Search engine optimization (SEO) is a critical part of any effective internet marketing strategy. As search engines like Google continue to evolve to produce more relevant search results, the components of a successful SEO campaign continue to grow and change as well. One of the most important parts of SEO right now and likely even moreso in the future is social media. Google and other search engines realize the strong signals that social media can send in the form of a number of markers such as likes, followers, fans, and even traditional backlinks. This makes social media a very potent tool in any SEO plan.
But social media’s benefits do not stop at SEO as it can drive traffic and cultivate a strong message on its own. Quality posts that are useful to customers or visitors can lead to sharing of content, in what can really balloon to produce viral results. Furthermore, unsolicited, but useful posts can help create brand loyality by strengthening how the product or company is externally viewed.
So given the great potential benefits of a strong social media campaign, the question remains on how such a campaign should be created and nurtured. It all starts with content. Posting regularly with unique content that is useful for the reader and catches their attention (interesting images are a good way to make posts “pop”) is the best way to naturally build up followers or fans over time. Do not try to take shortcuts in gaining followers via services where you can buy follows, etc. because those followers are not likely to last over time and Google can often spot spammy accounts. Instead, let your content drive that growth and if you need a boost consider short-term paid advertising directly through the social media website (e.g. Facebook or Twitter) as a way to get the ball rolling.
Posts can be standalone posts on the social media website or can link to content on your website. A combo of the two is a good way to go. Just like with posts on your website, try to optimize your social media posts without making them seem spammy as search engines will crawl and index those posts as well. Posts can also link to related websites or potentially even others within your niche. Although this may seem counterproductive, it can often be a way to give your page and your company even more authority within a field and to also build relationships with other companies within the niche. Done correctly, the benefits of this sort of strategy could heavily outweigh the costs in the long run.
One thing to remember is that depending on the niche, it might take some time to build a strong following, but that should not deter you. Taking the time to build a strong social media campaign without trying to use shortcuts that could harm the long-term value of your properties is the key in building a long-lasting and powerful social complement to your SEO and other marketing strategies. It can pay off handsomely in the long-run.