With 1.59 billion Facebook users, 400 million Instagram users and 320 million Twitter users, social media can be the perfect platform to leverage your brand.
Channels like Facebook and Instagram are powerful marketing tools because audiences are incredibly receptive to social media marketing. If you can make your ad feel less forced than a traditional ad but still deliver branded content, then you’re onto a winner.
The benefits of using social media are well documented, but one area that is often misunderstood is the relationship these platforms have with Google, and whether or not they play a direct role in your overall SEO ranking.
While social media is recognised as an essential platform, it’s not yet clear how big a role they play in impacting the search rankings. Google are cautious about what information they include in SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) and the platforms don’t currently validate information the way Google would like. They will only share content that has been verified and authenticated. It’s a fair deal.
Verifying data on a successful social media page can be difficult to determine as people can make wild claims without and verification necessary. Opinions and information shared are in a constant state of flux. Search any tweet by Azelia Banks or Instagram pic by Kim Kardashian, read the comments and you’ll know what I mean. There’s a lot of different opinions and reactions to posts, none of which can be authenticated. And this doesn’t sit well with Google:
“[Google] crawls the web, and as [Google] crawls the web, we are sampling the web at finite periods of time… and so if we’re fetching that particular web page, we know what it said at one point in time, but something on that page could change.” – Stone Temple Consulting
Although Social Media may not have a direct impact on SEO, it’s important to remember that it still has an important role to play. Social media is an indirect form of SEO that drives high quality, engaged traffic to a website. And with engaged, relevant visitors spending longer on your website and driving down the bounce rate, this in turn will lead to better stats and a higher conversion rate.
Some platforms are taking the first step in positioning themselves as credible sources of information: Facebook have introduced a solution that is currently in its early stages of development. Much like Google My Business requires authentication by the business owner and Google, Facebook business profiles now do the same. This means both Google and the end user can feel confident that they’re viewing official, verified information. The forecast for Facebook business profiles is looking strong, and this is likely to develop into a more sophisticated tool over the coming months and years.
People no longer rely solely on Google to provide them with information about their favourite brands and celebs. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter have their own, internal search engines. Hashtags are a great way to find relevant information. The more you use to tag your own content, the more searches you’ll show up in, the more likes you’ll get, the more social kudos you’ve earned.
Likewise, consumers are spending longer researching products and services such as restaurants and gadgets before making a purchase. The online retail market is fiercely competitive and customers will look for things such as price comparisons, social media presence and online reviews first. That’s why it’s so important to be above your competitors within the social world.
“Although the direct influence of social media on SEO is a bit of an unknown, the indirect influence is clear. Social media is an incredibly effective way to promote your brand and drive traffic to your website (up to 92% of consumers trust word-of -mouth recommendations, but only 24% trust online ads). The more website hits you get, the more you’re getting searched, the more you get searched and clicked, the higher your SEO ranking.” – Nielsen
If you’re looking to drive traffic to your website, spend more time and effort on your social media strategy. And to help you get started, here’s a few of our tried and tested methods to get those numbers up:
Plan your content
Think about what you want to get out of this post? What are your goals – conversion or engagement driven?Do you want the viewer to book a table, or are you building your brand? To optimise conversion, focus on only one target per post.
Blur the lines
Let people get to know you as the personality behind the brand. People are far more likely to engage with and be loyal to like who delivers great content over a faceless corporate account. Our recommendation is to use a 60:40 split for Professional: Personal content.
Social media is an informal platform, a place to interact with clients to build and reinforce relationships. Remember to speak as though you’re speaking to your friends. A joke or a good pun is always appreciated!