Social Networking Importance Reflected in New Survey
On this blog, we have often discussed the importance of social media. The Google Caffeine update, after all, looked for a “wider footprint” from websites. Essentially, Google wanted to see outbound links on sites to active social media presences (like on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn). This is how social media has affected us within our SEO bubble. But within our marketing bubble, we also recognize social media’s importance for branding and business in general. This is why a recent Pew Internet survey is essential for understanding just why social media is an integral part of any marketing (and even SEO) strategy.
These adults are on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn, Foursquare..and any other social media platform you can think of. Let us know which ones we forgot in the comments section below this post!
Social Networking Survey: Astounding Statistics
Mary Madden and Kathryn Zickuhr of the Pew Internet & American Life Project (www.pewinternet.org) described the results of the survey in today’s post, “65% of Adults Use Social Networking Sites.”
The survey found that “fully 65% of adult internet users now say they use a social networking site like MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn, up from 61% one year ago. This marks the first time in Pew Internet surveys that 50% of all adults use social networking sites.” Half of all adults use social networking sites! That’s an incredible statistic, and reveals the absolute power social media exerts – the hold it has on America’s population. (We reported in our blog post, “Is Google + Becoming A Tool For An Older Demographic?” on an earlier survey indicates that these adults might be spending this time on Google +!)
Additionally, the survey found that 61% of people under 30 typically use social networking sites on a daily basis, while it found that 32% of those who are between the ages of 50 and 64 do so daily (this statistic grew significantly since last year, up from just 20%). Could this be attributed to the growing importance of social media for businesses and networking? The survey asserted that “Overall, positive responses far outweighed the negative and neutral words that were associated with social networking sites (more than half of the respondents used positive terms).Users repeatedly described their experiences as ‘fun,’ ‘great,’ ‘interesting,’ and ‘convenient.’”
Take Away Point
If you haven’t already, it’s time to jump on the social media wagon before you get lost behind the competition. This large, diverse audience is already there waiting for you! Additionally, your SEO strategy should include linking from your website to active social media accounts. Since you already should be on these platforms, keeping them relatively active to keep your search engine rankings high, you might as well maximize the potential of these platforms in order to widen your target audience to include the 50% of adults who are utilizing them.
Three Tips for Maximizing Your Business’s Social Media Presence
1. Engage your audience! No one wants to “like” or follow a business page and then receive no benefit from it at all. Give away free tips, run contests and sweepstakes, ask questions, and show your fans that they have an impact in what your business does on a daily basis. One Aim Social infographic, entitled “What Makes People Follow a Brand?” provides the following statistics about what percentage of people want to engage with a company once they have decided to follow or like it:
70% of people who liked or followed a company then actively took part in a brand sponsored contest or sweepstake.
24% of people produced content in order to participate in a brand’s contest.
The infographic also shows that an online experience exerted influence on 97.09% of people when it came to these poeple actually purchasing something.
2. While it is incredibly important to promote your business on social media platforms – try to do so modestly. Don’t make it all about you – show your audience that you care about what they have to say, and engage in conversations about your area of business (not just your company). Also, providing customer service (on Twitter especially) can be essential to having happy social media followers and likers.
3. Make sure everyone who contributes to your social media understands your company’s core values. Coca-Cola has an entire mission statement devoted to social media, so that each employee that contributes understands that their words must reflect the company’s values: transparency, respect, and listening (instead of creating noise without hearing what customers are saying) – and that is to name just a few.
Three Tips for Maximizing The Purposes Social Media Serves for SEO Strategy
1. Syndicate your optimized blog content via all the social media channels (this one’s a no-brainer!). Make sure the content you are creating and submitting is unique and high-quality, and then show that you want to get it out to as many readers as possible. You want people to be interested enough in your content to share it and link back to your site.
2. Consider also tweeting and writing Facebook statuses about industry goings on. Not only does this serve an educational purpose for your audience, but it also shows the search engines that your company is an authority and decides to discuss current events accordingly.
3. Optimize videos on YouTube (have a channel there) which connect back to your blog and your social media profiles. Show that you know what you are doing and that you want to share it with others. Why? You guessed it: this can make you an authority as well.
If you are already utilizing social media to brand and grow your business, why not optimize your presences for SEO as well? By the same token, if you are already using social media for SEO purposes, why not also use it to grow your business, your audience, and your customer base?
EverSpark Interactive is a full service Atlanta SEO agency. For more tips and tricks, please come back and visit our blog often; we update it daily with free tips as well as to report about the interactive marketing and social media landscapes (in addition to SEO, our core competency). For more information about social media, Google, Facebook, or SEO, please check back with our blog for constant updates and recent news as well as free tips for developing your site’s organic SEO strategy. For questions that are more specific to your business or website, or if you want to know more about us, give us a call at 770-481-1766.