Social Media has become a tried and tested method of promotion for your website and with every algorithm tweak and change that Google and the other search engines are doing social media is becoming more and more important. Google indexes links that come from Twitter and other social media sites (though it is still in talks with Facebook over its user content) and as links are phased out and smart semantic web associations between terms (generally referred to as co-ocurrence) become the norm these social media mentions are only going to become more important. Facebook’s latest announcement, Graph Search just made social networking even more important than ever.
Up until recently you could rely on backlinks to get your site higher in the SERP classification as any Search Agency professional would tell you. But if people do not search for your site through conventional search engines but rather stay within their social network and try to get a customised result from within their social network the whole point of Search Engine Optimisation is moot. Of course not everybody will use Facebook’s Graph feature and, indeed, not everybody has Facebook so there will still be a great market for SEO, even if links will likely keep dwindling in importance.
With its dynamic integration of friends’ reviews and likes for places Graph will revolutionize the way that a lot of people are doing social media marketing and outreach and will likely redouble efforts in the field in regards to Facebook, perhaps enough to keep companies and businesses strong and present on the social network despite EdgeRank and promoted post backlashes. For the first time in quite a while Facebook has something that competitors don’t (apart from a huge, active user base) and it will likely see success.
So it is time to spice up your social media. Regardless of whether your run a blog or a merchandising site you will need to have a comprehensive and complex social strategy for 2013 because the social media game just got a lot more interesting. Co citation (for instance ‘best Hamburgers’ and San Francisco mentioned in the same sentence as your business) is being integrated into all Google products and it features strongest right now in Google Local pages. Graph will take this to a new level. All in all there are some things that everybody needs to tackle in order to get a better ROI from their social media marketing strategy.
With tools like Graph and the tweaks to Google Local your rapport with customers will become much more important. Your social media will be more of a townhall, a forum for customers and fans to reach out to you and interact. People’s opinions and ratings will become even more important than they currently are for your business.
You will need new content every day, possibly several times a day, and the content needs to be interesting enough to get your fans and followers commenting on it and sharing it with friends. Consider richer media alternatives as well. Videos, especially well done virals will dramatically increase your exposure and might not be too expensive. Polls and Infographics can get people talking and remember that promotions can do wonders for a small business and social sharing apps like livingsocial can be a great way to get your brand name out there as well. Remember to use every trick and method at your disposal and consider sourcing your Social presence to professionals, if you can afford it.
With Graph, Siri and the shift towards a more semantic web you should definitely focus your attention on maintaining and growing your social presence this year. After all, directly connecting to fans and customers can be a lot more effective than any advertising campaign if done right…