This is a guest post from Emma J Fox, of Pitstop Media.
Most, if not all, SEO companies today include social media marketing in their SEO packages for clients.
There's no doubt that social media is already closely intertwined with Internet marketing and website optimisation.
Social media sites have become the playing field where businesses and companies market their products and services to a wider audience.
On Facebook alone, the average user logs in 7-8 times a day scanning posts by their friends, commenting on them, replying to private messages and liking pictures, videos, and comments.
So it only makes sense to take advantage of all this activity! By incorporating SEO principles into social media, you can make your business more visible to social media users.
An important question with an equally important answer:
For all the benefits it can bring, getting a trustworthy SEO company to optimize your website and promote your business on social media will still mean additional expense.
That's not a luxury that every business can afford.
For this reason, many business owners - especially those whose businesses are already successful - may question the need to spend time and money to promote via social media.
On the other hand, the benefits of adding social media to your marketing and SEO strategies can be well worth the financial and time investment.
Any entrepreneur understands how important it is to be flexible and adjust to trends. And at present, social media is the hottest thing online - used properly it can be powerful.
There's also a psychological aspect to this: people see social media sites as their personal space because they have a large measure of control over what they view.
Technically, they can only see content that's being passed around by their friends and contacts – people whose content they've chosen to see.
As a result, there's a high level of trust placed on information they view. Couple that with enthusiastic recommendations from their friends, and you can begin to see the potential power of having your company or products recommended positively on social sites.
So let's get down to business: How do you integrate social media into SEO and SEO into social media?
It Goes Both Ways
As I implied above, there should be some kind of integration between the two.
Social media alone (i.e. creating a Facebook or Twitter account for your business) may not be very effective in promoting your products and services. Nor would it be enough to create a website without making it social.
So you need to do both:
On Social Media
Create social media accounts for your business. It doesn't matter if you're selling your skills or the products you make, just create an account on at least Twitter and Facebook and get your friends and acquaintances to Like or tag them with hashtags.
If you're running a product review website or looking to monetize your blog, create your social media accounts with your blog or website title as its username.
The goal is to remain in contact with your readers even if they're not checking out your site itself, and they will find your account more easily if it's recognisable by using the same name as your site.
It's likely that most of them will check their social media accounts each day, but unlikely that they'll visit your website each day. After all - if you're not publishing a regular stream of new content on your business website they'd have no reason to visit regularly.
So why not use your social media accounts to keep in touch and keep your company at the top of their minds?
Plus, you can use your social media accounts as a way of updating your readers and customers about website updates, new product offers and services.
On your website's SEO
Make sure you incorporate sharing buttons or widgets into your blog articles to allow readers to share them, plus your photos or videos, through social media.
This is how your website content crosses over to the social media platforms.
The major search engines are now counting social shares (the number of times your content is shared on social networks) in their ranking algorithms for the natural search results – you want as many shares as possible!
Additionally, when your articles are being shared or tweeted across Facebook and Twitter, you get more in-bound links – one of the most important factors in the way the search engines rank your pages.
If your links are then also endorsed by high-profile people who are considered authorities in their fields your page's ranking in the search results will get another boost.
Of course, spreading your links across the social media sites can also result in higher traffic – which you can track through your site statistics.
Creating social content that has the potential to go viral is an important consideration.
Videos and images usually go viral more easily than text articles, so if your business is able to make a video about your products or services that's humorous, riffs off a current trend or popular event, the chances of it going viral are a lot better.
Just make sure your server and website configuration are ready to deal with a huge burst of traffic!
So if you want your social media optimization efforts to bolster your existing SEO campaign strategy, follow these 5 steps:
- Use the keywords you use in traditional SEO in your social media interactions. Include them in your posts when appropriate, and also in your social media profile page. These can pull your social media pages into the natural search results, especially for those keywords where you have little competition.
- Interact with your online friends and followers. Consumers tend to be more confident about a brand or a name after they've interacted through social media. It makes them feel important and appreciated. Positive emotions foster trust between a business and its customers.
- Don't post too often at a predictable time of the day.
- Use automation with great care. If you're going to end an update with a question, be sure you also comment on replies: people want to interact with other people, not computers.
- Your posts should be attention-grabbing. Images and videos go viral more easily than text articles do.
Blending both the SEO and Social Media aspects of Internet marketing will help to improve the visibility of your business online, and bring you a greater return on your social media marketing efforts.