In the past, SEO had little or nothing to do with social media sites. It was always thought of an IT professional’s task of getting your site and content easily found on the search engines and social media was just a personal way of keeping in touch with your friends. But that is not the case in the present day, the past couple of years have seen the line between SEO and social media blur and social media has now become one of the core areas of online marketing plans.
So what is it that makes social such an important part of search nowadays?
Bing says it is because of the change in user behavior. 2011 saw Google and Microsoft shift from delivering search results based on stereotypical algorithms to more personalize results that are based on what you and your friends recommend and follow on various social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Marketing is all about keenly observing human nature and behavior and adapting a business strategy accordingly. Search engines are no different. Bing says they have watched your search behavior and pattern to study and understand how you think and subsequently display search results that will help you complete your search faster. Visual signals like the number of ‘likes’ and ‘tweets’ received play a crucial role in how your business ranks on the SERP’s.
According to Bing, SEO backed with social media is the perfect formula to maintain your inbound visitors and to make your content marketing strategy work today and tomorrow. But it will not happen instantly. You have to invest your time and efforts into making your business visible on the SERP’s. Start interacting with your followers, build a relationship with them, deliver quality items to them so that you earn their loyalty and in return they will spread your business all over the web.
Social media is here to stay so if you haven’t already, then the new year is the perfect time to build the social media presence of your business. Here is Bing’s Duane Forrester main tip to increasing your social media presence:
Be engaged. Easy to say; time consuming, all-encompassing and life altering to put into action. The simple truth is that if you want to get the most out of social and the benefits it can have on search, you need to invest in it. You need to build a relationship with followers where you deliver quality items to them, and they remain loyal to you because you’re the best. No easy task, as you’re going to need to experiment with topics, post types, link structure, time of day, day of week, tone, the type of hook you use and so on (ego, humor, controversy, etc.).
This is not something that happens overnight, so as you’ve heard so many times, create a plan. Execute that plan and stick to it for a while. If you are diligent, you will build a social following and become a resource to those following you. What a good example of how to get it right? Guy Kawasaki nails it time and again. Short, simple, catchy tweets. Each with a link to highly interesting, useful items. He runs an 8 hour cycle, ensuring 3 tweets a day for each item, which means pretty much everyone has a chance to see his posts at least once. He has a team that helps him manage this, but the path is pretty clear and the results speak for themselves.
Where does social media fit into your marketing plan for 2012? I hope it features quite heavily because the benefits to your business will be great in the long run.