Creating a social media page is essential for any business, blog or influencer to attract followers and potential customers. Once an influencer or business has designed a social media page with a clear branding message and well-edited, curated content, you may wonder how to increase traffic to your social media page and increase reach. Patience and persistence are important to help any social media page flourish. However, one way to drive traffic and increase the scope of your brand is by learning the ins and outs of SEO for social media.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” When a social media page utilizes SEO, they typically show up higher on social media news feeds, social media platform searches, and Google searches. Google and social media platforms use algorithms to determine which content will keep viewers on the site for longer thereby increasing ad revenues. Basically, the algorithms for both Google and social media platforms determine whether or not your posts and content will engage viewers. Therefore it is important to create scroll-stopping posts and develop an SEO for social media strategy. Having a targeted SEO for social media strategy can increase reach and drive social media traffic, referral traffic and organic traffic, which are the most important traffic sources for a social media page.
Why Should I Use SEO for Social Media?
SEO for social media is a great way for your content and posts to gain an edge over the competition. Even though most social media platforms have internalized search engines, many brands and influencers do not know how to use SEO for social media properly. Most often when people refer to SEO, they are referring to searches through dedicated search engine sites like Google, Bing or Yahoo. SEO for social media is a relatively new phenomenon that remains to be utilized to its fullest potential. Additionally, SEO for social media can help an account gain followers, sell products and start trending.
How to Use SEO for Social Media
SEO techniques typically refer to driving traffic to a blog or a website from Google or other search engines. For social media pages, the techniques used are similar but have key differences. For instance, a social media page will typically be less focused on launching a Google ad campaign and more focused on having featured Facebook posts or promoted Twitter ads. However general SEO principles apply for both websites and social media pages.
In order to increase visibility, the content needs to demonstrate to the social media platform that many people want to view your posts. Higher traffic to a social media page usually results in more engagement per post. Once you have a baseline of people regularly following your content, the posts will rank higher on the platform and other peoples’ newsfeeds. This creates a snowball effect that gradually increases an account’s visibility. However, there are ways to speed up the process and obtain reach more quickly. The first and most important way to increase SEO for social media is to create compelling content.
Create Compelling Content
Creating great content requires a bit of market research to see what is trending or on the brink of trending within your target demographic. Content is easy to find on the internet. However, quality content is usually few and far between. Therefore, it is paramount to set your social media content apart from the tidal wave of posts each day.
Every post should have a purpose and a story to tell. Likes and shares are not given, they are earned. A good Facebook or Twitter campaign makes a person feel something and compelled to act. For instance, in the summer of 2014, people began pouring buckets of ice on their heads. On its own, the ice bucket challenge was rather silly but it raised over $135 million dollars for ALS research. The ice bucket challenge was so successful because it played to people’s emotions and offered them a simple way to feel like they were helping people with ALS. In short, create content with a purpose. In order to know what story you’d like to tell, first you need to know your audience.
Find Your Audience
The internet is vast and open to many different communities. At the same time, however, niche audiences exist within the social media landscape. Driving social media engagement requires a person to target a particular audience. Who would you like to speak to? Creating content for teenage girls is vastly different than creating content for their middle-aged men. Knowing your audience will allow you to know exactly how to approach any given topic. Once you find your audience, it is important to conduct research.
Contrary to popular belief, it does not take a degree in marketing and focus groups to understand what interests a target demographic. In the modern era, information on every audience can easily be found by researching what people post on social media. If your posts have followers, for instance, do a little digging to see the other types of content they are consuming and what interests them.
Say Something Different
Once you know what interests your target demographic, say something different. Discover topics that are not typically explored by other social media pages or find a new take on a trending topic. Although the internet is large, it is mostly homogeneous which means that most people are posting the same commentary on the same topics ad nauseum. Add nuance to the conversation. This same general principle is followed by websites who are trying to reach niche markets by using Long-tail keywords.
When a new website is trying to establish itself higher in search engines, they first need to focus on Long-tail keywords. Keywords are typical searches like “best haircut,” which will turn up tens if not hundreds of thousands of different websites. If, instead, a blog or business focuses on long-tail keywords like “best renaissance haircuts,” or even, “best braided renaissance haircuts,” the number of websites they have to compete with is much smaller. As a result, they receive more traffic.
Use Keywords in Social Media Posts
Finding good keywords is necessary to develop an SEO for social media strategy. Sites like Twitter or TikTok constantly track and release data on what is trending. Pay attention to trending topics and see if there are niche ways to approach the topics that people are talking about. Keywords are a great way to drive organic traffic.
Organic Traffic is the holy grail of traffic to a site. Essentially, organic traffic is traffic solely derived from social media platform searches and external search engines such as Google. What makes organic traffic so appealing is that it typically does not require additional money from ad campaigns and means the social media page is easily accessible through simple keyword searches.
When you are first developing a following, focus on long-tail keywords and niche markets. After developing a base level of followers, you will have more success with general topics.
Be Careful with Hashtags
Hashtags act as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they can encourage people to find a social media page through a search. However, they can also create links that drive people away from your posts and your page without first liking, following or sharing. Therefore, hashtags should be used sparingly in posts unless your brand has established dominance over a hashtag. It is even more important to avoid using hashtags in a bio. Hashtags in a bio could have potential followers directed away from your social media page before even seeing the posts below. Moreover, hashtags in a social media bio do not even have the benefit of showing up on an internal platform search.
Encourage Follower Participation
As mentioned earlier, the ice bucket challenge was so successful because it gave people a compelling story and a mission for them to complete. Every post needs to have a reason for people to share or participate in the content. If you pay attention to the bottom of posts there is usually a “call to comment” or “call to share.” Most of the time, these call to comment or shares will say, “share your best #slurpeesunday” or “like this post if you want a slurpee”. However, there are other calls to action that encourage others to post their own content.
For instance, a workout channel or a fitness influencer could instruct people to post progress videos for a “7-day sweat” workout routine with #7daysweat on the bottom. When followers are active participants, your reach increases exponentially because the followers of your fans may click on the hashtag to see what they are posting about and find the original posts. This is an example of referral traffic.
Referral Traffic is when visitors arrive on a social media page through referral from another person’s content or even a website. When another site links back to a social media page, this is called “backlinks.” Backlinks are essential to raise the views on a post. Establishing relationships with other influencers and businesses are also key to increasing referral traffic.
Create a Network
The world of content creation and influencers is a small one. If you find another website or influencer that speaks to the same target demographic, reach out to them and see whether they would be open to creating content together. For influencers with larger reach, you may have to pay a small fee to be able to appear or be promoted on their channel/page. However, you can also find medium-sized accounts who may be open to collaborating at no cost since it is mutually beneficial because both parties can obtain the followers from each other’s page.
Pay for Advertising
Those seriously wishing to increase post visibility quickly can do so by paying social media platforms to promote their posts higher within a user’s newsfeeds. Although many people would like to avoid monetary investment at all cost, paid advertisement can help kickstart a new social media page to gain initial followers. After paying for advertising and having a base amount of followers, your social media page will more easily grow over time. Traffic obtained by advertising is called paid traffic.
Paid traffic refers to traffic a post receives through web advertising. Web advertising will typically attract based upon the amount invested into ads. However, a select ad campaign that centers around a target market demographic will increase visits to a social media page without breaking the bank. Before paying for advertisements, it is crucial to have in-depth knowledge of your audience.
Think Outside the Platform
Consider promoting your social media page on a ground level. Not only is attending events a great way to meet other influencers and brands that share a similar target demographic, but also by attending physical events you can hand out business cards with your hashtag or social media page and garner followers. Promoting directly to potential followers is called direct traffic.
The Direct traffic is when a web user types the URL of a social media page directly into the browser. Direct traffic happens less often than other types of traffic but is a great indicator of brand recognition.
Email Market Traffic
The Email Market Traffic is when you deploy an email campaign and keep followers in the loop regarding new posts or stories. Email market traffic may be the most underutilized SEO for social media. In order to obtain members on an email list, influencers can create incentives for people to join an email list by providing a service or discount in return. Email market traffic is typically used solely for businesses and not necessarily for influencer accounts. As an untapped resource in driving SEO for social media, email market traffic may push your social media account over the edge and keep followers engaged with content.
When Should I Start Using SEO for Social Media
You should have started using SEO techniques for your social media page yesterday. However, there is no time like the present to increase visibility, gain followers, and become the trending topic. With market research, trial and error, good keywords, backlinks/referrals, and stunning content, your social media views can skyrocket and propel your content to new heights. Here goes our call to action: comment below about your SEO for social media strategies