If your ecommerce revenue comes primarily from your website, is it worth having a social media channel?
After all, managing your website alone is already hard work. You need to constantly analyze how your web pages perform in terms of conversion, publish fascinating and shareable articles, and pay attention to good SEO practice.
Managing your social media channel will require some additional work — producing content, connecting with other accounts, replying to people’s comments and private messages, et cetera, et cetera.
What does Google say about social media?
Does social media affect SEO rankings? The answer is “probably no”. In 2014, Matt Cutts from Google’s Search Quality Team released a video saying that social media metrics such as likes and the number of followers do not affect search rankings.
It makes sense. Likes and number of followers are vanity metrics. These aren’t true indicators of an account’s authority and influence. Likes can be bought or at least engineered (think of all the social media hack cases).
In addition, Cutts said that rapid updates to content and profile information on social media are too fast for Google to keep up with them.
Does this mean you should ignore social media?
For businesses that engage directly with end-consumers, the important role of social media is hard to ignore. With social media, ordinary customers can instantly connect with an entire organization, to enjoy fresh content directly from the source, and to interact on a one-on-one basis.
What if your business is a B2B? This question may come from the fact that your business works for other businesses. Remember – you’re still working with people, who just happen to be in a different company. People do look for professional connections and business opportunities through social media. Think of LinkedIn, AngelList, and Opportunity — these are what you call ‘social media for professionals’.
Social media affects factors that affect rankings
Social media has merged itself into the fabric of daily life. Social media, in a general sense, is a website or platform in which users are able to generate their own content, receive feedback, applause and shares. If each website is an individual store for a business, social media is a worldwide summer fair where anyone can pitch a tent and showcase their products.
The biggest search engines in the world may not consider vanity metrics as signals for rankings, but social media can affect rankings indirectly. An increasing number of brand discovery comes from social media platforms, even more so than search engines.
The instant a brand captures attention, it has seconds to offer content that would break the deal — to lead users to the brand’s social media page to discover more content and to learn more about the brand.
It may take several days, weeks, or even months, before the user becomes so familiar with the brand’s social media presence that they would visit the brand’s website to make a purchase. Multiply this process by the number of followers you can acquire, and you would have a steady traffic coming from social media channels.
High traffic signals from direct site visits and referrals
If you optimize your social media content marketing strategy, you have a high chance of leading users directly to your website. This is done either through links from social media or direct search, and either case is desirable.
Search engines like Google will see that your site has high traffic coming from a referral source (social media), and that is the first positive signal that your website is qualified for high rankings. Direct visits, when users type in the exact brand name on the search query to visit the website directly, is the second positive signal for your website.
SEO can be made simple
There are many technical aspects of SEO, such as creating site maps, link equity distribution, backlink management, and on-page optimizations. These are the more daunting part of SEO and website management, and one that requires technical expertise. If you prefer to delegate these tasks, and focus on voicing your brand message on social media (arguably the more exciting part of SEO and branding), don’t hesitate to ask for help with SEO management.