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Social Media & SEO ~ To be or not to be? Answering every marketers’ ultimate dilemma

Does your brand’s social media standing affect your SERP rankings? Read on to know more! ...

When was the last time you picked up your smartphone to check your socials? Let me guess, not too long ago! Maybe a minute or two ago. That’s how intertwined social media is with our daily lives to the extent that the lines between virtual and “real” are on the verge of getting blurred or maybe even obliterated soon. 

When it comes to running your business, it gets all the more important to keep abreast with the latest trends doing the rounds on social media. Which means you need to maintain an active presence on social channels. If you are questioning the relationship between SEO and social media and how the latter influences the former, we are here to unravel those very mysteries today. Stay tuned!

Decoding the Relationship between SEO and Social Media

Truth be told, social media channels do not have a direct bearing on SEO. There are a lot of studies that give contradictory opinions with the SERP giant Google sailing in the same boat!

Let’s check out the stands taken by Google at different points in time in the previous decade. Cut to 2010, Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s webspam team, released a video confirming the repercussions of a solid social media standing on search engine rankings. “Yes, I can confirm it. We do use Twitter and Facebook links in ranking, as we always have in our web search rankings…”

In 2014, Cutts exchanged stands and went on video to say, “Social signals, including Twitter Follows and Facebook Likes, do not affect search rankings.”

To delve a little deeper, he explains saying that Google crawls the netscape to bring to the fore the most relevant results in the current moment. However, since social media is a continuously evolving platform, therefore, it doesn’t serve as a reliable indicator of the holistic picture. 
Let’s look at another study from 2016 in which CognitiveSEO showed a correlation (not causation) between social media signals and the search rankings on Google. To quote one of the takeaways of the study, “The smaller the rank number is (so, the higher up the website), the higher the chances are that the average presence on the social network is larger.”

Interestingly Google+ and Facebook have a distinct linear relationship with search engine rankings. However, LinkedIn activity and Pinterest have no linearity, where the highest number of shares is not associated with achieving the top position on SERPs. 

So it would be safe to say that though social media might not bear a direct correlation with SERP rankings, the links or content that one shares across social networks increase brand exposure which can have an indirect effect on your brand rankings. Here’s an insight into how social media can impact SEO;

  • Enhance brand recognition
  • Improve brand reputation
  • Empowers content distribution across platforms
  • Spike in online visibility and organic traffic

Hence, while social media shares might not have a direct bearing on your SEO rankings when a post on a social network goes viral and witnesses a crazy number of shares or reposts, it gives out a signal that your content offers value to your target audience. 

Social media management and Social media SEO ~ Getting the basics right

While the two terms may appear similar at first glance, they hold different meanings. Social media management refers to the process of curating, creating, and posting content across varied platforms, along with maintaining a flow of engaged communication with prospective buyers. 

On the other hand, social media SEO includes all the optimization techniques that one can deploy across social channels to make your shared content more visible and searchable to the target audience. This helps you gather the right pairs of eyeballs that may potentially convert into sales and thus improve ROIs.

When social media management and SEO work hand in hand, these two separate yet complementary strategies aid in bringing your products and services to a whole new database of prospective customers. 

Much like Instagram search and the Google search bar, the intent is to showcase your deliverables to those who are looking for something similar at the time they need it. 

Ways to leverage your social media channels to empower your SEO game

As with any other SEO strategy or social media optimization endeavor, content is the make-or-break factor. When you build content pillars, clusters around them, and hyperlinks that connect the whole structure of your bespoke content strategy, you give your deliverables the context and the platform they need to be discovered. Once you have discovered your sweet spot between the three verticals of SEO, social media, and content marketing, you should be able to create and share impactful content such as blog posts, podcasts, infographics, guides such as ebooks, etc. 

This can help you attract local organic traffic, enhance visibility, improve brand recognition, build on a solid repertoire of backlinks, and ultimately set those cash registers ringing! The following strategies will help you deploy your social media visibility into tangible SEO benefits. 

1. Consider adding social sharing buttons on your website:

Those little Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook icons at the top of your digital interface can make a world of difference in the visibility of your content and, ultimately, products. This not only helps increase traffic to your site but also encourages people to share your awesome content across platforms, thereby gaining enhanced visibility. 

2. Optimize your social media profiles:

Every social media channel has a different algorithm to cater to. You need to craft a unique strategy for each platform. This can include curating an integrated keyword strategy in your content pieces without seeming forced or salesy. Building a reliable backlinks bank can also drive organic traffic to your webshop. Consider adding as many details, as cleverly and intuitively worded to make your content searchable, shareable, and visible to the right audience at the right time. 

3. Employ social listening tools to truly understand your audience:

When you tune in to your audience’s real pain points and the challenges they might be facing on social media, you might be able to project your content in a way that proffers your product or service as the solution that could be the panacea your audiences seek. There are several free analytics tools out there that you can resort to, such as Hootsuite, Klout, Followerwonk, etc. 

Summary

On that note, did you know that social media helps get your content indexed quickly? If a post goes viral or your social media page is the talk of the town, SERPs are bound to reflect the public’s choice! This is all the more reason to invest in social media strategies for your business and give yourself an edge over competitors.

If you are seeking professional social media management services, your search ends with Mavlers.

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Naina Sandhir

A content writer at Mavlers, Naina pens quirky, inimitable, and damn relatable content after an in-depth and critical dissection of the topic in question. When not hiking across the Himalayas, she can be found buried in a book with spectacles dangling off her nose!

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