Social Media Influences SEO

In recent years, many people have started to use social media on a daily basis. Some of the more popular social media sites in the world receive millions of hits daily and their users sometimes spend hours every day using them. Because of this, search engines have started to pay more attention to the social media craze and it has even begun to affect search engine rankings. As a webmaster, it makes sense to become aware of social media trends and how they affect search engine optimization practices.

Social Buzz

Search engines have used hundreds of different factors to determine how to rank pages in their results. While factors like keywords and inbound links will still play a role, many search engines are now starting to put increased emphasis on what is happening in social media. This is sometimes referred to as “social buzz” and it can have a direct impact on how your pages are ranking.

If a page on your site is being linked to in many posts on social media sites, it can increase that page’s search engine rankings. If people are mentioning your site or brand name on social media sites, this can also be picked up on by the search engines in a short period of time. Search engines realize that when people talk on social media sites, these topics are often important. Because of that, the search engines tend to bump up sites that reference these topics in the search engine rankings.

Getting Involved

As a website owner, it is important to get involved in social media as quickly as you possibly can. Because of the added importance of the effect that it can have on search engine rankings, you need to sign up for accounts with all of the major social media sites. Once you do, you can start interacting with other people on the site. This can be a very effective way to develop relationships and get people talking about your products, services and brand. Once you start to get involved, you might be surprised what kind of an effect it can have on your site’s traffic and search engine rankings overall.

Quality Content

Ultimately, you cannot control whether people talk about your site or products on social media. You can do your best to get the conversation started, but after that it’s up to the community. Because of this, you have to do put an emphasis on creating quality content that will get people talking. It’s your job to create the best content and then get it out there to people through social media sites. If you do a good job in creating content, it can get people talking and then help your search engine rankings.

Digital Content Created Every 60 Seconds [Infographic]

I recently attended a digital marketing conference where they showed this very interesting infographic as a slide in their presentation. I found it so interesting that I’d thought I’d write a post and share it. The infographic was created by a web design company called Go-Globe. It summarizes all of the activities that happen online in 60 seconds.

Some of the more interesting stats include:

  • 12,000+ new posts on craigslist
  • 98,000+ tweets
  • 100+ new LinkedIn accounts
  • 6,600 Flicr pictures uploaded
  • 695,000+ Facebook status updates
  • 695,556 Google search queries
  • 168 million emails sent
  • 60+ new blogs created
  • 1,500 blog posts
  • 70 domains registered
  • 13,000 iPhone apps downloaded

See entire infographic below:

We’re living in an unique time where everyone is empowered to create, interact, and share with the entire world. I’m amazed by just how many blogs and domains hit the website every minute. There is no shortage of content and people developing that content, increasingly in the mobile environment.

I’m also interested in the stat of how many people are posting on Facebook (695,000+) compared to how many people are searching Google (694,445+). Google used to be the center of everything someone did online. Even if I knew the domain, in some cases by habit, I’d simple search it in Google’s browser plugin. It just seemed easier. Now it seems that more people are “living” in platforms such as Facebook and connecting with others through it. If you search inside of Facebook it automatically populates with web results powered by Microsoft’s Bing. Clever on Bing’s part to drive up their usage.

As a digital marketer, three thoughts come to mind.

  1. People want to share. We’re living in a modern information age in which people are sharing and communicating quickly and frequently. It’s easier than ever to get your message across multiple devices and across platforms, and it spreads like wildfire. People want desperately to have their voice heard by their peers and uniquely demonstrate that they are innovators.
  2. People connect with brands they like. Companies are able to leverage this movement by putting their products and services in front of their customers. Their customers are willing to share these messages and develop a “relationship” with companies. Companies in the New Economy are becoming personalized and connected. I don’t just buy an MP3 player, I like the Company Page, I review the product, I share the features, and I connect with customer support.
  3. Your message has a lot of competition.  With all this content being generated, it’s easy to see that people’s attention span has some competition. Your message can’t just be louder than everything else, it needs to be more targeted and personalized. It’s expected that you know something about your customers. Use that to give them exactly what they need when they need it. Leverage your CRM and marketing automation tools to message them and measure those conversions.

Another infographic I found by Go-Globe shows some more interesting stats on the hardware and product side. Did you know that every minute 81 iPads are sold, 11 Xboxes are sold, or 1,100 acres of land are farmed in Farmville? Interesting…

10 Twitter Success Tips

When I first joined Twitter, I didn’t know quite what I would get out of it. However, like all other social media I knew it was about building real relationships. For all relationships, in-person or otherwise, the connection should always be genuine and helpful.

Based on what I’ve learned, I believe that your Twitter strategy should be based on reciprocity of sharing others’ content first and then engaging them with interesting conversation.

Below are 10 Tips that can help make you a success on Twitter.

  1. Tweet 10-20 times throughout the day.If you’re not posting anything then nobody will want to follow you. You’ll get out of it what you put into it. Be active. Force yourself to commit to Tweeting and see if you can interact with a few new people each day.
  2. Express gratitude for those that mention or retweet. Anytime someone adds you to a list, retweets you, or mentions you, they should receive a “Thank You” from you. They took the time to actively engage with your post. The least you can do is express gratitude. If someone thanks you, respond with a “You’re welcome”. Read their bio. Do you have anything in common? This is an excellent opportunity to continue the conversation.
  3. Learn what the best Tweeple are doing.There are a few people/brands on Twitter that are getting some real value out of it. Follow them and pay attention to what they are doing. Are they starting conversations? Are they replying to people? Are the freely promoting others? My guess would be “yes” to all three of those questions.
  4. Give 10x more than you receive.Don’t expect anything in return. Although you want people to reciprocate and engage with you, don’t expect it. Don’t take it personally if someone doesn’t respond. Instead, genuinely want to help people. Answer a question they are asking. Give them advice. Share a product with them. Promote their product. All of these actions are intended to help them first with nothing in return.
  5. Be interesting and relevant.Now’s your chance to contribute. You have a unique perspective that no one else in the world has. Use that to be interesting. If you can’t be interesting, find something that excites you an share it. There is a good chance that someone else would find it interesting as well.
  6. Use hashtags for events, webinars, activities, and popular topics.Utilize all functionality that social media and Twitter offers you that helps spread your post. People are actively searching and following hashtags. If all it takes if for you to add a quick hashtag at the end of your post to potentially get some more eyes on it, then it’s a no brainer. Add it. This works especially well for live events and webinars.
  7. Keep your tone is educational and appreciative.Everything you post on Twitter should be positive. If you have a negative opinion about something, my belief is not to share it. You want to be perceived as helpful. Don’t complain. Don’t put anyone down. Your goal on Twitter is to make friends.
  8. Consistently provide value to all those who follow you.Your reputation won’t be built in a single tweet. In fact, most of your Twitter followers won’t see everyone of your tweets. I haven’t seen any research on it but I’d be surprised if at any given time if more than 5% of your followers see that post. So constantly be “on your game”. Keep posting great stuff and eventually your followers will start paying attention, engaging with you, and your list will grow.
  9. Expand your relationship outside of Twitter. Many people or brands are promoting something other than their Twitter account. Almost all of them will call that out in one way or anothing. Whether it’s a blog, a product, or services they provide, you have an opportunity to expand the relationship. Comment on their website. Meet up with them at a conference. Give their product or service a quick review. Think “how else can I engage with them?”
  10. Test and revisit what works for you.You should be constantly learning, trying, and evaluating what you’re doing. If you’ve done something that worked in the past, try it again. Replicate it until you find something better. What works for someone doesn’t necessarily work for everyone, and the opposite is also true.

If you have any other tips to help make you a success on Twitter, please share in the comments.