Be it from laziness or ignorance, most companies are still missing the boat when it comes to social media optimization. In fact, most brands don't even come close to achieving what they could with social media, missing out on valuable opportunities for SEO and brand growth. But it's not too late to make a change! Just follow these six strategies for social media optimization and you'll be off to a great start.
But before we get started, let's get the lowdown on how much sway social media has over SEO.
Quite a bit, actually.
See, your overall organic search presence is dependent on the number of times your brand appears in different search results. The more frequently your business ranks in a search result, the more people will click on it, thereby improving your ranking.
Of course, search engine algorithms take many factors into account when determining where to rank results. And social media is not considered one of them, at least not formally. However, social media does play an important role in the overall search engine community and is something that must be taken into account when drafting an SEO strategy.
Think about it. SEO is about optimizing your website so that it shows up in searches done by people seeking your product or service and enticing them to visit your website. Social media does the same thing – it gets your name and content in front of people interested in your offering.
Simply put, social media increases your brand's exposure. This exposure creates credibility, which ultimately increases your business's relevance to search engines. Especially in the era of Expertise, Authority and Trust. Google uses a variety of trust signals to determine the importance of your brand. Social media could be one of these signals.
Here are some social media strategies that can help you begin your optimization campaign on the right foot:
The best way to build brand awareness? Make your brand easy to associate with.
A goldfish is said to have an attention span of nine seconds, which is approximately one second longer than the attention span of the average person visiting your page.
You have a limited amount of time to capture someone's attention before they're off browsing elsewhere. And you’re not going to get anywhere without a well-optimized profile that spells out your business to viewers in an instant.
From what you write in your bio to what pictures you include, the way you design your profile influences whether or not people recognize you. See how Adidas uses a clean, distinct profile image in tandem with an equally compelling and complimentary cover photo. Adidas's cover photo strategically highlights the brand's products while simultaneously reinforcing its name.
Or take a look at the consistent color palette used on Paperbell’s instagram account. By having strict brand guidelines around colors, fonts and visual style you can glance at any post and instantly know it’s from Paperbell…
Think of positive brand mentions as seeds that are propagated by other people for the sake of your brand's growth. These seeds can either be planted intentionally or through natural conversations. Either way, positive name-drops have the power to create immense value and brand preference in return.
Now, creating opportunities for positive mentions isn't the easiest of tasks, but it can certainly be accomplished with the right tactics.
Check out what @NikeSupport did with this tweet. They took a negative sentiment and turned it into positive buzz. A simple yet intelligent move, as @NikeSupport kept up the customer's good humor while delivering quality customer service.
Celebrity endorsements are another great source of brand mentions. By partnering with a public figure, you can tap into their existing audiences, allowing your brand to be exposed to a whole new group of potential consumers.
It's not just celebrities that can add that extra zing to your social media presence. Reaching out to a niche influencer can also help ring in positive brand mentions.
Lyft's 2018 campaign is a terrific example to show you how collaborations can contribute to positive mentions. The company took a risk by partnering with over 1,000 influencers, ranging from celebrities to micro-influencers. The goal was to make Lyft seem like the brand that everyone is talking about. And their efforts paid off. Lyft became one of the most mentioned brands of 2018.
But marketing specialists at Lyft didn't just go at it blindly. They had a coherent plan that catered to the specific metrics that were relevant to each influencer type.
For example, Snoop Dogg may have millions of followers, but that doesn't mean they're all going to be interested in a rideshare app. Lyft knew this, so they offered a discount code to sweeten the deal.
Maggie Baugh was another partner of Lyft, but she didn't have nearly as many followers as Snoop Dogg. However, what she lacks in numbers, she makes up for in engagement. It was easy for her to grab the attention of her audience simply by taking a picture with a Lyft scooter.
Both SEO and content marketing are about using a variety of mediums to produce unique and valuable pieces of content. Focusing on one without the other is as misguided as it is fruitless.
The same holds true for social media and content marketing.
Once you’ve got some fantastic content published, you need to make sure it gets in front of as many eyeballs as possible. That's where social media comes in.
Promoting your content across social media channels will help you diversify your traffic sources and get people talking about your content. Here's how a simple tweet from BestBuy led people to their membership program page, where they could learn more and register.
People access a variety of different resources every day, making it imperative to be present on as many channels as possible. That way, you can connect with potential customers no matter where they are or what they're doing.
It's impossible to know how much weight can social media stats exert on Google's page ranking algorithm. Even so, there is no denying the fact that high social media engagement translates into positive marketing results. For example, the likes of your peers and customers can spread the word about your business and share content, leading to new leads. Or a high follower count could lead to word-of-mouth marketing, reviews, and other opportunities. All these things help boost your brand's authority and customer engagement and sales.
A truly engaging content strategy is one that helps, not just advertises. Maybe it's an article on how to clean white shoelaces if you sell shoes or one on how to make money if you are promoting an affiliate program.
Content that addresses users' needs and concerns, and helps them along the way — that's what's going to keep them interested and coming back for more. That's what will make them realize you're the brand for them.
And if you do it right, if you really go above and beyond – your audience will even do some of the work for you. They’ll spread the word and become evangelists of your brand.
Let's say you own an athleisure brand. While posting the latest product designs will get you some engagement, it won't necessarily get you an engaged following. Posting workout styling tips, on the other hand, is offering unique insight and advice to help your fans out — a more inviting service that will get you much more engagement than product promotions ever could.
Sephora is a great example of a company that knows how to add in some interest, even during a seemingly mundane update. This post did more than just brag about the company's mask selection. It invited their followers to choose their favorites with a #wouldyourather tag for some interactive fun.
Posting at all hours of the day and night or producing thoughtless content won't help you build an optimized social profile. As a social media marketer, you have to make sure that your content doesn't slip off the radar of your followers.
So how do you make sure your hard work won’t falls flat on its face?
There are endless possibilities for what businesses can post on social media. However, a no-holds-barred approach is not the way to go. It's important to be organized and have a plan for when, where, and what you want to post. Most digital marketers manage their work with the help of kanban boards such as the ones Asana and Teamwork have to offer.
The biggest and most successful brands out there post regularly. This helps them remain relevant to their audience and allows them to better control the conversation around their brand. So if you're looking to up your social media game, make sure to develop a content calendar and stick to it.
Take a look at this special message delivered by Knix CEO Joanna Griffiths while in the middle of delivering twin girls. The post was heartfelt and timely, reflecting the founder's genuine priorities.
But remember, not every social media holiday will work for your brand. Take Carbonara Day, for example. It works great for those in the food industry — but a tech startup trying to push its newest app might not have as much luck!
If you aren't sure where to begin, consider hiring a marketing agency to develop your social media content plan. That way, you will have marketing experts on hand to come up with a social media proposal tailored to increasing engagement for your brand’s specific use-case.
The social media optimization process is designed to improve your brand’s presence and performance on social media platforms, as well as improve your SEO rankings. As a result, it is crucial to identify your key performance indicators (KPIs) and work toward improving those key metrics.
Analytics are the secret sauce of online marketing, and your business cannot succeed without a solid framework to track how you're performing. The good news is that there are several great tools to help you do just that — with RankTracker and SproutSocial being some of the best available for SEO and social media, respectively. Paying close attention to relevant metrics will help you determine how effective your strategies are and which ones need tweaking.
As businesses strive to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of social media, they often find themselves stretched thin in terms of time and resources. What makes things even more difficult is the fact that social media optimization techniques require constant vigilance and upkeep. By following the strategies outlined above, you can give yourself a chance to catch up and get a head start on future social media challenges.