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Many small business owners understand that it is possible to attract new customers using social media.

However, for every small business owner that finds it ‘easy’ to make sales on social media, I can guarantee you there are at least 100 more that find it a real struggle, if not impossible.

There are many reasons for this. Not everybody is great at creating attractive posts – and nor should they be! Your real talent is running your business, not being an advertising agency. Others struggle finding the time to come up with consistent and fresh content. A lot of the time, however, failure to make sales through social media is simply down to the fact that your product or service isn’t the kind of thing that you can really sell directly on Facebook, for example. Your childminding service could have the best-looking posts on social media, but if I don’t meet the human behind them, you’re not getting my kid.

However, the really tech-savvy small business owners understand that there is a secret super-power they can tap into using social media – and that’s Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Put another way, the art of pushing your website up the Google rankings so that potential customers find your website before your competitors.

It’s not the where, it’s the why.

You may have read that Google says social signals – likes on Facebook or followers on Twitter, for example, do not directly impact how their algorithm ranks your website.

However, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that the indirect effect of social signals has a huge impact on your ranking. For example Searchmetrics’ whitepaper states that “the correlation between social signals and ranking position is extremely high”.

Additionally, in 2018 Hootsuite conducted a study into the effect of social shares on the ranking of articles. They found those with the highest number of social shares enjoyed an average ranking boost of 22%!

Confused? Don’t be.

The simple truth is that Social Media is a huge amplifier for your content. It’s like the difference between shouting your offer from your bedroom window, verses shouting it through a microphone on stage at a packed stadium.

The more people that see and engage with your content, the more likely it is that events will happen that do indeed trigger Google’s algorithm and rank you higher on their SERPs (search engine results pages).

For example, people finding your content on social media and then linking to it from their site or content would be hugely beneficial to your ranking

And it’s free. Potentially saving you £1000’s in agency fees for ‘SEO Optimisation’ packages.

If you take one thing away from this article, about the effectiveness of social media when it comes to SEO, let it be this. It’s not the fact that you’re posting on social media that makes the difference, it’s why you’re posting on social media that will unleash your real SEO superpowers.  If you are posting good content because you hope people will find it useful and share it or visit your site, you are definitely on the right track. It’s not the where, it’s the why.

So how do I use social media to my advantage?

Should you go out and sign up for every social media platform out there? No, but if you choose the platforms most relevant to your audience, make sure that you are creating original, useful content and are posting and engaging regularly, a higher Google ranking will follow.

Having a great website that is mobile friendly is of course very important, but we would recommend having 2-3 social media networks that you post on regularly. You can use scheduling tools or inbuilt tools to post to multiple accounts, saving you time whilst building your social clout and following on various networks. The most popular platforms are:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Tumblr

Gain Increased Brand Recognition and Loyalty: Think of social media as new channels for amplifying your brand. You can reach new people and different demographics every day by having a presence on multiple social platforms. Studies have also shown that companies who are active on social media have a loyal fan following. Customers are able to easily reach you directly to ask questions or leave feedback. This also works in reverse, you are able to poll them and ask what new products or services they want from you.

More Opportunities to Convert = Higher Conversion Rates: Previously we just had physical shops and websites to flaunt our wares.  Now people can find your products or services when someone else shares your post on Twitter, in a Pinterest post, or a review on Facebook. These are all more opportunities to convert people through your sales funnel or direct them to your website. The more visitors you get to your website, the more likely you are to get conversions.

Richer Customer Experiences: With social media you can have instant customer interactions. If a customer posts a photo of a product or experience and tags your brand, you can reply as your brand and thank them for their support. This shows the customer that you really care that they purchased from you, which in turn makes them more likely to recommend you to a friend. These small personal interactions can really enhance the customer experience.

Improved Customer Insights: Having multiple social media channels means you will receive more instant feedback. This can be in the form of reviews, comments and general interactions with your customers. These insights can help shape your company and products for the better.

The key takeaways: 

  • Don’t “do social media” for the sake of “doing social media”.
  • Find out which social media channels are most popular amongst your target audience and focus your time on those.
  • Before you post, think to yourself ‘will my customer base find this interesting / useful/ worth passing on to others? If none of these apply, then it’s best not to waste your time.
  • Social media is a vital tool for boosting your Google search rankings. Don’t place too much weight on whether Google’s algorithm counts your social follows and shares or not. It’s the indirect impact of having a wider audience viewing and sharing your content that is the ‘secret sauce’.
  • If you need any help producing awesome, attention-grabbing, share-worthy content visit redquokka.com and give us a shout. It’s what we do best!

 

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