You probably already know that social media is an important way to engage with your audience. That’s why over 200 million businesses use Facebook to reach customers.
But did you know that it can also boost your SEO?
You may have heard that social media has no effect on search engine optimization, but that’s a myth. Social SEO can improve your search engine discoverability, build brand awareness, and even increase your conversion rate.
If you haven’t been doing social SEO, don’t worry — this list of nine easy strategies will help you get started.
What is social SEO?
Let’s start with a quick definition of search engine optimization (SEO). SEO refers to actions you can take to improve your search engine ranking and the quality of your search engine traffic — anything you do to show up on the first page of Google for your dream keywords.
Social SEO focuses on using social media to enhance your search engine performance. It’s a branch of SEO that’s often neglected, but it can help you improve the quantity and quality of your organic traffic.
What are the benefits of social SEO?
Some of you might still feel skeptical. You’ve heard that social media backlinks don’t have any SEO juice.
Whether or not social signals affect your site’s search ranking on Google has been hotly debated for years.
But even if there’s no direct effect, social media can indirectly benefit your SEO efforts in several ways. Let’s go through a few reasons why you should care about social SEO.
Social media is a search engine
When people talk about search engine optimization, they usually mean optimizing for Google.
The other traditional search engines, like Bing, lag way behind in terms of market share.
But social media sites like Facebook are also search engines — and they’re very popular. Facebook alone has nearly 2 billion daily active users.
The question is: are people using social media to search for products?
One study of fashion consumers says yes. 41% of them use Facebook to learn about and discover new products. 35% use Instagram, and 21% use Pinterest.
In the 16–24 age group, social media is actually more popular than traditional search engines for researching brands.
With a good social presence, social media search engines can send new customers to your website.
Social media pages can rank
If you type the name of a business into Google, what results are at the top of the SERP?
If the company has a website, that will probably be first. But the brand’s Facebook page or other social media pages also often rank near the top.
In some cases, social media business pages even rank for unbranded keywords.
You should assume that search engine queries might lead to your social media pages and make sure they have the information that searchers are looking for.
Social media increases brand awareness and reputation
People are more likely to click your SERP listing if they know who you are and have a good impression of your brand. Social media can help with that.
A social media presence builds awareness of your brand and makes you look more legitimate and trustworthy.
Social media helps you learn about your audience
Engaging with your audience on social media can help you learn more about them.
What type of content gets the most likes and shares? What are people saying in the comments?
This is knowledge you can use in your SEO efforts. For example, if lots of people on Facebook are asking a certain question, people are probably googling it too. Write an article on the topic to bring those searchers to your site.
Social SEO prepares you for the future
Google’s algorithm changes all the time. It’s very possible that social signals will take on greater importance in the future.
Social media is an integral part of today’s internet landscape, and it continues to grow. By 2025, social media is expected to have 4.41 billion users.
Google knows that, and we can expect that it will continue to adjust how its search engine interacts with social media sites.
What those changes will look like is anyone’s guess, but optimizing your social media presence will put you in a good position for any updates.
9 top social SEO strategies for 2022
Social SEO doesn’t have to be difficult to understand. Follow these nine simple social media marketing strategies to boost your search engine optimization efforts.
1. Fill out social profiles completely
For each social media platform that you use, make sure you’ve filled out your business information completely.
There are a few reasons this matters.
First, it simply gives the user the best experience. Remember that some people might find your social media account before they’ve seen your website or any other information about you.
Whether they’re looking for your phone number, a description of your business, or a link to your website, it should be easy to find.
Secondly, some of this information might appear on a search engine results page. For example, Google listings for Facebook pages can include the business location, description, review ratings, number of page likes, and more. You should make sure your profile isn’t missing any of this information.
If you don’t have the bandwidth to register and complete all of your social media profiles, we can do it for you.
2. Go beyond Facebook
Don’t get us wrong — you should be on Facebook. It’s still the most popular social media platform in the world.
But other social media sites and apps are up and coming, and businesses are increasingly investing in them.
62% of marketers say that Facebook is one of the most important platforms for reaching their business goals — a clear majority.
However, that number is down from 78% the year before. Meanwhile, the number of marketers who say TikTok is important has increased by 700%, and the number who chose Snapchat is up 1200%.
3. Use keywords
Keywords are the first thing many people think of when they think of SEO.
You can use keywords for social SEO too. And unlike Google, not many people are thinking about keyword research and optimization on social media, so it’s less competitive. Here are two ways you can use keywords on your social media pages:
Use keywords in your business description
All of the major social media sites have a spot for you to summarize who you are and what you do. Include one or two of your most important keywords in this blurb.
It will help people find your page on the social media platform. It may even help them find you on Google.
Include keywords in your posts
A common SEO strategy for websites is to center each piece of content around a keyword or two that you want it to rank for.
You can do the same thing with social media posts.
Consider your ideal audience and think about what they might be typing into the Facebook (or Instagram or Twitter) search bar. Build posts around those keywords.
4. Don’t skip (or overuse) hashtags
Hashtags can be a valuable tool for social media marketers. They increase the visibility of your account and your posts.
But more isn’t always better. An excessive list of hashtags in your social media post looks spammy and distracts from your main message.
It’s best to select a few important hashtags for each piece of content you post. Just like SEO keywords, you should think about search intent. Here are a few ways you can pick hashtags:
Check out what your competitors are using.
Brainstorm hashtag ideas by looking at popular posts by your competitors or influencers in your niche. Click each hashtag and see what comes up. Do the results fit with your brand image?
Look at trending hashtags.
Some social platforms, like Twitter, have a list of currently trending hashtags.
If none of the trends are relevant to your brand, don’t force it. But if you can think of a clever way to incorporate a popular hashtag, it could bring a lot of new traffic to your page.
Create your own hashtag.
You don’t have to use existing hashtags. You can create something new — a hashtag associated with your brand alone.
A unique hashtag doesn’t do much good if people aren’t interested in it, though. The best branded hashtags invite social media users to participate.
A great example is Red Bull’s #PutACanOnIt campaign, which had people take pictures of Red Bull cans in various scenarios.
It spread brand awareness while encouraging social media users to engage with the brand. Creating your own hashtag can be part of a larger content pillar strategy on social media.
5. Include high-quality images and video
Some social media platforms are specifically focused on video (like TikTok) or images (like Instagram).
But videos and photos are essential on other platforms as well. They make your posts more attractive and noticeable.
They’re also more popular than text posts. 68% of social media users prefer engaging with images, and 50% prefer video.
6. Engage with your audience
Social media is supposed to be social.
That means you should be responding to questions and comments about your business and products on social media. Make posts that encourage your followers to join the conversation and share or retweet your content.
The advantages of interacting with your social media follower include:
- You create a positive impression of your business
- You learn what your audience likes and what concerns they have
- People are more likely to remember your brand when you interact with them
7. Work with influencers
So far, we’ve talked about how your own social media accounts benefit SEO.
The same principles apply to social media influencers. These accounts can build awareness about your brand, help your business show up in searches, and drive traffic to your website. 48% of marketers say that their return on investment (ROI) from influencer marketing is better than other marketing channels.
If you’re interested in working with influencers but haven’t done so yet, the first step is to find the right partners.
The best influencer isn’t the most famous person on Instagram — does Selena Gomez’s audience really overlap with yours? It’s someone whose audience is similar to your ideal customer and whose typical content matches your brand messaging.
You can find potential influencers by searching hashtags or keywords relevant to your brand.
Once you’ve identified an influencer you’d like to work with, make them a pitch. It helps to really get to know the influencer’s content before you reach out to them. What’s their usual format — unboxing videos? Reviews with photos?
Let them know which content of theirs you like and ask if they’d be interested in working on something similar for you.
8. Track social shares, and boost the most popular content
Tracking how often your content is liked and shared gives you information that you can use in your SEO efforts.
For example, if a particular post gets a lot of attention on Facebook, you could develop new content for your website on the same topic. It can give you ideas for keywords to focus on for SEO (or PPC ads).
You can also continue to promote the popular post on social media. It will get more shares, which means greater visibility for your brand.
If the content getting shared on social media is from your website (for example, a blog post that you posted on LinkedIn), you know that it resonates with your audience. It might be time to further optimize that content for search engines.
9. Listen to social conversations
Another way to find out what your audience thinks about you is to listen to conversations on social media.
That means you pay attention to what other social media users are saying about your business and industry. One way to do this is by searching social platforms for keywords and hashtags.
There are also social listening tools, like Hootsuite and TweetDeck, that help you monitor your brand mentions in real time.
Social SEO is an often overlooked element of search engine optimization. A few tweaks to your Instagram or LinkedIn profile can help your page rank on search engines and increase the quality of your traffic.
Anyone can do social media SEO. But managing so many social profiles — not to mention doing traditional SEO work — can be too time-consuming for a lot of small business owners. And you’ll get a better ROI if you work with a professional.
We can help. Schedule a call with an SEO expert today.