Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. Almost everyone uses one or more social media platforms to connect with friends, family, and colleagues, share content, and stay up-to-date with the latest news and trends. However, social media is not just a place to connect with people; it is also an essential tool for businesses to promote their brands, products, and services. This is where Social SEO comes into play.
Social SEO means adding text-based features such as captions, alt-text, and closed captions to your posts to help people browsing social platforms easily find your content.
Search engines like Google use traditional SEO (search engine optimization) to allow you to search for information and then produce a list of results related to the content the algorithms think you’re looking for based on the search phrase you used, your previous searches, and your location.
Social media platforms aren’t search engines. Technically. But they do have search bars, and people are beginning to use them more and more frequently like they are search engines. In the past, people only used social media to look at their personalized content feeds. Now, as social media evolves, people use the networks to search for specific information such as product reviews, brand recommendations, and local businesses. As a result, large social platforms are adding more traditional search engine features to help users find the content they’re looking for.
If that sounds like a bunch of jargon to you, here’s why you should care:
It’ll help get your content seen
Up until now, getting your social media content seen has been all about figuring out and working the algorithms to get your content onto people’s feeds. Now, as social media evolves, people are taking an active approach to finding the content they want rather than just passively consuming the content served to them. Discoverability has always been a focus on social media. Social SEO is just a new approach to how to make that happen.
It’ll help you grow your social channels
Social SEO, as mentioned before, is about discoverability - or being discovered by people who don’t follow you yet. This means it can be a more effective way to grow your social channels than only focusing on the algorithm - or at least it can be a valuable addition to your strategy.
Get in front of eyes who don’t use traditional search engines
Instagram recently launched a new (searchable) map feature to allow people to find popular locations using the app in an effort to compete with Google Maps. As younger generations rapidly move to using social media over traditional search engines, there is an ever higher possibility your business will not be found through those methods. Social SEO is the way to connect with the audience who is abandoning Google.
So, now you know why you should care about Social SEO, Here are some tips:
Optimize your social media profiles
Your social media profiles should be optimized with relevant keywords and information about your business. Make sure your profile name and handle reflect your business name, and use a clear and concise description to describe your business. Also, include a link to your website in your bio, which will help drive traffic to your site. If you have more than one link (say you want to direct people to different landing pages, a blog, or an event link), use LinkTree.
Use relevant hashtags and keywords in your captions
Hashtags are a powerful tool for improving your Social SEO. By using relevant hashtags and keywords in your posts, you can make your content more visible to people who are interested in your products or services. Do some research to find out which hashtags are relevant to your industry and use them in your posts.
Create high-quality content
Creating high-quality content is essential for social media SEO. Your content should be engaging, informative, and shareable. Use images, videos, and infographics to make your content more attractive to your audience. Make sure your content is optimized with relevant keywords and hashtags, and encourage your followers to share your content.
Remember: the question you should be asking yourself when it comes to content creation is, “What value does this offer to the viewer?”
People don’t want to be sold to. In this era of social media, they’re craving authenticity and entertainment. If you can give them that rather than slick, 4k ads they aren’t interested in and don’t add any value to their experience, you’ll gain more eyes on your posts more consistently.
The purpose of alt-text is to make visual content more accessible (think of folks using screen readers, or those with visual impairments). Alt-text also serves the added benefit of helping Instagram, Twitter, and other platforms understand what your content is so it can offer it up in response to searches.
Instagram and Tiktok both have automatically generated captions, which is fantastic for accessibility and also means that your keywords will appear on screen. Another bonus is that more and more people are watching videos with the sound off. Using subtitles will allow people to view your content instead of scrolling on by.
Tag your location
Instagram Maps is a new feature which can function as a local business search. You want your content to appear there if you have a physical location!
Monitor your analytics
Monitoring your social media analytics is essential for improving your social media SEO. Use analytics tools to track your performance, including engagement, reach, and followers. Use this data to identify trends and adjust your strategy accordingly.
So, which platforms are best for Social SEO? There are weaknesses and strengths to all of them.
For example, if you’re looking at pure SEO functionality, YouTube is the one that functions most like a search engine (which makes sense considering that it is a Google product). Right now, Youtube and Twitter have the strongest connections to Google, allowing them to rank highly in search results. Pinterest does really well in image searches, Facebook does will in business searches, and LinkedIn do well in business searches. Google is currently working to make its indexing of Tiktok and Instagram content better, too.
Long story short: Social SEO is the future, and is applicable to all platforms. Time to get optimized, folks.