Social media is definitely influencing how information is found online and buying decisions are made. Here are some interesting statistics to consider:

  • 72 percent of all internet users are now active on social media
  •  The +1 button on Google+ is used 5 million times per day
  •  Twitter was the fastest growing network with a 44 percent growth from 2012-2013
  • 34 percent of marketers use Twitter to successfully generate leads
  •  71 percent of users access social media from a mobile device
  •  93 percent of marketers use social media for business

Adoption of social media is increasing across all age groups making it increasingly important to online marketing. (Check out this post for more social media stats.)

Additionally, research shows that social media is resulting in twice as many marketing leads as direct mail, pay per click (PPC), trade shows or telemarketing.

Search engines have taken note of the changing marketplace and are adjusting their algorithms accordingly. “Social” is changing SEO (search engine optimization).

For example: Likes, retweets, +1’s and shares are indicators that the designated content is appealing and being talked about. When your page(s) gets mentioned on social media, it signals search engines that you are both authentic and authoritative, with actively engaged followers.

This social interaction or “engagement” is noticed and favored by the Google bots that determine the rank of results on the search engine. In other words, ignoring social media’s impact on SEO can result in a lower ranking in search results.

So what do you need to know before “hopping on” the social media highway?

  • Know what direction you’re heading before taking to the road, and choose your “route” (platforms) accordingly.
  • Provide useful information for your customers and prospects in your posts.
  • Consistently demonstrate your brand personality through social posts.
  • Add interest through a variety of post formats (photos, video, links, etc.), appropriate humor, fun facts, etc.
  • Engage your readers by asking questions and inviting comments — then responding promptly.

In a recent article, Search Engine Journal identified the top social media sites for joining SEO and e-commerce as Pinterest, Twitter and Google+. (Interesting to note that Facebook is not included.) Here are some suggestions for leveraging these specific social media sites for SEO:

Pinterest: Post images relating to your field, taking advantage of SEO-friendly rich pins (place, product, movie, recipe and article). Use your target keywords on your Pinterest profile, as Google and other search engines will list Pinterest in their search results, thus helping to provide backlinks. With users being 87 percent female, Pinterest is particularly worthwhile for businesses marketing to women.

Twitter: Plan your tweets in the afternoon, as that is the time of day when tweets are most likely to receive interaction. Tweets and retweets provide strong social signals. The more your content is shared, the greater your ranking potential. You may be surprised to know that Twitter users span a wide age and demographics range and 77 percent of the 2013 Fortune 500 use the platform.

Google+: Similar to Facebook, this platform is photo friendly. Post a variety of content: videos, custom pictures and gifs, etc. Use #hashtags (especially with your keywords) in your posts so they will be found in a Google+ search for that term. As Google’s social network, the potential for SEO impact is great. Since its beginning two years ago, the platform has grown to more than 540 million users, and 70 percent of brands are now using it. Interestingly, 67 percent of Google+ users are male. See our recent post on Google+ for more information on how it can impact your SEO results.

Social media is now an integral part of any online marketing program. If you are looking to get started or expand your presence and need assistance, please contact us at Page Progressive.

How are you using social media to help people find your business online and build relationships? Please leave a comment to let us know.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/