To most people, SEO and Social Media Marketing are two separate things, often carried out by different people on the content team. In fact, in many organizations the person or team responsible for social media management is often different from the person responsible for SEO and website content. This doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be working together to get the best results for everyone.
When content is written with social sharing in mind, it is shared more frequently, which helps increase the authority of the URL and the domain.
When social media and SEO are used strategically, they can create a symbiotic relationship where the content facilitates sharing, which brings new readers to the content – in a perpetual cycle. In this article, we’ll go over the basics of optimizing posts for social, and creating a strategy so that your site becomes the go-to for knowledge on a topic.
Optimizing for Social
In our post about Optimizing off Site Content, we noted how social media posts are increasingly showing up in Google (and other search engines) search engine results pages (SERPs). This is great news for companies who have a social media strategy in place and consistently link to new website content through social channels because it gives the content more opportunity to be found.
However, it cannot just be your social channels that are spreading the message if you want to show up in search results or have a large reach. Your audience needs to be sharing your content to their audience in order to maximize the effect. One tactic, we’ve kept hearing about, is to leave the URL link in your post so others can copy and paste the link. This is an old strategy, which isn’t effective. Actually, it’s been proven that your content will go further if you allow Facebook and/or Linkedin to generate a preview for the linked content, then delete the typed link from the actual body of post.
Another way to increase sharing, and have control over what is shared is by using social media meta tags (social tags). When you populate your social tags with the same keywords as your content, you increase the chances of the social media posts directly helping your SEO. Another advantage to using social tags is that they help search engine spiders get a better idea of what your content is actually about. The more information the spiders can crawl and understand, the better your site will show on SERPs.
Creating a Strategy
As noted above, keywords are literally the key to optimizing your social strategy. Before anyone writes anything for either social media management or website content, keywords should be decided upon and used across the board. The days of stuffing your content with barely relevant keywords in order to appease the SEO gods are long behind us, but keywords still play a huge role in SEO.
Choosing the right keywords and applying them to your social media posts as well as website content will make your content searchable across platforms, leading to new audiences. Make sure you don’t choose a keyword that is too common – a search of the hashtag #New on Twitter brings up millions of results so is likely not very useful in boosting traffic, but if you want to be discoverable you can’t have keywords that can’t be guessed either. Think of what your end user would be searching for in order to find your website or social media accounts and use that as your starting point for finding the right keywords.
gShift has created a Social Keyword Research Guide to help you insert your brand into the conversations and searches on social media by your target audience. A unified social media and content keyword strategy will help create a cycle that will have your site appearing higher in SERPs and in-network social searches.
By treating social media marketing and SEO as two sides of the same marketing coin instead of two distinctly different areas, you can harness the power of social media to help your site climb closer to the top of SERPs.
Making your content easily searchable with keywords and shareable using social tags will help grow your audience, which will increase the number of shares creating a cycle of new audience members and new shares of your content. All it takes is some planning and strategy to make it happen.
Liked this blog? Read the other articles in our social media marketing series:
- The Do’s, Don’ts, and Wow Let’s Never Do That Again!
- Is Facebook Dead?
- When Bad Mentions Happen to Good Companies – Social Media Crisis Management 101
Need help with your social media? Learn more about our digital marketing services and how we can help you get the most out of your social media marketing