In a recent Bright Edge survey, 98% of businesses said that social media matters to their marketing strategy. A further 84% of respondents state that social signals in SEO will be more important to their marketing efforts in 2012 than in 2011.
This data shows that businesses are clearly taking social media seriously. In 2012 they are making use of social signals as both a marketing tool and as a way of boosting their search engine ranking. So what has changed between 2012 and 2011 to have such an impact on search marketing?
Social Media as a Marketing Tool
Social Media has overtaken every aspect of the advertisement market. It was even hard to miss during the Super Bowl, as social media evangelists did their best to show how integrated social media has become in society. TV is a good example of the social media boom. Every show now has social media channels and prompts viewers to interact while watching.
A lot of viewers do this anyway. This is called 2-screen viewing – Watching TV whilst using a mobile device to browse the internet and use social media. TV marketers, just like internet marketers, have realized that they can mold this interaction to their own purposes and make money out of it.
Now every business should have multiple social media accounts – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest – whatever customers are using, a business should be also. Social Media is such an easy and effective way to interact with clients that it is no wonder how quickly businesses took to Google+ when they finally allowed business pages.
Social media is important to business, not just so that they can promote their products to clients, but also to communicate with clients and establish a solid brand identity.
However, social media is not just useful for building brand identity and selling products. More and more research is showing that social signals in SEO efforts are having an increasing impact on search engine rankings.
Social Signals In SEO as an SEO Tool
There is no doubt that social signals affect ranking. Search engines recognize that people have shared, liked, tweeted and +1’d content and so ranks it higher in the pursuit of relevancy. The thinking behind this is that if everyone is sharing something then lots of people want to read it compared to content that hasn’t been shared. The problem is that nobody can prove exactly when and how Google determines what content should be ranked by social shared.
However, there is a direct correlation between social shares and Google’s new search engine – Search Plus Your World. Results have now become personal. The results that appear in Search Plus Your World are posts and web pages that have been approved and shared by friends on Google+. If S+YW picks up as Google hopes it and begins to incorporate social signals from other social networks then it will be vital for marketers to show strong social signals so that their content appears in results. If 100 people share a post then any time their friends search for the subject of the post in personal search that post will appear on top.
2012 is the year for marketers to really push their social media efforts. With an effective social media strategy in place and use of Social Signals in SEO efforts, businesses should see increase in sales, a boost to brand reputation and even higher rankings in search results. Impressive.
Silicon Beach Training is a Brighton based provider of Social Media Training and SEO Training. The courses run together so that delegates can enjoy the benefits of combining the two disciplines into a super marketing strategy.