Someone once said that the only constant in the universe is change. Although this statement is a strange tangle of principles and properties, there is a great deal of change happening in the social media universe at the moment. Big happenings! And given that social media is often hailed as “the new SEO,” these changes have the power to affect all businesses that invest in online marketing.
The value of social media signals has been increasingly integrated into Google’s algorithm updates. The other search engines, Bing and Yahoo, have followed suit. This means that “likes” and “shares” and “+1s” have the power to impact what’s displayed in the search engine results pages (SERPs). In other words, social signals are used as a measurement of authority. So, for every website or business owner, this should spark two thoughts: First, if you want your business to be found on the Web, you should have an active social media presence. Second, content is still king and social sharing should be enabled for all your web content.
Obviously, the idea that social media will be able to make or break your business is predicated on the fact that use of digital technologies and mobile devices is sharply on the rise. And, along with the rise in use of these technologies, social media usage is growing as well. Now, it’s easy to understand that there’s a direct correlation between the number of social media signals you send and the number of links your website or blog receives. Links are, and have always been, an important ranking factor by themselves. And with Google and the other search engines taking an interest in the social signals as their own ranking factors, it should also be easy to see that there’s a correlation between your social media signals and your placement in the SERPs.
Given that social media is likely to continue to affect your site rankings, as well as your ability to reach out to new clients or customers, there are a number of considerations (best practices, really) to take into account when planning your new social media optimization strategy for 2014. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Plan your social media marketing campaign. Although there have been some successes in business attributed to “happy accidents,” top business thinkers and strategists agree that a strategic plan is your best bet for social media success this year. A well-developed social media marketing plan identifies the objectives. It also identifies how you intend to achieve those objectives. Most importantly, it identifies the target audience. And nothing could be more important to the success of a social media campaign.
Click here to read Part II of this series, in which we talk about identifying your audience, creating eye-catching content, and the importance of standing out from the crowd.
This article is brought to you by Rank Fuse Interactive, which serves both businesses and agencies alike as a provider of search engine marketing (SEM) programs, including search engine optimization (SEO), paid search advertising (PPC), social media marketing, content marketing, mobile web marketing, and search-friendly web design.