image, Video, Carousel, Slideshow, Instant experience, and Collection.
Facebook as a social media platform has a personal approach and more complex user data. It provides ads in a visible yet non-disturbing way, and it also knows what each user wants. Facebook ads are shown on the Facebook feed, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp. Facebook ads are everywhere the users are, so what better way of reaching the user through Facebook Ads.
Marketing strategies for LinkedIn
Are you looking for decision-makers who have the power to hire your company, stock your product, or partner with you? Then LinkedIn is the place to be.
LinkedIn is a different type of social media platform that focuses on connecting professionals around the world. Continuing their simple and direct approach, LinkedIn Marketing solutions are really simple. With only four main campaign types, LinkedIn promises everything an advertiser needs for creating an online ad campaign within a few minutes.
LinkedIn is doing quite well as one of the top social sites for lead generation. LinkedIn is the content marketing hub of 94% of B2B marketers and almost 90% of marketers are using the platform for lead generation. According to research, 62% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn.
Using LinkedIn for SEO is perfect, as the site will help you to get discovered on more search results. By placing the right keywords in your profile, and strategically adding relevant search terms within your content, including headings, the LinkedIn search algorithm could push you up to rank at the top of SERPs.
Marketing strategies for Twitter
If your business is related to entertainment, sports, politics, tech, or marketing, then you will need to engage on Twitter. On Twitter, brands have an opportunity to practice their voice – there is room to be clever and personable.
Twitter is the inventor of tweets and hashtags. It is the fastest-moving social media platform when it comes to user engagement. Twitter records more than 500 million tweets a day. Like any other online advertising platform, Twitter allows marketers to target their consumers based on geo-location, interests, keywords, etc.
To increase traction for your Twitter posts, you will have to ensure to only share quality content that engages users. Moreover, add only relevant hashtags to improve your visibility. Hashtags help people find your tweets, which build up your brand recognition and increase traffic.
Tweet your links frequently, but not in a spammy kind of way, to attract users and drive traffic to your site. The likes, shares, and comments you receive are powerful social signals that Google will use to rank your website.
Marketing strategies for Instagram
Instagram is a social network where product-based businesses, influencers, and coaches can get more success.
Since the launch of shoppable posts in 2018, the potential for product-based businesses is better than ever. It is mostly for B2B connections with a great customer-base, for whom it is possible to link product info and sales straight from the Gram.
This is Instagram Search Engine Optimization, which shows a powerful search engine that allows users to pursue specific posts that they are looking for.
With more than a billion users on Instagram, and where a lot of them are Generation Z or millennials, it is a trendy platform for marketers. But if you want to stand out in the crowd and have your content seen, Instagram is the place to be.
Marketing strategies for TikTok
Many businesses have not figured out how TikTok can work as a SMM tool yet. They might think that the platform only has a “young” user base. But now TikTok is drawing attention to a broader range of people. In fact, 38% of TikTok’s users within the US are above 30.
The low competition among businesses could mean a massive SMM opportunity to reach a lot of people at a low cost. But, TikTok is not like other social media platforms, so it might take some time before you understand it. That said, TikTok could work as a successful marketing channel, don’t let your prejudice dismiss it.
Everything you do to build your online business must work together. So how does Social Media Marketing help SEO? And more importantly can it benefit your business? SEO and social media marketing both have benefits for your business, but they are more efficient when they complement each other.
The above guidelines within social media channels and marketing strategies are necessary, but implementing them into your marketing content is even more important. Continue to test your performance to see which areas you need to improve.
Social media platforms will help you engage with customers and develop your business. You can use the online platforms to figure out what people think about your business, for advertising or promotional giveaways.
So, social media can be used to reach your market when you have the right marketing and social media strategy. It can also help you attract customers and build customer loyalty.
The best social media platform to use for your business depends on goals and what your target group wants. The only disadvantages of social media are that you might need some extra resources to manage your online platform and you need to prepare yourself for negative feedback from users on social media.