If you want to widen your company’s reach and strengthen your relationship with customers, you need to do more than just set up your website and social media pages. You also have to optimise your site for search engines and increase engagement on your social channels.
As you already probably know, search engine optimisation (SEO) is key to increasing website traffic and conversion. SEO helps users find your site organically by making it appear on the first page of search results pages. More importantly, this digital marketing strategy enables you to get quality leads when done right, resulting in better conversions and higher profits.
For the longest time, SEO specialists and marketers thought that SEO and social media are independent of each other – that one doesn’t impact the other. However, reports show otherwise as social media pages can influence SEO rank.
In 2018, Hootsuite conducted a study on the effects of social promotion on the SEO results of articles. What they found was that the rankings of articles that got the most number of shares significantly improved.
While Google hasn’t confirmed that social signals such as likes and shares affect SEO, recent research by Optinmonster revealed that there is indeed a high correlation between social signals and ranking position.
Let’s be clear though:
First, correlation doesn’t mean causation. While there were improvements in the rankings of the articles, it doesn’t mean that this was mainly due to their ‘share numbers’.
Second, despite studies showing that there is a relationship between social media and SEO, social signals are still not ranking factors for Google and other search engines. This means that the number of Facebook likes you have doesn’t directly affect your rankings on search results pages (SERPs).
So, what exactly can social media do for SEO? It amplifies the ranking factors that search engine consider for search results.
For one, sharing your articles or blogs on your social can improve their visibility. More shares mean more people linking to it. Consequently, this increases the number of credible backlinks to your site. Having several relevant and authoritative backlinks is one of the known SEO ranking factors.
In addition, the increased visibility of your articles can drive more traffic to your website and generate high-quality leads.
As they say, content is the soul of SEO. It is the key to converting visitors into customers. So, if you put out useful content and your target audience finds it, your conversion rate can significantly increase and so will your profits.
But here’s the thing:
Just because you posted your articles on your social media pages, it doesn’t mean that people are going to click on them, read them and/or share them. In fact, the likelihood of these things happening is small if you do not engage users on your social.
Engaging users on your social channels is all about providing a positive brand experience. More importantly, it is one of the best ways to build relationships with potential and current customers.
Customers do not visit your social channels to gather facts about your business. If they want to know about your products/services, they go to your website. They primarily view your social media profiles to get a sense of your company’s ‘personality and to interact with you.
Did you know that:
When it comes to customer support, most people prefer to get it through social media. They use these channels to ask further questions about the brand and even to lodge complaints.
When they interact with you on your social networks, they expect you to respond and to do so quickly.
In a 2016 study by Twitter, around 71% of customers expect a response from companies in an hour.
Addressing complaints on social media is a good thing for your brand. It shows others that you care about your customers. It also increases your customer advocacy by as much as 25%. All these inspire confidence in your brand, making others want to transact with you.
Lastly, engaging users on your social network can help you get to know your customers and community better. It is a way for you to gather pertinent information which you can use to improve your current products or services and create new lines of business.
Engaging your social audience is essential for your SEO strategy to be successful. It can help you capture quality leads and generate more profits. More importantly, it enables you to build personal and meaningful relationships with customers who can eventually become loyal advocates for your brand.
After setting up their social profiles, many business owners think that engagement will take place automatically – people will follow the page and start interacting with it naturally. This is not true at all! Just like your website, you need to work on your social media pages to maximise the benefits.
Grow Your Network
To start, grow your likers or followers on your social media pages. Admittedly, doing this is not easy, but it’s necessary as no likers or followers mean no engagement.
The goal though is not to have tons of people liking or following your social channels. You want quality instead of quantity.
Keep in mind:
Having 100,000 likers or followers wouldn’t matter if half of them are bots or fake profiles as you can’t interact with them.
Also, while it can be tempting to take shortcuts, it is best to grow your followers organically. Yes, it is not easy but it is the best way to ensure that you have authentic users on your social.
One of the simplest things you can do to expand your network is to follow those who are already interacting with you.
For example, on Twitter, you can follow back your followers as well as those who have mentioned you (or your brand) in their tweets as these could be potential or current customers.
A word caution:
Check the user’s profile before you follow them back to ensure that it is an authentic account. Make sure that the profile has substantial followers and recent activity – i.e. new tweets or freshly shared articles. It would be best if their recent tweets or posts are somehow related to your business.
Share Excellent Content
Another thing you can do is to regularly share fresh, interesting and valuable content. SEO articles that provide useful information or help your audience address their needs can be conversation pieces. As they resonate with your followers, you can expect them to talk about it and share it with other people.
When they do discuss it or publish it on their social profiles, make sure you interact with the post – like it, leave a comment, etc.
Be Reactive and Proactive
Reactive engagement is when you respond to direct messages, tags and mentions. Proactive engagement is when you start the conversation with users who may be interested in your brand. Both methods provide opportunities for you to connect with customers, stir interest in your brand and introduce it to more people.
Again, users go to your social for more personal interactions. They are not there so you could simply like or retweet their post or comment. They want to have a conversation with your company, and they prefer one with a real person.
Users are more motivated to interact with brands when they know that a real person is replying to their posts. So, don’t be a robot! Respond to them with warmth, humour and authenticity.
Social media users aren’t different from website visitors in that they can be impatient. They want queries answered fast or they’ll feel that your company is not interested in them. When this happens, they can stop engaging with your brand.
So, keep your response time short, especially when it comes to complaints. Providing a speedy response won’t just keep users on your page but also increase customer satisfaction.
Engaging customers on your social media pages may require a lot of work, but it is necessary to boost your SEO efforts and build a formidable online presence. When done consistently and properly, you can expect huge returns.
Want to learn more about how to engage users on your social media pages? Talk to our seasoned marketing consultants! Call us now on +353 (0) 1 960 9023 or leave us a message on our website.