The Fundamentals of Digital Marketing #6: Social Media and SEO


By: Alexander Bussey

This article forms part of an ongoing series, designed to help small business owners assimilate the basics of digital marketing.

If you run a business, there?s a good chance that you have a social media presence. Data collected by Adweek shows that 88% of SMEs maintain pages on Facebook, Twitter and/or LinkedIn. Data collected by Small Business Trends also reports that about 52% of companies post on these channels every day.

Unfortunately, research also shows that very few businesses integrate their social and SEO marketing campaigns. Instead, a lot of small business owners tend to think of social media marketing as a distinct form of self-promotion – mutually exclusive with their efforts to blog, optimize pages and build good backlinks.

And we think that?s a marketing miss because social media can have a profound impact on your SEO marketing efforts.

In this article, we are going to examine the ways in which your SEO and social media campaigns can be synchronized to:

  • Boost the reach of your articles and blog posts
  • Cement your authority as a thought leader
  • Improve your search rankings

Social Media & Keyword Rankings

Eight years ago, all 3 major search engines announced that social media signals – including likes and shares – had a direct impact on social media rankings.

The situation is a little different today. While Bing and Yahoo still analyze social signals when decided how content should rank, Google has stated that it does not use these signals as a direct ranking factor.

That doesn’t mean that SEO and social media don?t correlate, though. Google still looks at page views, time on page, as well as bounce rate when determining how good a piece of content is. So, driving good traffic via your social media pages will still help to amplify your organic search rankings.

To maximize the ranking potential of your content, you should share every blog post on your social media pages. You should also think about the way you share these blog posts. For example, viral-type headlines like ?The Top 10.? or ?0 ways to?? might not rank particularly well, but they do tend to perform better on platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and it is possible to re-title your posts and leverage each one.

It?s also possible to use high-impact imagery to advertise your posts on Facebook, which can help to boost CTRs and attract people that would otherwise overlook your work.

Because it?s so difficult to make articles stand out on social media, a lot of businesses now use separate social media titles to advertise their blog posts/articles. “Your.MD” (a global healthcare app) is a prime example of this as many of their blog posts use conventional titles on the post:

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But, much more ?viral? titles on their Facebook page:

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This differentiation ultimately helps them drive a steady stream of engaged traffic to their posts. As long as your social media traffic is good, this will help to prove that plenty of people are visiting your articles. Additionally, it can (hopefully) drive down the bounce rate, and improve time on page, signaling to Google, Yahoo and Bing that:

  • Your content is good
  • People are engaging with it
  • It?s worth a high SERP ranking

It is also worth considering paying to boost posts on social media – particularly if you are in the early stages of blogging, and don?t have a pre-engaged or established audience.

Because social media algorithms deliberately water down the reach of business posts, paying a small fee to boost your content will help to ensure a good level of exposure and interaction.

Do be careful to weigh up the ROI though! Unpromoted content often fails to attract clicks, but clicks won?t boost your rankings on their own, and there?s no point in spending money to attract new readers if your content isn?t strong enough to drive interaction on its own.

Social Media for Outreach

Social media can help with more than just direct rankings. In part 4 of this series, we talked about reaching out to influencers that might be interested in your content to:

  • Spread awareness
  • Build natural backlinks

Social media is the best way to accomplish this kind of outreach. In the 21st century, most webmasters are inundated with spam emails, but they still check social media pages on a daily basis, and any new notifications on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin are much more likely to garner a response.

Whenever you produce a new piece of content, you should leverage social media to contact any influencers that might be interested in your post. This could include thought leaders with a reputation for being engaged with the community you are trying to reach, or people that you?ve featured in your article.

It?s imperative that you don?t overdo this – nobody likes spam, after all. But there is no question that social media outreach is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal, and you should never underestimate the power of a timely direct message.

Social Media and Authority

Finally, social media is a good way of cementing your position as a thought leader: Without good rankings, a lot of your content will go unnoticed, which makes it very difficult for new bloggers to showcase the hard work they are putting into their new channel.

By posting about your work on social media, you can publicize your commitment to high-quality content, and create a ?timeline? of the great articles you are producing.

This is best achieved by sharing everything you write across all available channels – including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. To cut down on the time this takes, you could look at a free service like Hootsuite, which allows you to pre-plan and syndicate social media posts.

Building Your Social Media Presence

Sadly, there is no ?one size fits all? solution for establishing a strong social media presence, but most marketers agree that the following strategies with help cement your presence and build an engaged audience:

  • Posting regularly
  • Engaging with your followers (by asking questions or replying to their comments)
  • Sharing a good blend of original content and other people?s posts

Once you?ve achieved this, you can then utilize your social media channels to promote your web content and boost your SEO campaigns.

If you have any questions about building a strong social media presence or want to learn more about the ins and outs of content promotion, we would be more than happy to advise.

We have years of experience in the digital marketing space and are committed to helping small businesses leverage every available tool to help build a strong web presence. You can reach us via the contact form on our site, or email us directly at bellavmarketingllc@gmail.com.

In the next part of this series, we?ll be discussing keyword research strategies. Until then, good luck and happy marketing!

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