Social media is one of the most widely debated aspects to SEO.
Does it help search rankings or doesn’t it? The truth is it really doesn’t matter whether it helps you rank in search engines because social media is such a valuable source of traffic that it needs to be addressed.
Oh yeah to answer the age old question, no social signals do not seem to directly seem to affect search rankings. Or at least that's what Matt Cutts wants us to think.
Logically thinking though, Google's algorithm could run into problems if these signals were relied upon.
What if Google or Twitter denied access to Google’s attempts to index pages? More importantly, social media seems incredibly easy to exploit, which would create a whole slew of new problems for Google.
The Goal of Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing has one real goal: to interact with consumers.
Social media marketing does not tend to increase or lead to sales, at least right now. However, what social media does do is provide brands with a cheap way to interact with their customers, which is the essential goal of social media.
Humans are a social being. Social media provides brands access to their consumers to interact and develop more personal relationships than you could get going into a local retail store or on the phone.
Why Bother with Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing might not affect your search rankings directly but they still have plenty of benefits. Some of the benefits of social media include:
Increased brand awareness: Having access to millions of users is a great problem to have. Interacting on social media will put your brand in direct contact with potentially millions of people.
Helps connect with customers: One of the essential functions of social media is to allow companies to listen to what their customers think about their products and services. This is why you see so many companies ask questions about products or ask people for their opinion on new products through Facebook or Twitter.
Builds trust with consumers: An active social media account shows consumers that your brand is actively trying to communicate with consumers and wants to get their opinion. This instills trust in your consumers and is particularly effective for companies that operate solely online.
Initiates word of mouth marketing: You’ve heard of viral marketing companies by now… or at least you should have. Most viral marketing campaigns start with word of mouth marketing and you should use this to your advantage when promoting your brand on social media.
There are a few main social platforms although new platforms spring up every year. Obviously you've got the huge social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram. You should have a presence on as many of these platforms as you see fit for you brand.
Remember your audience when developing a social media presence. If most of your target audience is on YouTube, then focus on YouTube. Likewise, if you’re targeting demographic is mostly on Facebook, then stick to focusing on Facebook for the majority of your social media marketing.
Social media is still somewhat new to most companies and it is constantly evolving. However, one thing is for sure – social media is here to stay. Social media is becoming a staple for all online marketing efforts and while it isn’t going to help you with SEO directly, it still provides you with traffic and has the potential to bring you natural links, which WILL help your search engine rankings.
or go back to last chapter: