No marketing professional in this day and age would ignore social media. To do would be to sound the death knell for the business. Social Media has come a long way and is now vital tool to drive web traffic, improve brand reputation and visibility, and connect with customers and prospects.
If your social media strategy hasn’t been paying dividends lately, there could be a number of reasons for this. For example, if you use social media to get leads, drive sales, gather data, target ads and for customer service, it can be said that your business has matured digitally and you no longer have any low-hanging fruit to pluck. To succeed in future, you need to overhaul your social marketing with the right social marketing tools at hand.
The Linkage between Social Media and SEO
Let’s begin by taking a look at how social media and SEO complement each other. There are many misconceptions and outright falsehoods regarding the impact of social media on organic search ranking. The big question has been whether social signals have any effect on search rankings. None other than Matt Cutts, the former Google staffer, has said that social signals do not feature in Google’s ranking algorithm. This was back in 2014 and Google confirmed this again in 2016 via Gary Illyes.
However, despite this statement from Google, there is no doubt that there are a number of other ways that social media marketing can impact SEO. For example;
- Social media profiles and content often show up in Google search results. For example, Google+, Facebook and Twitter content and posts often get indexed.
- Mentions and social media activity accelerate organic search queries. For example, when something starts trending on Twitter, people quickly perform search engine queries to find out more about the trending topic. This “buzz” can quickly deliver visitors to your website.
The moral is that while social media signals are not ranking factors in the Google algorithm, they do have an impact on SEO by directly influencing other factors which are used in the ranking algorithm.
Where Does Your Social Audience Hang Out?
To revamp your social media strategy, you need to ask yourself where your audience hangs out. A lot of times, you may find your marketing budget being stretched thin because your campaigns are all over the place yet your audience may only be active on one or two social networks. For example;
- B2Bs are likely to have a captive audience on LinkedIn.
- For businesses selling a product, Facebook is most likely the platform.
- For the fashion industry, Instagram appears to be the social media network of choice.
- If you are targeting teenagers and millennials under 25, then you definitely want to be on Snap.
- If your main audience in women, you can ignore Pinterest.
If you aren’t sure where your audience hangs out, there is a lot of research and data on this from research organizations like Nielsen and Pew Research Center.
However, social media isn’t ideal for all types of businesses. You may be in some obscure industry where a trade show or other forum may be a more appropriate marketing and PR strategy.
After refining your social media targets, the next thing is to test and retest. Test both paid and organic content and based on the results, refine your targeting. Also, acquaint yourself with how the social media network indexes its content and how it shows up when searched by users.
Combine Social Media Data with Other Marketing Channels
Marketing elements are rarely stand-alone, they co-exist with several other elements within the same ecosystem. To create a more unifying experience for your audience, you need to use data across all marketing channels. There are five ways to do this:
- Gain content ideas from social media activity, for example, from complaints and suggestions in posts.
- Gain content ideas from social communities, comments, and most engaging posts.
- Gain remarking audiences from the site cookies
- Use ad results to target better
- Get link magnet ideas from trending topics
Social media marketing is akin to fishing. You need the right bait and you must cast your net where there is fish. Social media is just one cog of the overall marketing strategy. You must combine with other marketing channels for the best results.
Revamping your social media strategy is actually about understanding your social media helps you reach and engage with your target market better. Once you figure this out, you are home and dry.