A strong social media presence can lead to greater brand visibility, brand recognition, and brand authority. While these factors don’t directly impact SEO in the same way as keywords do, they can still help your business’ website rise to the top of the search results page (SERP).
When examining the relationship between social media and SEO, it’s important to recognize that “social media signals” are the key factors that impact SEO. Social media signals include likes, reviews, shares, and links to your website content that are posted on various social media sites. To Google, these signals are indicators that a business is relevant and recognized.
According to a research report created by SOCi and The Local Search Association, Facebook had at least some influence on 52 percent of all retail purchases. We also know that Facebook Business Pages have at least some influence on SEO rankings. Here are the ways in which Facebook and other social media pages can positively impact your business’ SEO ranking.
In a general sense, brand visibility refers to how much exposure your brand is getting. In SEO terms, visibility measures where your business’ website is ranking on the SERP. High visibility means your site is at or near the top of the first page. Low visibility means it’s on the second, third or fourth page of results.
Here is what we know; Google crawls Facebook and other social media sites and displays the links on SERPs. For franchise businesses, both Local Facebook Pages and Brand Facebook Pages can appear in SERPs. Google will even sometimes display a business’ tweets right there in the SERPs. According to the aforementioned research report, 39 percent of consumers who found a local business on social media made a purchase, which means those consumers must have moved from the social page to the website. When your business appears in search results — in the form of a social page or a website — it helps achieve better brand visibility, which ultimately drives traffic to your site.
Having a robust social media presence can increase your brand’s recognition, as those social pages provide even more avenues for consumers to be exposed to your brand. Increasing your brand recognition means more consumers will recognize your logo, remember the name of your company and know what products and services your business provides.
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter give businesses the ability to promote branded content such as blogs, articles and product updates. Pushing these pieces out to your social media followers can help you earn more website traffic, which can, in turn, help you rank higher on Google’s search results page and earn even more brand visibility.
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Every business should be sharing website links on social media in the hopes that other social pages will share the posts. Link-sharing is a form of social engagement, similar to likes and comments. Unlike likes and comments, however, link-sharing can impact a business’ SEO ranking because it impacts brand authority.
Brand authority, as it relates to social media, manifests itself in shares. If your followers share links to your blog posts — or see your post and decide to share your blog on their website — it helps build backlinks. These types of interactions signify that your content is engaging, respected and recognized by other industry leaders.
If Google decides that your business’ website is a leader on a particular subject matter, it means your website has authority. For example, SOCi is a social media and reputation management platform and our blog page is filled with articles on that subject. Since other websites link back to our content, the SOCi site has some authority in the eyes of Google.
While brand visibility, recognition, and authority are important, it’s the local search results that social media impacts the most. Local reviews on Google My Business, Yelp and Facebook can provide a bump to a local business SEO ranking, but accurate business information matters as well. Ensure each of your business’ social media pages has up-to-date local information – such as address, phone number, and hours of operation. This can be a daunting task for franchise marketers, who have to update information across every location’s Local Facebook Page, Google My Business Page, and Yelp page. Technology like SOCi can help franchise marketers accomplish this important step in the social media optimization process.