Everyone and anyone is using social media these days for personal use but recently more and more businesses are coming round to the idea that Social Media is important for growing their company. There’s no doubt that social media is having an increasing influence on how branders and marketers work. Some companies are already tapping into this emerging marketing tool while others are still struggling to keep up.
There are a variety of factors that affect the performance of a company’s website and overall online presence. Search engines give credit to relevancy (using similar keywords in your meta descriptions, title tags and anchor text) and authority (amount and type of sites that are linking to your content via inbound links). These practices are still very much alive, but another facet has entered into the mix: social signals.
But not in the way that you may think. The fact is that social signals do not appear to be a direct ranking factor, based on a statement from Matt Cutts (Google) that indicates Google does not have any such signal in search ranking algorithms. So why do social signals matter?
Likes, shares, retweets and other forms of citation are comparable to receiving an inbound link to your site. The more of these that you accumulate, the more it indicates that you are providing some sort of value, and the better it is for brand awareness and driving traffic to your site. Furthermore, based on the nature of social shares ” people share things that are helpful ” there is a correlation between great content and volume of social shares (another indication of the importance of remarkable content for SEO).
Social Signals Indicate Credibility
Its true… 92% of consumers trust the recommendations of friends and family more than any form of advertising. And increasingly, these recommendations are moving online via social media. Social signals are like digital word-of-mouth; when people share, talk about or endorse something on social media, they are telling their network that it is trustworthy and worth their time.
Furthermore, consumers now expect to be able to find brands, products, and services on social platforms. If they have a question they can tweet the company and expect a response. Similarly, consumers can use a brand’s Facebook page to research new products and read comments from consumers who have bought that product or used that service. Consumers can connect with one another online, sharing, tweeting and citing, which can help build brand authority and increase SEO performance.
Social Media is a great way to connect with other businesses and engage with existing and potential clients. With over 240 million active monthly users on twitter, over 1.2 billion monthly active Facebook members and over 300 million users on LinkedIn there’s no shortage of opportunity to connect.
Connections with Employees
Although your Social Media pages may not serve as places to sell, they can be great platforms for employee engagement. Most companies, regardless of the industry or the location will have employees that are active on various forms of Social Media. This is great because it means you can communicate with your employees and more importantly your employees can communicate with each other. This can create a community spirit within your organization which not only keeps your employees happy but also looks good for outsiders looking in.
Branding through Social Platforms
Facebook can be used as a medium for creating brand awareness in addition to a company’s corporate website. It provides brand exposure to a potentially new audience and gives organizations the opportunity to position themselves in new and unique ways.
Social Media Drive Web Traffic to Websites
As a Facebook page grows its fan base, traffic to the company website will increase. Facebook pages also appear in Universal Search Results.
In a service-based sector like hospitality, customer feedback is vital. Social Media allows users to communicate their experiences directly and give the company the opportunity to respond and get the actual picture of the problems.