A BASIC UNDERSTANDING OF HOW AND WHY SOCIAL MEDIA MATTERS: – FROM A SEARCH ENGINES PERSPECTIVE
Why do I need a Twitter or Facebook page? Who cares about that stuff anyway? I just want to rank higher, isn’t link building enough?
Well, do you want the honest answer? No it isn’t – Not necessarily anymore…. If you want to be even better and rank higher than your competitors it’s a good idea to make sure you’re covering every base and doing what they might not know about yet. If they are already doing it, then do it better.
FOX News, CNN, Coca Cola, McDonald’s, Disney, Toyota, Nike – these are just some of the worlds largest brands which are right now using social media – Yes, they have Twitter and Facebook accounts – And there is good reason:
Because it works!
Having a social media presence is a lot like having a web site… It is a whole lot better HAVING one than NOT having one…. Sure, you’ll still do some business with out it, but you’ll do a whole lot more if it is easier to find you.
Will it actually increase my sales or leads?
Although it’s value for this discussion is how it effects a site algorithmically, well run social media activity can indeed result in direct business (but you must understand that the more genuine interaction with the viewer, the better results you will see in this area).
Here is how:
Have you ever had to see something over and over again until you actually bought it? Heard it on the radio time and time again until you really listened to the commercial and figured out what it was about? Maybe it wasn’t the right time, you were busy, you didn’t need it at that moment, the mood wasn’t right, or you just didn’t have any money in your pocket to buy it. But then there it is again…. You know you’ve heard or seen it before… “I’m going to buy it now”… It’s about repetition and staying connected.
Repetition is an important part of advertising. It is through repetition that you establish your credibility, establish brand familiarity, become the first thought when a need for your type of product or service arises, etc. Did you know that scientific research has shown through studies that a person must see your product NINE times before they will be inclined to buy it?
“There he is…. There is that weird guy Tweeting again… I have some extra time now, let me see what he is all about – Let me see his web site link…” — BAM, a signup. This actually does happen. A person sees you and follows you on Twitter (a connection is formed), and then a week later, it happens to be a better time, they see you again, take a closer look, and now they’re a customer. Coincidence? I think not:
Social Media Matters.
But it isn’t just about the laws of repetition…. Search engines like Google, Yahoo and BING have already clearly admitted publically that they do in fact take “social signals” into consideration when ranking web pages – and this practice will continue to grow. Link building has been the core measure of popularity for the last few years, but with an ever-changing complex web of information to sift through, search engines need more than just links, and social signals are filling that void, giving them the extra data they need, when the amount of links you have pointing to you just isn’t enough.
Having your products and services discussed, visible, and index-able within social content, scores extra “points” on your behalf… No one knows just how many hundreds or thousands of criteria Google is scoring, but what we do know, is that social signals are indeed on the list – and today, likely somewhere near the top.
Now don’t get me wrong…. Search engines look at lots more than just this… They look at the number of links that point to you, the value of those links, the value of even those links that point to the sites providing those links, the time people spend on your site, your content, your authority, your domain, your sites speed, your sites architecture, your sites programming, your sites location, etc.. etc.. etc…..
A social presence could easily be the difference between the characteristics between YOU and your competitor. A search engines fundamental JOB is to seek out, find, and evaluate the characteristics of your web site, and decide whether or not they should deliver your material verses someone else’s when both content matches a search. They must find the overall BEST result. They do this by measuring, not only your site, but any evidence it can find on your sites overall importance – “your value” to the web, as well as how “fresh” “current”, and “up-to-date” your information might be verses your competitor.
Does a site or brand have a social circle presence or not? Just imagine if YOU were a search engine and you had to go out and score millions of web pages and rank them based on “importance”. What would be your opinion of things which were talked about a lot verses things that aren’t even mentioned?
Search engines take advantage of similar concepts and use social signals to see what people are “buzzing” about. The more something is linked to, tweeted, liked, commented on, shared, etc… the more important it is expected to be.
Ask yourself this:
If you were the owner of a product or service, and no one ever even mentioned it, or the potential for needing it, would you really think it was all that important?
About The Author: John Colascione is Chief Executive Officer of Searchen Networks Inc. and Internet Advertising Inc. He specializes in Website Monetization, authored a ‘how to’ book called ‘‘Mastering Your Website’, and is a key player in several Internet related businesses through his search engine strategy company Searchen Networks®