Questions that continue to come up in conversations with some of my clients is, “So what recommendations do you have in regards to our social media?” or even “How should we utilize social media?”
It’s just then that one part of me thinks to myself, why the hell ask me, I’m just an SEO? Meanwhile, another part of me wonders if I’m qualified to give any advice on this subject anyhow.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t know anything about social media, but I wouldn’t call myself any expert by any stretch of the imagination. I see myself as more than a novice at this point, but not qualified to give anyone else too much advice.
The fact that this sort of stuff keeps coming up begs me to ask the question, is social media becoming a discipline of SEO?
More and more, companies are emerging from the proverbial head-in-the-sand approach to social media to the realization that social media as a form of communication and exposure is here to stay. In a couple of years, it may not be Twitter and Facebook, but it is sure to be something.
However, (and this may be totally unfounded on my part) I get the feeling that most SEO consultants, although they themselves may practice social media marketing, don’t see that it is increasingly becoming a part of our jobs moving forward. I find myself increasingly gravitating to the idea that you can’t separate SEO and Social Media, as they are beginning to fall under a very similar roof.
There are many correlations that can be drawn between the principles of social media marketing and those of Search Engine Optimization.
A. Inbound Links & Socially Sharing Content
One of the core strategies at the heart of every solid SEO campaign is link building. The more high-quality backlinks you can acquire, then more authority your site is afforded in the search engines.
Conversely, one of the foundations of social media is the ability to share content and links with other people. The nature of the social web encourages participation. This means sharing, voting, commenting and linking. Popular social content gets exposure, traffic and can result in a substantial number of relevant inbound links. Whether it be tweeting a link on Twitter or sharing a link on Facebook, it is this very thing that will ensure that the two disciplines are joined at the hip.
Bonus: Social Media profiles are usually very good links to have as they are deemed as high-authority links, so ensure that you link to your site on all of your profiles (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)
B. Referral Traffic
In addition to the link popularity factor we mentioned above, the links and content posted through social media profiles present a very nice way to build up solid sources of referral traffic to your site.
Building up referral traffic to the website you’re focusing on is a huge part of any Search Engine Optimization strategy and definitely one of the core principles of good SEO.
C. More Links & Traffic = More Authority & Ranking Ability
The name of the game in SEO is trying to garner more authority and relevancy for your website, which will in turn lead to better ranking ability, which leads to more traffic opportunities. It really is a vicious cycle, but social media can be that edge that helps push you over the top if you utilize it properly.
D. Brand Engagement & Buzz
The links, traffic, brand engagement, and conversational marketing piece to social media is very powerful and can go a long way towards helping your SEO efforts. Most of the web’s top ranking websites maintain strong brand recognition in their respective industries. Strong branding leads to natural inbound links and sometimes viral traffic, which places building a reputation within social media networks as a top priority for SEO.
Here’s What Some Other People Think
Don’t trust me. Here are what some other people within both industries think…
- You Can’t Separate Social Media and SEO by Ian Lurie of Conversational Marketing
- Social Media & SEO: 5 Essential Steps to Success by Lee Odden via Mashable
- Social Media and SEO — Friends with Benefits? by Mark Jackson at Search Engine Watch
- 3 Ways Social Media Helps SEO by Cameron Olthuis at Search Engine Land
Okay, enough with the references. What do you think? Am I way behind on this talk? Is social media really becoming something that every SEO should learn and take seriously? Obviously I think so, but I’m more interested to hear what you have to say about it…