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Social Media Does Not Help Your SEO

Updated for 2024-

Forget the SEO silo! Social media and search engine optimization are no longer frenemies, but powerful allies dancing to a different tune. Sure, 2015 might have painted social links as mere digital whispers in Google's ear, but today, the harmony they create is undeniable. Let's ditch the outdated "doesn't help" narrative and unlock the true potential of this dynamic duo. Social media doesn't just boost likes and shares – it's a brand awareness amplifier, an engagement powerhouse, and a trust-building champion, all of which ripple into the heart of search engine optimization.

B2B Social Media in 2024

Forget dusty social media playbooks from the "likes-and-shares" era. Today, it's about tapping into the latest trends and weaving them into an SEO tapestry that shines! Let's explore how:

1. Reels, Rhythm, and Reach: Instagram Reels and TikTok aren't just for Gen Z – they're B2B gold mines. Short, snappy videos showcasing your expertise, offering behind-the-scenes glimpses, or even injecting humor into complex topics can explode your engagement and visibility. Think product demos, industry insights with a twist, or employee spotlights – the possibilities are endless!

2. Influencers: Amplifying Your Voice: B2B's not immune to the influencer charm. Partnering with industry experts, niche thought leaders, or even micro-influencers relevant to your target audience can give your brand a powerful boost. Authentically woven collaborations – co-created content, joint webinars, or social media takeovers – build trust and reach new audiences that traditional SEO might miss.

3. Local SEO's Social Side: Don't underestimate the power of consistent local business listing management and location-conscious social media content. Claiming and optimizing your Google My Business profile, actively engaging with local communities on platforms like Facebook Groups, and mentioning your city or region in social posts all act as local SEO magnets, pulling search engines and potential customers closer.

4. Data Drifts into Insights: But it's not just about likes and views, it's about the deeper wisdom hidden within social media analytics. Tools like Facebook Insights and Instagram Analytics offer a treasure trove of data on audience demographics, interests, and engagement patterns. Use this goldmine to inform your content strategy, identify trending topics, and refine your keyword research, ensuring your SEO efforts are laser-focused on what resonates with your target audience.

Remember, social media and SEO aren't rivals, they're a synchronized duo. By embracing the latest trends, nurturing local connections, and diving into valuable analytics, you can unlock the true potential of this partnership and watch your B2B brand take center stage in the online landscape. So, put on your dancing shoes, B2B marketers, and let's rewrite the SEO playbook with every post, share, and story!

Unleashing B2B Success with Social Media & SEO: FAQs Answered

Question: Hold on, before we dive into Reels and TikTok for B2B Manufacturing, isn't that just, well...unprofessional?

Answer: Absolutely not! B2B brands are crushing it with creative social media content. Think humanizing factory tours, employee spotlights showcasing expertise, or even humorous takes on complex topics. Authenticity and humor resonate with audiences, even in B2B!

Question: Okay, sold on social media, but influencer marketing for B2B sounds strange. Who would I even partner with?

Answer: It's a powerful tool! Partnering with industry experts, niche thought leaders, or even relevant micro-influencers can amplify your reach and build trust. Find individuals whose expertise and audience perfectly align with your target market.

Question: I get the local SEO benefits, but managing all these platforms sounds overwhelming! How do I get started?

Answer: Prioritize! Choose platforms where your target audience thrives and create high-quality content there. Tools like Hootsuite can schedule and manage posts across channels, saving you time and sanity.

Question: My website's SEO magic is working its charm, but my social media presence is stuck in the doldrums. How do I spark some engagement and bridge the gap between search and scroll?

Answer: Don't let your website win the engagement game solo! Here are some ways to ignite your social media strategy:

Repurpose high-ranking content: Take snippets of your SEO-winning articles, infographics, or videos and adapt them for different social platforms. Add engaging visuals, humor, or interactive elements to spark conversation.

Tailor your voice: Speak in a language your audience understands on specific platforms. Be professional yet personable on LinkedIn, lighthearted and trendy on TikTok, and insightful and conversational on Twitter.

Drive traffic with calls to action: Don't just entertain, entice! Include clear calls to action in your posts, directing users to relevant pages on your website. Offer exclusive content, discounts, or sneak peeks behind the scenes.

Engage the community: Actively participate in relevant conversations, respond to comments, and ask questions. Collaborate with other brands or influencers in your niche to expand your reach.

Analyze and adapt: Track your social media performance with analytics tools. See what resonates with your audience and adjust your strategy accordingly. Optimize posting times, experiment with different content formats, and identify the platforms where your target audience is most active.

Remember, SEO and social media are powerful partners, not rivals. By bridging the gap between search and scroll, you can create a holistic marketing strategy that attracts, engages, and converts your target audience across the digital landscape.

Bonus tip: Leverage your high website ranking! Share your top search results on social media and highlight your expertise in your field. This builds trust and showcases the value users can expect to find on your website.

Question: "Dancing with SEO" sounds fancy, but are there actual technical steps?

Answer: Both! Optimizing your profiles for relevant keywords, including clear calls to action to your website, and actively engaging in online communities all contribute to better SEO performance. It's not just about the fancy footwork.

Bonus Question: Should I ditch traditional SEO for social media then?

Answer: Never! Think of them as partners, not competitors. Strong social media engagement builds brand awareness and trust, which indirectly supports your SEO efforts. But don't neglect on-page optimization, keyword research, and other essential SEO tactics.

Remember, successful B2B marketing combines the power of social media trends with solid SEO practices. By understanding these tools and using them strategically, your brand can dominate the online dance floor!

Original Article From 2015:

I hear a lot of sales people always telling business owners that social media helps their SEO. Does it? It CAN, but most of the time it won't. Let me explain.

SEO, or search engine optimization, has become very technical in recent years. There are hundreds of ranking factors that search engines use to determine where to rank your website, and social media qualities are not one of them. Google is the largest search engine, and the only one for the most part that ever communicates anything about its ranking signals. Three months ago at SMX Advanced, Gary Illyes from Google told us that social signals are not used at all as a ranking signal and that they would not be for the foreseeable future. In order to understand why this is, we must walk through 5 years of Google History and understand the technical aspects of social media and how it relates to SEO.

Here's how Google works. It has what we call "spider bots" that constantly crawl the web and digest its information. When a spider bot digests that information, it may put it in Google's "index". The index are the pages of the web that Google ranks in its search engine. Anything not indexed, will not rank for keywords or phrases. Google's mission, according to them, is to provide the best search experience for their users. In order to do this, they are always crunching data to try and determine the best "quality signals" to create the best search results.

What makes a good quality signal? Well, it has to improve the results by getting the user to the best answer to their query fast. This is Google's philosophy on the matter. You can start to get a feel for this by reading their webmaster guidelines. In order to improve search results, they must have reliable signals. However, the "spider bots" are unable to read the data from most social media sites, because it is often gated by a login, or requiring user permission to see information. They can get at some of it, but not all of it. Matt Cutts explains here. Also, John Mueller elaborates some here. Everything he said here was backed up by Gary Illyes in June of this year. Just so we are on the same page, I will walk you through some Google history.

In 2010, Matt Cutts, Google's head of web spam at the time, told us they were in fact using social signals. At the time, they had a deal with Twitter that allowed them to see the entire Twitter-sphere and get at the data. Well, in 2011 that agreement collapsed, and they no longer had access to the data. At that time, they had already spent a great deal of resources changing their ranking factors to include Twitter. During the 4 year gap on Twitter, they determined that it was just too risky of a proposition to rely on third party data they might not always have access to. Without that data, as Matt Cutts says in the video, it is an "imperfect web", and they can't use imperfect data for ranking signals.

It is now 2015, and Google indicated in June that social signals are not ranking factors. So, why do some still claim social media will help your SEO? Well there are three reasons. The first is that many of those people are marketers and sales people, not technical SEOs. Their lack of understanding of the technical aspects of SEO can be harmful, because the knowledge gaps can cause issues with strategy. Secondly, they confuse correlation with causation. In data science especially, it is important to understand that correlation does not always mean causation. Matt Cutts indicates specifically in the above video that this is what they are doing. This is a common mistake. Walmart has almost 33 million likes on Facebook, and they rank well in Google, so this must be a ranking signal in Google. This is not true, however there would be a strong correlation between big brands and Google ranking for other reasons. Lastly, social can help your SEO indirectly, but for many companies, it will barely make a dent.

So, how can social help your SEO? Well, there is no doubt that there is good marketing potential with social. After all, it gives you the ability to regularly touch a lot of people. However, as Matt Cutts said, it is treated no differently than any other website. This means you need to use social media to obtain "off-social" ranking signals. For instance, if you were to write a great article and then send it to people with blogs that you are connected with on social media, you may get some links to your website out of the deal. Since links are still important in SEO, social indirectly helped your SEO. Don't get me wrong, the links from your social accounts can potentially help your SEO. However, as most SEOs know, Google heavily diminishes the value of any links from a domain beyond the first one, so posting links on social will not really help you much. In effect, you should have an account, use it for its marketing value, and see if you can achieve some off-site ranking factors.

If you have an account, you may not get enough activity to ever actually achieve much in the way of SEO with it, especially if you don't have someone consistently working the account. This may be well worth it to a B2C company that sells to consumers, but less so to a B2B. In cases such as these, at least from an SEO perspective, it is important to prioritize tasks for maximum impact. In many cases if the company does not have the resources to devote to being active on social media, there are other priorities to consider SEO-wise.

So, are we really just talking semantics when someone claims that social will help their SEO? No. Only if you feel comfortable also saying that shaking hands will help with SEO, or that calling people on the phone will help SEO. So the next time someone tells you that social media helps your SEO, feel free to reference this article. I would be most grateful.

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