Social Media

Social media is a type of online-based platform that facilitates user content and conversations. Statistics show that the use of social media websites has increased by 356% in the past three years. In the early years, social media websites were used for interaction and content purposes only. It was only in the past five years that there has been a significant increase in businesses using social media websites for marketing, advertising and profiles.

Social media was and still is dominated by three major social media platforms. They are better known as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Recent developments in social media have now branched out to several specific types of platforms that cater to a specific niche or industry. For example, a musician, band or audio production company may opt to use SoundCloud or MySpace. Recruitment firms have social media platforms to use such as LinkedIn and Xing. Nowadays, local or small business owners that want to get their business on the map could look into using or registering with Yelp or Foursquare.

?Social Media And SEO

When combined properly, social media and SEO can help generate large amounts of traffic to a website. An example of this is can be as simple as generating buzz on various social media platforms about a new website update or blog entry. Most social media websites have a “news feed” where updates from selected or relevant categories are generated in real-time. The more “likes” or votes your content gets, the more it will continuously shows up in the “news feed.”

Another way social media can boost SEO is to help websites that are having a hard time ranking for specific keywords. Social media websites have been known to dominate SERPs. This is because search engines favor social media websites due to the natural content they generate. A simple test would be to type in a popular song in the search engine query bar. Chances are that a YouTube clip of the music video will appear, along with various blog entries about the singer or band. This is because well-known social media websites have high page rankings.

Using the same example, if you have a blog or website dedicated to a popular band that you are having a hard time ranking for due to the competition of keywords, then social media can be useful. You may choose to post a video on YouTube about the song with your main website link in the video caption. Since YouTube already has high page ranking, the chances of the video appearing in the SERPs could indirectly boost website traffic (assuming the YouTube video ranks higher than your website and the users that watch the video click on the main website’s link in the video caption or description). You can also apply the same method across different social media platforms by uploading content that is relevant to the type of social media website and applying various SEO methods to further increase the relevancy of the content.

Social media websites like Twitter can easily boost the trend of a set of keywords in real-time. Television shows have now began to generate hashtags during the episode that appear in the corner of the screen. This allows the viewers to provide input about the show while its on air and give insight and feedback afterwards.

Social Media Optimization

Social media optimization (SMO) is a term that was started by Rohit Bhargava. His views about social media websites were not to replace SEO, but instead to use social media as platforms to increase awareness of a brand, event or product. SMO and SEO work together seamlessly due to the fact that search engine algorithms take social media websites into consideration. That’s why, as mentioned earlier, social media websites have the ability to dominate SERPs.

SMO includes the use of social news, bookmarking, integration of various social media websites and RSS feeds. This type of optimization deals a lot with issues surrounding online reputation management. SMO follows five guidelines regarding the sustainability of social media websites. These guidelines are the following:

  • Make sharing easy
  • Reward engagement
  • Proactively share content
  • Create shareable content
  • Encourage mash-ups

Sharing content is one of the main contributing factors of how social media websites thrive and increase in popularity. Trends can easily be started, maintained, evolve and be rejected on social media websites.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is a great idea to incorporate social media websites with SEO campaigns due to their popularity and ability to generate large amounts of traffic. However, it’s important not to neglect the main website. The main website should still be the primary focus of SEO.

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