In the old days of SEO, marketers relentlessly chase one new-fangled SEO strategy after another in an effort to boost their online presence. From finding the perfect keywords to dissecting every SEO strategy, marketers spend a lot of time, money, and resources on various promotion techniques regardless if they’re evergreen or trendy.
These days, however, it’s possible to keep your business on top of your target audience’s mind without spending sleepless nights on your SEO strategy. And if you’re someone who has grown frustrated over your marketing campaign because you're not getting the results you expect then it's time to look deeper into the way you present your brand online via social media.
Social Media Promotions and SEO
Contrary to popular notion, SEO isn’t just about optimizing every webpage with your main keywords. Effective SEO is all about the way you present your business on the internet.
Google made headlines in 2014 when Matt Cutts said they do not consider social media as a direct ranking signal. According to Cutts, “Facebook and Twitter pages are treated like any other pages in our web index, and so if something occurs on Twitter or occurs on Facebook and we’re able to crawl it then we can return that in our search results.”
However, a 2018 study by Hootsuite found that articles with social promotion get an average of 22% boost on the searches. Pieces with top social shares are the first to appear in the searches. This shows the power of social media marketing.
Bing, on the other hand, was more forthcoming with the truth. The search giant admitted that it incorporates social media metrics into its algorithm. On Bing’s webmaster guidelines, it clearly states that social media can improve a website’s searchability:
“Social media plays a role in today’s effort to rank well in search results… [t]hese positive signals can have an impact on how you rank organically in the long run.”
This explains why pieces that get a lot of shares on social media tend to top Bing’s searches. It’s worth noting that about 33% of US searches are from Bing.
Betting on Social Media: 5 Strategies to Top the Searches
Real Value Enhances Searchability
SEO is all about optimizing webpages while social media marketing is all about providing value. A brand with high searchability often generates higher organic traffic. When your website constantly tops the searches, you are perceived as a trusted brand.
You have to give your target audience what they want. If you are selling mobile phones and your website is only dishing out articles about taking care of mobile phones or ways to clean the screen, etc., you are not giving what your readers want. Your target audience expects a platform that sells mobile phones so they could buy the goods they want - in this case, mobile phones.
So how do you provide real value to your customers on social media?
Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, for example, come with business-centric features to help market your business and sell to your target audience all in one place. As long as you are presenting the content correctly, you are providing real value to your followers.
Authenticity and Credibility
Creating a business account on social media is easy, anyone with an internet connection can do this. But creating a brand that shows authenticity and credibility is not so easy.
When people see your social media account, you want them to trust your brand. You want people to know that there is a real person behind the brand, one that provides their needs. When people look at your social media profile, you want them to relate to your marketing message and become their trusted source of information.
So how do you show authenticity to build credibility in such a cutthroat platform like social media? Start by putting a face on the name. Let your followers know that there is a real person behind the account, that you are more than a brand. It's okay to send out automated greetings but for answering questions, interacting with followers in the comments section, or sharing note-worthy content on social media, you have to add your own personality.
What about building trust? Can you get people to trust you in an instant? It's true that trust is built over time but there are ways to speed things up. Showcasing your credentials is one of the best ways to get people to trust you. Letting people know that you are an authority in the industry you are in attracts more followers. This, in turn, increases the trustworthiness of your brand.
Letting people know that you are in charge is one way to get them to trust you. But if you are working with a team, don’t be afraid to let people know about it. Introducing your team members, letting your team engage with followers, etc., makes you (and your brand) relatable. It will make followers feel like they too are a huge part of your brand - because they are.
The Selling can Wait
One of the fastest ways to put off potential followers on social media is to push for a sale. No one likes being sold to, especially on a platform that’s primarily used to socialize with friends and loved ones like Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram.
If you want to project an authentic brand, you have to stop with the product pushing and focus on engagement.
Think of the real value of what you offer, what is the main objective of your brand? If you’re selling beauty products then your content should be all things beauty-related. Posting beauty news, publishing beauty-related articles on your website, and sharing these on your social media channels is a great start. Be sure that whatever you’re publishing and re-sharing is relevant to your target audience - that includes video tutorials and images.
If you are using hashtags to promote your brand, handpick the hashtags. Do not fill every post with a million hashtags otherwise, it gives the impression that you're only in it for selling and you’ll come off as insincere.
When using social media for promotions, your main goal should be to keep the user engagement up. You want people to respond positively to your posts, you want the posts to start a conversation between readers. You want people to share what you published on your social media profile to increase your reach and promote brand awareness. Essentially, you want every post you share on your social media to matter to your target audience.
Promote Your Social Media Posts
No, you shouldn’t ask your followers to read your latest post, this has to be done subtly. Make sure that every post comes with an attention-grabbing title. That’s a great way to make an impression on casual readers.
If you're doing this for the first time, we suggest experimenting with different headlines, see what looks best on Twitter or Instagram. Try different ways of delivering the title in the course of several days and check the metrics. See which one got the most attention and stick to that format.
You want the entire description to show properly. If the text is cut off, people won't read the content in its entirety. Different social media platforms have different types of metadata so keep your character or word count in check. For example, Twitter only allows posts that are 280 characters long.
The snippet should always sum up the entire content clearly to encourage more clicks. Keep the teaser interesting so readers are compelled to click what you just shared. Finish up with a great image to encourage your followers to click that link.
Build a Trusted Brand Over Time
Just like SEO, promoting on social media for a few weeks or months won’t lead to immediate success. It takes time to build trust in real life and the same thing can be said for online marketing, you have to give it time.
Instead of focusing too much on hitting a certain number, let every piece of content you publish mold your brand. Be extra mindful of the reputation that you want to build for your brand because this plays an important role in Google's ranking factors.
Don’t post every viral content you see online. Sometimes jumping the bandwagon could backfire on you. Before sharing or publishing a piece of content on your social media profiles, ask yourself, is this the kind of content you'd like to be known for? Is the content something that you can be proud of? Is the information something relevant and valuable to your target audience?
Essentially, you want to be mindful of where you are putting your name on. If you want to influence people and become a market leader, you have to provide the best information. This way, people will naturally come to you for amazing content. And that will take time.
To establish an effective SEO campaign, you have to focus on putting the best content out there. Before you know it, you’ll have your very own loyal following on social media. Once you have gained a following, you can leverage this to promote your business and become a market leader.