Speaking on Deriving SEO Benefits from Social Media at SMX

In: Industry News & Happenings|Search Engine Optimization - SEO|Social Media

24 Oct 2017
by Chris Silver Smith

I’m speaking this week at the Search Marketing Expo (SMX) East conference in New York this week on how to derive Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”) benefits from social media.

SMX East New York City

In the past, this topic has been a little bit controversial. On one hand, people in SEO sometimes tend to think that Social Media is worthless for optimization purposes. They’re backed up by various statements made by Google and Bing engineers over time, although those statements are often a bit specifically opaque. On the other hand, people in Social Media often have an intense prejudice against the idea of leveraging social interactions in order to push items to be higher in search engine results — they feel that such impersonal or artificial motives are terribly manipulative and cynically uncaring of the real people who are behind social media avatars.

However, there are some undeniable advantages for search optimization that can be extracted from good social media work. 

Companies that are not using social media as fully as they should often have a very limited outlook that misses a few facts:

  • Consumers often look for companies’ social media presence as an indicator of how professional and established a company may be.
  • Existing clientele want social media as an option to connect with those businesses.
  • Social Media is valuable in part as a type of insurance or preparation for online reputation attacks. If you have social media accounts, chances may be that any negative content that may be posted about you could have a harder time of appearing prominently in search results for your name searches. Social media represents a potential cost avoidance. If your business is attacked online, social media also provides a means of communicating with consumers on the internet, giving you outlets for defending yourself and providing your side of a controversy or argument.
  • While search engineers have sometimes stated that they don’t incorporate social media signals as ranking factors, social media can still directly and indirectly influence search rankings through normal ranking signals.
  • Those who are obsessed with whether social media is providing them with a direct ROI miss the indirect benefits it provides. While gauging attribution is great, it is often not feasible to measure the indirect benefits from social media — it can sometimes help with optimizing your site, and it can help insulate you from negative reputation attacks. Refusing to do social media because you have not measured a direct benefit can negatively impact your other more important channels.

In my presentation at SMX East, I’ll be showing how social media can be assessed by search engines, and how it can directly or indirectly affect search rankings. I’ll particularly highlight some aspects of Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, but some of the items I’ll be covering can also apply to other social media platforms as well.

The session is called “SEO & Social: A Match Made In Marketing Heaven”. I hope to see you here at the conference!


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