The real deal about how social media works as SEO and what your business needs to use it for lead generation.

With all the myths and rumors swirling around about how social media is now the prime method of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), we thought it was time to put the rumors to rest.

There was simply too much confusion about it, and we were noticing that many people were working on incorporating social media into their marketing plan before they had content or a website to back it up. And, when their SEO didn’t immediately improve, they were confused.

So let’s fix that, shall we? Here’s what’s really going on with social media and SEO.

The Real Story about Social Media SEO

First of all, what you’ve heard is true. Social signals will soon, if they haven’t already, affect your SEO and your placement on the SERP (Search Engine Result Page).

That wasn’t an ugly rumor or a hoax. But here’s the real issue:

 

SEO is based on a lot more than just how many likes you get on a Twitter post.

 

If you only optimize through your social media efforts, your SEO isn’t going to do much to help your business.

Here’s why: Social media is meant to direct more traffic to your business. It acts as a lead generation tactic, getting the word out to people online and giving them the opportunity to engage with your business.

“Well yeah,” you might be thinking. “Why else would we do it?”

But the issue comes in when you use your social media to direct visitors to your site and your site is not well designed. If you are using social media to raise awareness about your business and the first thing people are directed to is a crappy website, the only thing you’re doing is showing people that your business doesn’t care very much about things like first impressions.

You send a ton of people to an old, outdated, clunky looking site, without any of your information or valuable content for the user; all you’re doing is showing the visitors that you don’t care very much about their needs and you just wanted to get your name out there… which is basically the kiss of death!

What You Need BEFORE Social Media

Like I mentioned before, social media is designed to guide people to your content, so that they can see the value and become engaged with it. If you don’t have the content to bring your visitors/followers/friends to, then what’s the point?

What’s content, you may ask? I counter with a question: Does it have words? It’s content!

  • Email
  • Articles
  • Whitepapers
  • eBooks
  • Blog Articles
  • Infographics
  • Events
  • Offers

I could go on, but I think you get the point. You can use social media to make your content more visible to those you are trying to reach online, but your content has to be created first.

Social media is the last step in optimization. The timeline goes like this:

 

  1. Evaluate what your target audience is looking for
  2. Select a topic to create content for that adds value for your target audience
  3. Employ SEO tactics within the content to make sure Google can index it
  4. Post your content
  5. Promote your content through social media.

 

The fact of the matter is, posting on social media without any content to post about is a lot like having the manual for a piece of equipment but not having the actual machine. It’s pretty useless to a piece of paper telling you what to do if you don’t have the pieces you need to actually do the work. So before you establish a Twitter handle and take Instagram by storm, develop the backbone of your social media plan- your content. Then you’ll really see the results you’re looking for.