This post was written by Andrea Marban. Andrea is the content marketing assistant here at AdEspresso, a Facebook ad management platform. She is also an account executive for an award-winning interactive advertising agency in Miami, Florida.
The potential benefits of establishing and using social media accounts for your business include that they allow you to gather information about your target audience, provide a supportive, interactive platform for customer service, increase brand awareness, connect with, nurture and convert sales leads and establish your business as an authorized, up-to-date source of information for its industry.
The more obvious benefits of social media are those that involve your company directly interacting with its customers.
But, there is another benefit of using social media for business that is highly valuable, often overlooked and, in most cases, not fully taken advantage of: social media can also strengthen your SEO (Search Engine Optimization), which improves your rank (website, landing page, post, etc.) in the results of search engines.
SEO should be integrated into just about all of your online efforts – and social media is not an exception.
The Benefits of Integrating SEO into Your Social Media Efforts
Search engines index social media networks, placing them in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
Therefore, when your business holds an account on a social media site, and integrates SEO into its content, its page and posts will appear in the results of search engines, adding to your SEO efforts and driving additional traffic to your brand.
In addition, when a search engine crawls a website, it associates the links to social media accounts and associates those profiles with that website.
So, when a social media account is generating high levels of social activity, and is linked to a business’s website (through feeds, URL links, etc.), it shows search engines that the business is providing information that is authentic, relevant and valued its audience.
Developing your social media accounts and content to have these qualities, and connecting that positive activity to your website, is key to achieving a high PageRank in search engines.
Another benefit of using keywords in your social media posts is that by adding a hashtag (#) you can link them to streams of posts also tagging that keyword.
For example, if I post a tweet on Twitter reading: “AdEspresso is a great tool for creating, tracking and optimizing your Facebook ads #FacebookAdvertising” than that tweet will be categorized under the clickable link #FacebookAdvertising, with all other tweets containing that hashtag.
When a user searches “Facebook Advertising” on Twitter, my tweet will show up in the results.
The Best SEO Practices for Social Media
Social media is not a campaign – It’s a commitment.
And, developing a well-liked social media account typically requires tactics and strategy to engage with new and existing customers, speedy, supportive customer service, and constant publication of posts with in-the-know industry information, expert insight and eye-catching, branded creative.
But, developing a social media account that improves your PageRank in search results also requires integrating SEO into your posts. Here’s a list of tips for doing so.
Research Keywords with Google’s Keyword Planner – Using keywords in your posts that will generate significant traffic requires finding out which keywords, relevant to your product, company and industry, are receiving the most searches. The Google Keyword Planner helps you find out!
Include Company Name in Posts – In your social media posts, mentioning your company name tells Google that your brand is linked to the posts, as well as any other keywords you have included. When you use your brand name in social media posts it will also improve the rank of your social media profiles in search engine results!
Use Hashtags – Tagging major keywords in your Twitter and Facebook posts categorizes them within the social platform’s search feature, drives additional traffic to them, and increases the likelihood of users engaging with them.
Post Consistently – When posting on any social media network, it is important to find and follow a consistent posting schedule that leads to engagement with your followers. It is also important to keep in mind that not posting often enough will cause followers to disengage, while over-posting can be annoying and cause customers to stop following you. Maintaining a constant stream of updates on your accounts not only benefits engagement and trust with your followers, but also improves your ranking with Google, especially when the content you are posting follows the next tip, too.
Post Valuable Content – This is quite possibly the most important guideline for any brand to follow when posting social media updates. But, what makes for “valuable” content?
No matter which social media platform you are publishing on, or what industry your business is in, the best, most valuable content (in regards to both Google and your followers) is all of the following:
Relevant to industry, business, followers, recent events, seasons/holidays, etc.
Use Keywords as Naturally as Possible – While Google recognizes and values keywords, they also value a simple, helpful search experience for Google users. A social media account that unnaturally forces keywords into its posts, constantly duplicates its content or does not follow a 2-5% keyword density rate will not be seen as user-friendly by Google. Not to mention, a social media account that practices these bad habits will also deteriorate relationships with users!
Use Links to Your Site – Adding your website’s links to your social media posts shows Google that the two are associated and drives your followers (typically high quality leads) to your website. When used naturally and paired with a short, attention-grabbing blurb of relevant text, site links can add significant value to your online marketing efforts.
Measure Your SEO Success – Like any marketing or advertising effort, SEO should be measured, including when it is used in your social media posts. There are several social analytics tools available, which allow you to track your number of followers, the sources that your followers are finding you through, your most and least successful posts and much more.
There is little doubt today that social media has the potential to assist with SEO. Using the appropriate keywords and hashtags in your posts will not only increase your findability within the specific network you are posting on, but can also help to impact your results in Google.
Do you have any questions about anything in this post? If so, please leave a comment or tweet to us @AdEspresso and our team will do our best to answer your questions. If you’re ready to start optimizing your Facebook ads please sign up for our FREE beta.