Social media is proving to be an incredibly powerful, tool with staying power in online marketing strategy.
According to new research, Facebook Shares and Likes and quality backlinks are the solid foundations of successful search engine results pages. Twitter lags behind only slightly but is way ahead of other traditional serp ranking strategies like url keywords and optimised metatag text.
International search analytics company Searchmetrics identified that the driving force behind the social media effect was engagement of potential customers.
Facebook’s role in elevating serp results surrounds the dissemination of information between its users, who can Like, Share and comment upon links.
Social media: isn’t it for LOLcats and celebrities?
What are the links they are promoting? Informative news stories, viral YouTube videos, funny pictures and photos; also, sales promotions, good deals online, entertaining blog posts – crucially, whatever they find interesting, amusing or likeable.
This activity, says Searchmetrics, is positively impacting upon Google’s search results: if your company has a high level of interaction via Facebook, Twitter and Google+ it will rank more highly among its competitors.
“The biggest unknown in SEO is always the algorithm. Many myths and rumours surround the what and how of Google results and their sorting and how you can best influence them,” said the analytics company.
“At Searchmetrics we continually aggregate billions of data points a month and naturally look for the answer to the question: ‘Which factors are relevant for a good ranking in Google search results?’ With this study we will get closer to the answer.”
Summary of Searchmetrics findings
- “Social signals” from Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are aligned with good rankings in Google’s index.
- Website advertising can impact negatively on page rankings, in some cases.
- The number of backlinks is extremely helpful, but it appears to be important to have a link-mix including stop words and ‘nofollow’.
- Pages with strong, established brands are able to operate under different, more relaxed optimisation rules.
- Keyword domains are often included in the top listings on a serp.
The business of your social media
Social media is what it says, and sociability is power.
It can be time consuming, frivolous, hard work or doesn’t feel like work, it can ‘buzz’ or ‘epic fail’, it can languish or be flight-of-foot, it can remain a mystery to many – but in light of this research, it’s way past time to get serious about it.
A social media plan must be integrated into a marketing plan and can be tailored to the sales activities and niche of every business with an online presence.
It is an idea to set targets of what you want to achieve: this makes your social media manageable, and with a goal in sight. It should also be regularly reviewed to see if targets have been achieved, and new ones set.
This is all very well for businesses with marketing departments, but what about smaller companies, which have a desire and need to grow, to engage more customers, to attract more quality traffic and thrive?
Social media agencies
A full-service internet marketing agency can take the stress out of social media.
Only this type of agency will understand the importance of its role in the wider picture, how your social media can work alongside search engine optimisation, keywords, website design, pay-per-click, blogging and public relations activities.
Harness the power of social media
Social media management by Adrac includes:
- Facebook Page profiles and optimisation
- Twitter and Pinterest profiles and optimisation
- Content management – tweeting, posting, pinning
- Making connections and interacting with target customers
- Linking Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest activities to other PR activity (e.g. blogs)
- Linking social media activity to PPC campaigns
- Ensuring wide exposure across all social media channels
- Encouraging Shares, Likes, +1s, retweets and pins