The relationship between Social Media and SEO continues to grow meaning any SEO campaign without a Social Media strategy is lacking. Search Engines are constantly evolving and the increasing popularity of socialising online is naturally influencing this evolution. Representatives from Google and Bing have publicly stated that search results are positively affected by Google +1’s, Facebook Likes and Tweets.
Social Media impacts, in a variety of ways, how your site is ranked in the free (organic) listings. And so it should when you hear the stats:
- 700,000,000 users and over 30,000,000,000 pieces of content shared on Facebook every month
- 200,000,000 users and around 5,000,000,000 tweets/mth
- 100,000,000 LinkedIn users
- Blogs have tens of millions of publishers and hundreds of millions of readers
- Tumblr has over 250,000,000 page views a day
- Disqus has 500,000,000 visitors a month
It makes perfect sense to give weight to the most popular activity on the web, which accounts for 25% of time spent online: Socialising.
How do Search Engines factor Social Media into their algorithms? The only people who know for sure are those that work in the Google or Yahoo search algorithm team but we have learned a tremendous amount from testing and observing, as well as paying close attention to the Search Engine representatives. Bing has announced factors such as: your friends liking a company on Facebook positively influences it’s ranking in the search results. Popularity in social media has a direct effect on search. Bing states: “Search is better when it’s not just based in math and algorithms, but also infused with the opinions of people.”
Coca-Cola knows this and has invested heavily into social media marketing with their latest “Share a Coke with a friend campaign”. By putting names on bottles they encouraged social sharing and discussion of their brand. However, their social media strategy goes a lot deeper. They have 36 Million Facebook friends and growing, Wendy Clarke the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications is quoted as saying Social Media is “Very Important” because people rank their opinions of friends over those of corporations. Social media leverages off that all important trust that comes from friend recommendations. Coca-Cola fans are twice as likely to consume and 10 times more likely to buy. They are spending more on social media every year and is in double digits as a percentage of their digital media spend and as high as 30% in some countries. Coca-Cola answer EVERY tweet and engage with their Facebook fans at every opportunity.
Social media is a must in any online marketing strategy and not just because it positively influences SEO but because it works as an independent strategy to increase customer and consumer engagement.