Social Media and SEO, A Continued Love Affair

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  • 1/31/2017
    Social media has transformed into a growing field for the marketing game and is more than just posting a killer selfie to share with your friends. Whether it’s a Facebook Fan Acquisition campaign, Twitter Ad or Instagram Carousel ad, there are plenty of options for marketers to put up real money to support their brand or organization’s content on social media. In 2017 specifically, the ad space is getting more competitive as social media channel algorithms are shifting and limiting the amount of reach your content might get. This means we have to pull out all the tricks from the social media marketing hat, and from other hats too in order to get the right results.

    Social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn continue to stay relevant, even with the naysayers who hint at a social media apocalypse. Hands down, social media has become a vital part of marketing across business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) organizations (Yes, B2B organizations are using it, too!).

    Small to midsize business owners might ask, “Why does a B2B organization need a social media campaign?” Well, as search engines continue to evolve, social media content is gaining more distinction across SEO as Facebook posts and tweets are ranking higher on search engine results pages (SERPs) and informing consumers on which brands to purchase from.

    According to a 2013 report from Econsultancy, 74% of companies and 82% of agencies, whether it was slightly or highly integrated, have stated that they incorporated social media into their SEO strategy. In a bizarre twist, Matt Cutts, head of the webspam team at Google, released a video in 2014 explaining that social metrics such as Facebook likes and Twitter followers do not affect search rankings. This wreaked havoc among the digital marketing world, but before SEO specialists decided to break up with social media, Neil Patel, SEO expert and founder of Quicksprout, warned digital marketers not to completely give up on their relationship with social media, and boy was he right!

    Even though it is unclear whether social media shares contribute to a webpage’s search ranking, Patel discovered social profiles can largely contribute to the content of search results. In a world where content marketing has been called king, there’s a special place in marketers’ hearts for social media page content. In many cases, social media pages show up near the top of results on a search page. For example, when “thunder::tech” is searched in the Google search bar, our social media profiles for Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are included in the results after our website. Our relationship with social media has become codependent and no, we’re not ashamed.

    And while mobile optimization becomes more and more prominent in the marketing sphere, social media is becoming an even bigger factor for search engine results pages. Because social media pages tend to be more interactive than webpages, users often look at social media pages before they look at an organization’s main website.

    If you’re wondering why your business should care about the social media sphere, consider these facts: Let’s face it—social media pages are a quick and easy way to gauge how a company communicates with customers and represents the work they do, good or bad. These pages can make a user’s experience of researching your company more entertaining, engaging and understandable via the content a brand posts on its pages.

    So your organization doesn’t have as many followers or likes as preferred? Don’t worry! Using social media to complement other content strategies is a big enough reason to start using it. Social media strategies, especially among B2B organizations might start off slow, but the content value that social media provides will outweigh the amount of time it takes to grow a considerable amount of followers or likes.

    In terms of how to blend social media and SEO, organizations should look past simple metrics like how many followers their Twitter account has or how many likes they are able to garner on Facebook. Instead they should focus on producing quality content that not only reflects their organization’s products or services, but also the value and experience customers can get from it. This means including conversations about the popular topics your audience is looking for in their searches. In other words, taking longtail keyword research and letting it drive your content creation or brainstorming sessions.

    There are plenty of types of content that can be shared, updated and posted on social media channels. Rather than only focusing on relatable content, add keywords that are performing well or answer questions within your channel’s posts and tweets that your audience keeps asking. If you are already using social media for public relations purposes, why not use it for SEO as well? We’re all about breaking down silos in 2017.

    Despite Google’s notorious and changing algorithms, we predict that more social media content will be indexed on Google, as well as other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo. This will merge social media and SEO for the discovery, collection and use of valuable content, ultimately continuing the love affair between the two. Fostering the relationship early on can do wonders to prolong its duration, so don’t be afraid to rush in rather than taking it slow.

    Unsurprisingly, at thunder::tech, our Social Media and Optimization Teams work closely together to understand these concepts and put them into action. Think you want to merge your SEO strategy with your social media plans? Drop us a note or give us a call so we can discuss the blossoming love affair between these two marketing opportunities.
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