A social media presence is an important part of any business marketing and SEO effort. In today’s online world, using social media allows you to reach people and places that you might not otherwise reach. It’s also less expensive than traditional marketing. The amount of return in SEO you receive is directly related to how much effort you put into it. With a small amount of effort (even just a few posts a week) you can attract followers that will help you spread your message.
Growing Your Number of Followers. The total number of followers and connections your social media profiles contain does have a significant influence on your rankings. A company with 100 Twitter followers won’t receive nearly the ranking bonus of a mega-corporation with a million Facebook likes and a million Twitter followers. However, there are some stipulations to this; Google can detect the quality of your followers, meaning buying 100,000 proxy Twitter followers isn’t going to do much for your overall rankings. Instead, you’ll need to build your following organically.
Growing followers is an important part of increasing your online visibility. However, you do need to be careful about loading your accounts with “fake’ or spammy followers. As Jayson points out, 100 quality followers will do a lot for your SEO, but 100,000 spam bots will do nothing. You need to learn the in’s and out’s of discerning which is which, but with a little effort and vigilance, you will build a strong list over time that will pay you back in Google rankings (and SEO) that in comparison cost very little.
Encouraging External Inbound Links. Social media is also useful because it encourages more external sites to link to your content, and the more diverse external links you have, the more authority you’ll gain in Google’s eyes. Of course, the catch to this is that you have to have high-quality, authoritative content to begin with. Otherwise, you’ll have nothing to use to attract links.
This part can be tricky for those businesses new to the space, but it is very important. Google will rank you higher if they consider you a “content authority”. Producing quality, original content in your knowledge domain is the best way to get those backlinks. Inbound links are very valuable to your SEO. These links prove people like what you are saying and feel you know what you are talking about. It may take you a while to think of innovative and useful things to say concerning your business, but setting it up as a quick part of your daily routine will soon make it second nature. Another thing to keep in mind, every “post” or article doesn’t have to be a dissertation. A quick article on new technologies or interesting tidbits in your industry will do. The key is to engage your followers and get them coming back on a regular basis. Learn the buzzwords of social media: #hashtags will help you gain visibility and make it easier for the right folks to find your content when they need it.
Locally-Optimized Posts. Social media also provides a perfect opportunity to engage yourself in the local community, sending local-specific authority signals to major search engines. There are a few ways to do this, but the two easiest are making updates whenever your company gets involved in a local event and interacting with other local brands and establishments on social media.
For businesses that have a brick and mortar location, this may be one of the single most important things you can do to increase foot traffic. Google loves a “local” authority. If you have a location and are using your web site to encourage people to come to your business and spend their money, your local rankings are more important to SEO than your overall rankings. If you offer massages, its great to rank high on Google in general, but you can’t send a massage by mail or drone. You need people in your store buying massages. Interact with other, complimentary local businesses when you can. If you attend local events, such as festivals or meetups, post about those events. Include photos. Network at the events and spread the word that you’re going to write about it. If you can get local businesses to share, like and link to your content this will greatly influence your local rankings.
I encourage you to read Jayson’s article in full. There are 3 more really useful tips and tricks for using social media to improve your Google rankings and SEO!