One question we're frequently asked by clients interested in digital marketing is what kind of impact social media can have on a website. For years now, small businesses have been told that they need to be on social, but many don't feel like they have the time to properly manage a business page. Other than posting a message or two per week (that may or may not engage their customers), many people simply don't understand the value in it.
Here at Speak, we operate under the thought that a great digital marketing strategy incorporates a mix of technical SEO, social media, and design. This strategy provides a comprehensive, holistic approach. This is similar to a traditional marketing plan; utilizing billboards, radio ads, and print gives your marketing a multi-channel approach that reaches the most people.
So just how does social media have an impact on your website and a search engine’s ability to find you? Here’s our take:
Social media amplifies your website
The best way to share your website with your audience is through social media. Just like SEO works to get new users to your website, social media spreads your content to new audiences. While your customers might not be actively seeking your content, chances are their time online is specifically spent on their favorite social media platform.
Using social as a channel to promote your services and brand keeps it in front of your engaged users and lets them know when there is new content or news on your site. Think of it like a megaphone – social media is a great way to shout your message to the masses.
Social media increases the lifespan of your content
If you’ve written content in the form of a blog or news article, you know that it takes a lot of work to create. But once it’s published, what’s next? If you’re waiting for your audience to find the content on their own, you’ll likely see a slow – very slow – trickle of traffic. Sharing your content through your social platforms lets people see the new content. But, to make the most out of your social efforts, don’t be afraid to share it again!
It’s likely your entire audience didn’t see your post — either they weren’t online at the time or had other things on their mind and scrolled past. Continually promoting content across your channels drives additional traffic to your website and can capture secondary audiences. Changing up your caption and type of post will appeal to different audiences.
Do you have a piece of content that could appeal to several different demographics? Create posts that speak directly to each intended audience. Although the link may be the same, the way you appeal to your audience can make a difference whether they click into the content or not.
Knowledge is power
If you’re familiar with the ins and outs of Google, you’ve likely heard the term ‘knowledge graph.’ The knowledge graph is a modal of information that Google’s search engine shows users when they are searching for specific local information or brand names. It allows users to immediately connect with the business by calling or getting directions, viewing hours and pictures of the location, and reading reviews from other customers.
Recently, the Google knowledge graph has brought in social media links and reviews for businesses. This means that users are more likely to skip your website altogether and head over to your social media page to learn about your business. Making sure your Facebook profile is as welcoming and informative as your website is more important than ever.
Additionally, on mobile, Google announced that they will be sharing recent G+ status updates in Google search. This means that your Google My Business profile will be seen before search results, which could impact if a user ever makes it to your site or ultimately engages with your business.
If you follow the blog, you’ve heard us talk about NAP (name, address, phone) and why it’s so important. The information you share about your business on these valuable, highly-trafficked sites helps search engines (and customers) piece together who you are, while connecting the dots of your digital presence.
Social media contributes to link authority
With any SEO strategy, link building is a major component. Proving to search engines that your site has authority on your core products or services will help your business outrank your competitiors. To achieve this authority, you must have links from several other authoritative sites to your website, giving it the SEO boost it needs.
Shares, comments, retweets, and engagement on your posts are great for social media. In fact, while Bing and Google have gone back and forth over the years on just how much weight social media has as a ranking factor, many marketers believe that links to your content on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube help the search engines understand what websites are credible. In turn, this will increase your page and site authority, which we know has a positive effect on rankings.
As if building link authority to your website isn’t enough, a well-planned digital strategy can also make sure your social profiles themselves are ranking well. In fact, a highly engaged and interactive Instagram profile or Facebook page has the authority to outrank competitors on specific keyword terms. That’s a win-win for both your brand and your online presence. Additionally, Google often includes relevant tweets and posts in search results, so making sure you’re using keywords in social posts can also help users find you through search.
To sum it up: the more your content is shared, the more credible your content is viewed. Having employees and loyal fans or influencers share content is a great way to not only amplify your content, but to make it more relevant and authoritative.
Social media maintains relevance & communication
If you’ve gotten a loyal following, you’ve achieved what most SEO strategies are trying to gain – an active audience. Having likes or followers means you have an online audience who is expecting to hear from you and knows your content is relevant to them.
Putting effort into your social media networks creates a real sense of trust and loyalty between you and your customers, which ultimately leads to a longer client lifetime and repeat sales. The two-way communication that happens on social media builds a mutually beneficial relationship much easier than the one-way communication flow on a website.
Engage your customers by asking for their reviews and opinions. Encourage them to share stories relevant to your business. Interact with those posts and embolden others to do the same. Before long, you will have built a network of customers who come back to your business again and again, helping enhance your entire digital marketing presence.
Understanding social media’s purpose in a digital marketing strategy is one thing, but executing a plan that is relevant and connects with new customers can be tricky. Our Social Media Strategists here at Speak work with businesses in a variety of industries to enhance their online presence, creating messaging that expands their reach and grabs the attention of potential customers. Want to learn more? Fill out our contact form to get in touch or message our page on Facebook.
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