Social Media; it truly rules the industry if you invest your time into it correctly as it is one of the best tools for showcasing your content and generating those leads. While many people solely focus on SEO practices for rankings, social media can sometimes be shoved under the rug but it does have the potential to be just as beneficial, and when combined with SEO, you’re creating a killer marketing plan. Since SEO is forever changing, it’s so important to stay consistent with the rules. One of the most monumental changes was in 2013 with the Google Penguin and Google Panda updates. This is when a more integrated strategy became priority, which is one of the main reasons social media is so vital to internet and search engine success.

The Value of Social Media

Many businesses know that they should be doing social media, but just have no idea where to start or can’t see the value of investing time into updating a 140 character Twitter status or posting a picture onto Instagram or Facebook. While it may all sound like fun and games, there’s much more behind it. Since Google’s search engine optimization practices place emphasis on high quality content that is also getting shared and noticed, while also receiving link backs to your website, social media could be the key you’ve been looking for. Here are some statistics that provide definitive proof that social media brings value to your marketing and SEO.

  • When it comes to making a decision about a purchase, 46% of people online use social media to help.
  • There are approximately 25 million active business pages on Facebook.
  • There are approximately 25 million active business pages on Facebook.
  • 80% of small businesses use social media already, and 94% of them say that they use it specifically to improve their marketing.
  • 3 out of 5 small businesses say they have gained  a new customer through social media.
  • Approximately half of small businesses use social media for their own learning, such as networking.

Social Media Benefits Your Content

There are many ways that social media can benefit your content, which is a huge component to successful SEO practices as of Google’s current guidelines. Here are some of the most popular ones.

It Gives You Reach

Without social media, the only people finding your content are those who stumble across it or search for it directly. This doesn’t leave you with much opportunity to reach potential leads. Utilizing social media is kind of like placing your content on a billboard. People see it. It gets the word out; giving you reach to current and potential customers. As a bonus, your content can then be instantly shared beyond your audience. This also sometimes results in some link backs that are 100% organic. As long as you’re producing high quality content that people want to see and share, and taking advantage of social media, you’re golden. You’re getting that reach to potential, new and old customers.

The Opportunity to Collaborate

Networking is definitely one of social medias largest benefits, as you can connect with people and other businesses within your niche, as well as outside of your niche. By creating these business relationships, there are many opportunities to collaborate together, whether it’s a sponsored giveaway or contest, or even shared content and links. The platform is there, so start sharing your ideas and collaborate.

A Source of Inspiration

Use your social media as a source of inspiration. If you have no idea what to write about for this week’s blog posts (which you need to stay on top of for SEO purposes), log onto your social media accounts and see what people are talking about. Instantly, you’ll have a couple of ideas popping up that are trending, current and wanted. That’s also not to mention that if you infuse some inspiration into your content, it encourages others to share, and suddenly, everyone is everyone’s muse. This can definitely generate more leads.

Brand Recognition

Your social media accounts allow you to put a face to your brand; provide an authentic appeal to your company. This is a huge trend within the business industry as people want to be able to relate back to the company that they’re purchasing from or utilizing. It also keeps you active; people will see that you’re creating constant content and that your gears are always grinding with something new. This too, can generate new leads.

One of the most important things that you could ever know about integrating social media into your marketing plan is that you must be authentic with it. You can’t go and create these social media profiles, post one thing, and never touch it again. You also can’t create a bunch of random accounts on the same platforms and have some clients here, other’s there and everything scattered. Create one account per social media platform (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and provide consistent content and interaction. While this does require frequent effort, the results can be very beneficial as you’re investing in furthering your SEO and marketing strategies. So, focus on your SEO rankings – yes. However, don’t forget about thinking outside of the box and finding new and creative ways to engage, connect and promote your content. Social media is an excellent place to start that can also provide you with the Google rankings that you want.