If you’re a small business owner and you’re looking for ways to improve your SEO performance, we’ve got some suggestions. We’ve already talked about the benefits of organic backlinking and Google My Business listings, but what about social media? Here’s our take on how you can improve SEO through organic social networking.
Establish a Social Media Presence
The first step of using social networking to improve your SEO performance is to establish a social media presence. It is hard to utilize social networking effectively if you rarely (or never) engage on social media. Choose a username or handle that tells people exactly who you are and what your content is about.
Ideally, you want to have the exact same name/handle across all of your platforms so that it’s easy for people to find you and connect your content. It should be something close to your business and website name. Our socials for Den Web Design are @DenWebDesign and @Den_Web_Design on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, which makes it easy for potential clients to find us on whatever platform they’re using.
Once you’ve got your accounts set up, make a point of posting on them regularly. You can set a schedule for yourself to post to social networks once or twice a week The more useful and interesting content you bank, the more engagement you’ll receive.
Make Friends With the Right People
Social media is only beneficial to your SEO and to your business if you are able to successfully network. And to network, you’ve got to “meet” people by engaging with other businesses on social media. How do you do that? It turns out our parents and teachers were right, sometimes the best way to make a friend is to be one.
Find accounts with the kind of content you aspire to produce and follow them. Leave comments. Ask questions. Retweet them. When you engage with other accounts, it naturally draws people to your account.
Organic vs Inorganic Networking
Just like with backlinking, there is a difference between organic and inorganic networking. Organic networking is when you are connecting with companies and individuals whose content has a natural connection to yours. If you’re an architect, it makes sense that you would follow and connect with builders, interior designers, and other architects.
It doesn’t make sense for you to post, “Let me design your dream home!” on an instagram account about dog training. Not only is this ineffective networking, it’s a good way to get yourself flagged and blocked by other people.
One of the biggest ways social networking can help improve your SEO and grow your business is through cross-promotion. Here’s how it works. If you’re an interior designer and you always use Sherwin Williams paint, you might post a picture of a recent project and tag @SherwinWilliams when you mention the gorgeous paint color. Sherwin Williams might see your post, dig your work, and repost it to their account which (probably) has a bigger following than yours.
They get to promote their product and you get to promote your designs. It’s a win-win. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to submit pictures or content to bigger brands. Sometimes these brands will ask followers to submit pictures or to use a particular hashtag when posting on your own account.
Use Hashtags That Make Sense
Though hashtags get used and abused, sometimes for comedic effect, they do serve a purpose. Hashtags help to group posts and information into categories. They serve as a sort of digital filing system for social media posts and threads. Appropriately tagging your posts can help people find your content and your business.
Be specific in your tags without going too narrow. For example, if we’re tagging something on social media #webdesign might be too broad. There are a million web designers. #webdesignforsmallbusinessesindenver is probably too narrow. What are the chances someone will search for exactly that phrase? #denverwebdesign is a happy medium. It’s specific, tying in our location, but broad enough to include anyone looking for web design in Denver.
Give Clients Incentives
As the power of social media “influencers” has grown, some brands actually build in a budget to promote their products by working directly with content creators. If you’re a small business, you likely don’t have the budget for that, but you can still encourage people to post about your business.
Just like we suggested with Google My Business reviews, you can find ways to incentivize clients to follow, like, subscribe, and share. There are dozens of different ways this could look, whether it’s offering a discount, entering people in a giveaway, or offering some kind of freebie when people mention you on social media. The idea is to make it easy and fun for people to share positive experiences with your business.
So How Does Organic Social Networking Improve SEO?
First off, a robust social media presence expands your digital footprint. The more places there are to find you, the more chances there are for the algorithm to latch on. Second, it links your brand to other big names in your industry and related industries. And again, the more mentions you are getting in different contexts, the more information there is for those Google spiders to find.
No matter what kind of business you have, you can improve your SEO performance through organic social networking. And as an added bonus, you might just make some meaningful connections along the way!