Social media sites have matured from tiny communication hubs to massive centers of interaction, commerce, and well… socializing. Today, consumers often take to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms to check out, research, and “window shop” businesses before they ever decide to visit in person.
If you aren’t maintaining active social media profiles, engaging across multiple channels, and optimizing your social media content, then your business is practically invisible to millions of prospective customers. Here’s our top tips on how to boost your “Social SEO”.
1. Don’t Treat Social Media Like Standard SEO
Every experienced SEO will tell you that the inner workings of Google’s algorithm are largely unknown. SEO specialists rely on a steady stream of updates, breaking news, and analytics to inform their strategy.
Since there’s no definitive manual on Google’s ranking factors, SEO marketers have to take hints, clues, and cues from Google’s search engine staff as gospel. It may surprise you to discover that Google says social signals and social links barely affect your ranking.
Social signals and links may sound jargony, but you probably accumulate and distribute these links daily, as they include:
Knowing this you can try to implement the same SEO strategy you used for your website to establish yourself on social media, but your efforts may be wasted entirely.
That being said, Google can change their algorithm at the drop of a hat. Social signals and social links may become more important ranking factors in the future, and a strong social media base will always be invaluable to your business.
Nonetheless, it’s invaluable to boost your social media visibility and authority. For the purposes of this article, we’ll call this your Social SEO. While some best practices from standard SEO apply, you must adapt to this new marketing ecosystem to boost your Social SEO.
2. Maintain Active Social Media Pages To Rank On Google
As we mentioned before, social media sites have become search engines unto themselves. Pinterest reportedly sees around 2 billion searches a month, and Twitter beats out Yahoo and Bing for monthly searches with around 19 Billion. These are huge audiences who are searching for businesses, products, and services. Your company needs to maintain profiles on sites like:
- Facebook (duh)
After you establish your basic company pages, you can start looking at other social platforms that may suit your business more specifically, such as:
Most of these sites are tailored to a more specific audience, and may not fit your business’s niche. For instance, Flickr is a great place for a photographer to display their skills and promote their business by sharing free photos. But, it’s not the best place for a taco shack to post food pics. (shout out to Veracruz Tacos!)
Once all of your profiles are up and running, it’s time to put yourself out there and engage with your audience. At minimum, you should:
- Post at least 1-5 times a month
- Answer customer questions
- Respond to comments
- Incorporate Calls-To-Action (CTAs)
If you’re having a tough time climbing the ranks with your main website, active and well-optimized social media pages can rank entirely on their own. Be sure to include links and other pathways to your official site to boost your website’s views and click-throughs as well.
3. Optimize Your Social Media Posts For Target Audiences
Here’s where traditional SEO expertise comes in handy. Optimizing your social media content is quite similar to optimizing web page and blog content. Here are the basic steps:
- Identify your target audience
- Perform keyword research
- Tailor posts to keywords
- Create valuable content
With social posts, don’t just aim for share potential. You need to incorporate CTAs, build brand loyalty, and inspire your customers to follow your business.
You also have an opportunity to play more freely with your voice on social media. Recently, Wendy’s twitter profile has exploded in popularity due to their unorthodox replies and scathing sense of humor. However, know the risks before you start “roasting” your competition.
The key to Social SEO is to treat these sites less like advertising platforms and more like meeting halls where you and your audience can get to know each other. People prefer dealing with businesses that seem authentic– use social media to connect with them and foster trust.
If you would like to hear more details about how to boost your Social SEO, or just have some general questions about SEO best practices, get in touch. At FEAD MEdia, we’re all about telling your business’s story- and SEO is how you spread it to the world.