Today we’re proud to feature guest blogger Michael Bird, Director of Digital Strategy at Social Garden. In this post, Michael delves into social media’s impact on SEO, social commerce, and advertising.
Social media is not only here to stay, it is literally changing the web as we know it.
As we see social’s influence creep further into Google’s algorithm updates, and eCommerce companies leveraging its unique ability to turn transactions into relationships, it’s time to turn the spotlight on and see how far social really has come, and how it is now influencing these once very separate digital disciplines.
SEO and Google+
Although it is considered one of the key players in the social network landscape, Google+ is exhibiting an increasing influence on Google search rankings. In fact, after page authority, a URL’s number of Google +1s is more highly correlated with search rankings than any other factor (Moz).
While other social networks are influencing rankings based on content or keyword syndication among users’ individual connections, Google+ is clearly leading the social search revolution, with posts that are crawled and indexed immediately, as well as optimized for semantic relevance.
By making Google+ a part of your SEO strategy, you can boost your search engine rankings while building brand credibility. For better SEO, consider adding Google+ sharing buttons to your web pages and Google authorship information to your web content.
Social media has become an effective tool for influencing consumer behavior through the entire purchase funnel, from building reach and awareness to increasing traffic and shopping cart conversions.
Smart brands are also paying close attention to users’ social data and leveraging insights around consumers’ interests, connections, locations and more to convert users with more personalized shopping experiences. For instance, a retailer can leverage social data to send exclusive discounts to customers on their birthdays and inform shoppers of relevant deals in the location they list in their social profiles.
Advertising vs. Interacting
Today, the average consumer is exposed to 5,000 marketing messages a day (CBS), and brands must offer consumers something truly different, interactive and entertaining if they wish to stand out from the crowd and capture consumer attention.
Social networks provide marketers with the perfect platforms to create the two-way dialogues and direct connectivity that today’s connected consumers crave, facilitating brand awareness and word-of-mouth marketing. And when marketers get it right, the effect can be incredible: for example, Volvo’s ‘The Epic Split’ campaign featuring Jean Claude Van Damme doing the splits between two trucks, had a play count in excess of 69,000,000 on Youtube.
Well, we have shone the spotlight on social, and it has undoubtedly changed the face of marketing forever. Its influence on search engine rankings is becoming impossible to ignore, the effect it is having on our online shopping experience is groundbreaking, and it has completely revolutionised marketing as we know it. Ignore it at your peril.
About the author: Michael Bird is the Director of Digital Strategy at Social Garden, an Australian based Digital Marketing Agency specialising in social community growth, content marketing and SEO. You can connect with Mike on Google+, or click here to check out his blog.
By Michael Bird