Social Media outlets are more than just additional ways for a company to communicate with the world. They can have a dramatic impact on your overall web presence. I have highlighted three of the main ways you can use Social Media to your advantage.
1. Interaction with peers and customers everywhere they are talking
This tactic is at the heart of any social media strategy, and with good reason. Conversations are happening everywhere… and they are talking about you. Why not join in? Interactions with others in a variety of different online settings increases both the amount of unique content relating to your company online and your overall online reach. Your website should not be the only place for anyone to reach you. With social media they COULD go to your website, or they could visit one of the other dozens of places where you are actively involved with the online community. It might be your blog, Facebook, Twitter, an industry forum, or even a review site. The goal is to encourage as much positive conversation about your brand as possible, and in doing so, become more visible online.
2. Improve Page Rankings
Every time Google sees a mention of your brand and your industry combined with a link back to your website or other social media profiles, it gives a little bonus to your page rank. Your page rank is essentially what Google uses to determine your popularity. And popular pages are what people want to see and what show up on search engine results pages (SERPs). The simple way of thinking of this is that every time any profile or page you own gets mentioned, it is more likely to be visited in the future. The more involved you are in your social media, the more likely you are to be found in the search engines. Even when links have a "nofollow" command
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attached to them (which makes Google ignore it for popularity and page ranking), anyone who clicks that link and ends up on more of your content is still helping to increase your traffic.
3. More Results in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)
Everyone wants their site to be the #1 result for their keywords… But what about the other slots? When someone searches for your company name, for example, the results should show your website, your Facebook page, your Linkedin page, your Flickr photostream, your Google Places page, your Blog, and hopefully many more. If done right, your social media profiles can dominate the SERPs for all of your keywords. If your company sells custom lawn ornaments, for example, a search for "custom lawn ornaments" should return your website, some pictures from your Flickr, your facebook page, and even your blog. More well-maintained and active social media accounts lead to more places for people to find you.
The benefits of active involvement in Social Media span many aspects of a brand's online presence. If used correctly, you will increase traffic and visibility of both your website and your brand dramatically.