Social media platforms have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, with social media users today spending an average of at least 2 hours daily across eight different socmed platforms and messaging networks.
If so, does this point to a positive social media effect on SEO or search engine optimization?
In a report by Smart Insights, the year 2020 saw the global population of social media users breaching the 3.8 billion mark, posting an increase of more than 9% since the previous year.
This is impressive. But what are the ways by which social media is good for search engine optimization efforts?
Below we outline the 5 positive social media effects on SEO:
#1 Social media indirectly raises Google rankings
While it’s true that Google’s erstwhile head of search quality, Matt Cutts, has belied any direct link between social signals and Google ranking placements, more recent studies have shown that social media presence indirectly affects search engine optimization rankings.
When your content is more visible across social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter, this could channel more inbound traffic back into your website. This is especially helpful for new websites and business startups still trying to carve a niche.
Plus, the potential for social media to impact search ranking results does not involve just Google. Even more importantly for Bing, which accounts for as much as 24% of search engine traffic, social media likes and shares are direct criteria for ranking.
#2 Social media linking opportunities
One positive social media effect on SEO is having more avenues for linking and, consequently, inbound traffic. When you post something on Facebook, for example, your content can include links that take readers to pages on your website. This, in turn, can help your content rank better for specific keywords.
Now imagine this Facebook post being shared and re-shared on the social network or even across multiple platforms. Building visibility and credibility will not simply come from your social media page — it will also be channeled from the timelines and newsfeeds of individual users and other pages alike for as long as they re-share, re-tweet, or repost your content.
#3 Social media helps build consumer relationships
With billions (and counting!) of people already on social media, you now have multiple ways to get to know your market better. At the end of the day, you will want your SEO efforts to benefit your readers/prospects/consumers. Social media offers an accessible and affordable way for you to know what they are thinking, feeling, needing, and buying.
Social media presence also allows your business to engage with your audience and build better relationships with them. Excluding trolls and fake accounts, what social media is made up of are real people.
Thus, followers of your social media page can leave comments, queries, and even complaints freely on your comments section or via direct messages. This allows your business to give prompt answers or to address concerns more readily before anything gets out of proportion.
#4 Marketing and promotion through social media
With social media, moreover, you’ll have more avenues for marketing and promo activities — all for free. Social networks tend to have features where you can host an event, create a poll, run some contests, or post products to localized marketplaces.
By maximizing on these features, you can connect more to your audience and meet them where they may need you and your services.
Social media also opens up space for collaboration with others, which can have an impact on how your brand is being viewed by online users. Influencer marketing could also be a plus, with micro-influencers known to reach out to more specific, niche markets.
Instead of simply posting promotional activities on your website, you can also share these on your social media pages so your followers will know which promotional offers or events are up and coming.
#5 Social media as complement to SEO
Of course, SEO is composed of a set of strategies that focus more on ease of website use and search engine rankings. But with more people spending time in and finding the things they love through social pages, social media has also become sort of a search engine.
And your social media profile could come up as search engine results as well. When people look for you through the search engines, it’s very possible for them to be directed to your social pages. These days, people are not only interested in your website but also in which kind of social media presence you have.
Should you invest in social media marketing strategies?
With significant social media effect on SEO, this is certainly something worth the time and attention of businesses and start-ups.
And in the absence of in-house professionals to take care of such strategies, there are digital marketing professionals readily available, armed with the tools necessary at navigating across social media platforms seamlessly and efficiently.
The availability of social media channels, from Facebook and Instagram to Twitter and Pinterest, has opened up businesses to greater opportunities at connection, recall, and visibility.
If your business doesn’t have a social media page yet or if your account has been dormant for some time, now may be the time to revamp it as part of a bigger search engine optimization strategy.