Social Media: If Not For Rankings, Then Why?

Matt Cutts, head of Google’s spam team, recently announced that social signals from Facebook and Twitter do not play a role in Google’s ranking algorithm – at least for now. While Cutts details a range of reasons that prevent Google from using these social signals, he encourages marketers to focus on the power of social media to increase website traffic and brand awareness.

While abandoning the idea that social media can directly increase rankings, there are still clear ways that business owners can leverage social media as part of their overall marketing strategy.

If you are finding yourself asking the “How?” question, consider these tips:

1.       Use it to promote articles that are on your website.
Facebook and Twitter continue to be excellent platforms to promote new content on your organization’s website or blog. Use your social media accounts as a way to publicize this content and discuss its relevancy to your social media followers. Provide direct links to the article and encourage people to re-tweet, like and share the content. While Google cannot currently use these social shares to increase your rankings, it can still crawl and index the new content to which you –and your followers – link, allowing it to show up in search engine results.

2.       Use it to build and enhance your brand.
Social media has been – and will continue to be – an excellent way to increase brand awareness. Your Facebook and Twitter accounts are great places to showcase your company’s community involvement through posting pictures of volunteer projects, mentioning a non-profit sponsorship or even promoting individuals’ community service events. You can also highlight company values in action and showcase recent client projects that demonstrate your skills and expertise. Advertising upcoming specials and promotions are a great way to keep your brand top of mind.

3.       Use it as a springboard to build on to new, great content.
Social media managers will quickly know if promoted content is performing well and garnering a significant number of likes and shares on Facebook and Twitter. Use the metrics from your social media posts to identify content that you can expand or update. Consider doing a “Part 2” or an addendum to a post that has provoked lots of questions or been a top-viewed landing page for your website. Sometimes looking at content from a “topic” level can help identify new content ideas. If your posts on money-saving tips, for example, always perform well, consider writing more articles of this nature.

While social signals will not be part of Google’s ranking algorithm – for now – business owners can still leverage social media to drive more traffic to their website and keep their brand top-of-mind for customers and prospects.

Interested in learning how Full Media can help you manage your social media effectively? Please contact us.