It has been hotly debated if social media has a direct influence on business’ search engine optimization efforts. Some experts say businesses can focus their marketing strategy on social media alone, while others argue social media is just one integral, yet indirect, part of a good online marketing strategy.
We’re going to set things straight and make it easy for you to digest this long-winded debate.
True. Social media influences your search engine rankings and search engine rankings influence your social media presence.
False. Social media marketing is the only form of online marketing your business needs.
Another truth. 72% of all internet users are active on social media.
How old is social media??
Here are the ages of just a few of the social media networks available:
LinkedIn is 12 years old. Followed close behind by Facebook at 10 years old. Next, is Twitter at 8 years. Instagram and Pinterest both launched about 4 years ago, then Google+ around 3 years ago.
As these numbers indicate, social media is not old. Yet, in its short life, social media has become our primary form of communication. Nearly 50% of all age brackets up to 65+ are active on social media.
Here’s a closer look at the statistics:
72% of all internet users are now active on social media
18-29 year olds have an 89% usage
The 30-49 age bracket sits at 72%
60% of 50 to 60 year olds are active on social media
In the 65+ bracket, 43% are using social media
There are numerous ways to express yourself, promote your business and connect with your audience on social media. As more consumers flock to social networks, they are looking for ways to engage with their favorite brands, get exclusive deals, and stay in the know. As a small business owner, it is crucial to be interactive, engaging, and dynamic with your audience. Social media is the only place you can do that.
Here are 3 ways Social Media influences your SEO rankings:
1. Your Reputation is at Stake
Actively participating with your audience on social media improves your reputation and credibility. Imagine that you opened a new business, filled your space with products, lined your window displays and prepared your shop for a grand opening. You even shared it with your local community and friends. But, you mixed up your dates and didn’t unlock your doors. All your friends and neighbors that showed stood outside, peered through your windows, wondering “what happened?” You failed to show up to the party. This doesn’t make for a reliable business reputation. Neither does not meeting your customers where they are everyday – online.
Showing up to the social media party creates the image of a quality business. You are invested and care about what your audience has to say. Not only does social media allow small business owners the opportunity of getting positive (or negative) feedback from their customers, but it is also an easy way to educate them. Share company news, specials, and ask questions. By giving your customers a considerable amount of attention, you will gain loyal customers who will want to share you with their communities. This translates to positive rankings and reviews. Your fans will also have prior knowledge about your products and services meaning a lower abandonment rate once they get on your website and longer user sessions. This, unarguably, increases your credibility and promotes your online reputation with search engines.
2. A Broader Audience
Here’s another scenario. You’re opening a new business. You fill your space with products, line your window displays and prepare your shop for a grand opening. But, you don’t tell anyone. You did all the work to have a grand opening party but didn’t invite anyone. Forgetting to send invitations for a party you worked hard for is like opening a business but not sharing it on social media.
Being active on social media helps small business owners bring traffic to their website – especially when they are first starting out. Whether it is through a single post, picture, video or update – social media gives business owners a myriad of options to draw traffic to their website (or bring people to your party). Take this opportunity to expand your audience and multiply your online presence. Not engaging on social media is like closing your doors on over 1.15 billion people…which is just the number of monthly active users on Facebook.