As time goes on, social media strategies and SEO become more and more attached at the hip.
If your business has any semblance of an inbound strategy - which it should - you really can't ignore the ever-strengthening bond between the two.
To be fair, it's a bit one-directional.
You don't need to have good SEO in order to build your social media following. You'd be able to end up with a pretty big following if you curate and maintain an interesting feed on whatever platform you've chosen.
Do some following and follow-backs, share and comment on trending hashtags or chats, maybe even throw in some Facebook Live broadcasting, and you'll get that following growing in no time.
However, in order for your SEO campaign to be both effective and long-lasting, you'll really need to devote some time to building a social presence.
Not only will it increase the effectiveness of your search marketing efforts, but it'll also drive some targeted and interested traffic to your site. Win-Win.
Social Media Isn't a Fad
If you think social is a fad, think again.
It's here to stay and you can bet your bottom dollar that if you ignore it you'll find it harder and harder to rank for even the most epic long-tails.
It's all rather basic when you break it down, so don't get overwhelmed.
Look at it this way, the more shares you get, the more people will view and interact with your content. The more they do that, the more links and clicks you get. Surprise, Google likes almost all of those things and your ranks will benefit.
- Social shares expose new people to your brand, services/products and content
- Exposure leads to clicks and engagements
- Engagement and clicks equal traffic
- Traffic and social sharing mean more relevancy, more sales and better rankings
Don't Just Take My Word for It
You may have heard some conflicting statements over the years - Google hasn't exactly made it easy on us.
Don't get me wrong, I know it's in their best interest to keep the inner workings of their algorithm's a secret. But that doesn't change the fact that it can be downright frustrating when so much conflicting advice is floating around.
On the one hand, you have Google's John Mueller stating unequivocally that Google doesn't consider social signals in their algorithms.
"Not directly, no... it is not the case that that would give you any kind of ranking boost..." - John Mueller
Then on the other hand, you have Matt Cutts doing a bit more of a dance with the question. He elaborates in greater detail and the takeaway is that while social signals don't directly affect rankings, they do indirectly.
It leaves us with no choice but to feel unsure of how exactly it all ties together.
What's not up for debate however, is that having a social presence is a necessary part of any SEO strategy. For more info, take a minute to check out this pretty great analysis of the issue.
Competition Necessitates Innovative SEO Campaigns
It's a competitive landscape out there nowadays, there's no getting around it.
There are organizations pumping out a ton of content and at speeds you may not be able to keep pace with.
Don't throw in the towel though. Even if you're David and your competitor is Goliath, you can still make an impact.
Find your niche, produce original content that matters, and integrate unique solid social media into your overall strategy.
Don't just post an article and ask friends to share. That's a good place to start to be sure, but you need to then look at how to further disseminate it across the web.
Creating engagement by getting involved with your audience on social media is one of the most effective ways to do just that.
How to Be Different on Social Media
With so much competition, it can be a bit hard to really stand out. This is where that creativity is going to come into play.
Take a look at your own habits on social media. Why do you follow particular people? What made their feed memorable?
How did your favorite go-to's establish and continually affirm their value to you?
Take some notes and you'll come up with a number of great ideas to get started with. Extrapolate off what competitors have done and don't be afraid to put yourself out there.
Thank real users for shares and favorite their tweets about you. DM them something valuable if they engage with your content. You get the idea.
Being memorable and standing out from the crowd is how you'll ensure the success of your SEO campaign.
A good example of this can be seen in the rising popularity (and effectiveness) of emojis and GIFs in tweets and Facebook posts.
When they first got "released" into the wild, only a few users immediately picked up on just how distinct using them would make them appear to the social media user-base at large.
Now everybody knows that GIFs are a great way to keep your feeds fresh and they've transitioned from innovative to necessary.
Look, anybody can do some good old fashioned on-page SEO. But being different and clearly showing your value to the marketplace: that's what will move the needle.
It's important that you follow all of the standard advice about link-building, keyword research and quality content. But if you take the time and make the effort to stand out on social media, your SEO campaign will truly flourish.