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Today’s Social Media Landscape – The SEO Value of the Top Social Networks

Social media is a carousel of networks and it’s up to you to decide when to get on or off a particular horse. In the past few years we’ve seen new networks popup and strive (Pinterest, Instagram) and turn into valuable business assets, while also seeing networks popup and fail miserably (Google Buzz). More recently we’ve seen new networks that strive but have zero business value (Yo).

So, as the CMO or CCO, how do you decide what networks your team should have a presence and focus on in order to return you the most business value? One thing you should consider is the SEO value each networks brings. Search rankings play a major role in how a consumer chooses a business as 61% of Internet users around the world research products online and nearly half online shoppers begin with a search engine. As a result, 75% of users don’t go past the first page of search results, which makes the SEO value a network brings extremely important. (Source)

Let’s take a closer look at the SEO value of the top social networks businesses use today:

  • Twitter: Twitter has quickly become the source of official releases, announcements, and statements as it provides brands and individuals with a platform and megaphone for messaging.  As a result, tweets about a Web page are increasingly influential for higher search rankings in Google.
  • Facebook: Majority of businesses still rely on and prefer Facebook as a method of marketing as Facebook has the highest customer conversation rate of the networks.  It’s no surprise, then, that Facebook comments, shares, and likes help determine how high a page gets ranked in Google search results.
  • Instagram: Brands hopped on the Instagram train as soon as it was evident that the new platform was quickly gaining popularity. And why wouldn’t they? It’s a great place to share images and videos of products, services, or glimpses into the company’s life.  It’s not that great for SEO, however, as Instagram is a primarily mobile platform with a limited desktop presence. Perhaps Facebook owning it will change this in the future.
  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a great place for individuals and companies to showcase their skills, qualities, or business but it’s not the best influencer for search rankings.  The nature of profiles, however, make them appear high in rankings since they have so many searchable words and phrases.
  • Google+: Google+ seems like the outcast of the group as it’s been struggling to find its place among the network giants.  Google+, however, shines and is extremely valuable for the niche communities that are active users.  And because Google+ is a Google product, links that have more +1s or shares rank higher in Google searches that the similar likes or retweets of other platforms.
  • YouTube: Google also owns YouTube but it doesn’t have the same benefits that Google+ reaps from search results.  YouTube’s audience is so large and the pool of tags, text, descriptions, etc. for each video is so vast that it can be difficult to find and rank relevant
  • Pinterest: Pinterest was hailed the fastest growing platform out of all the networks.  And as a result of its rapid growth and amount of content being shared and repinned, Pinterest activity on a particular page contributes to a higher Google ranking.
  • SlideShare: Similar to YouTube, SlideShare content includes tags, descriptions, titles, etc. – all of which is easily searchable, but it’s been determined that links within PDFs in uploaded presentations have higher SEO value.

Remember, there are tons of platforms out there, but not all platforms are created equal – especially when it comes to how they benefit a business.  Where you rank in search results can either positively or negatively affect your traffic so make sure that you’re paying attention to your SEO efforts, whether on your website or through your social platforms.

And if you ever feel inundated with the volume of social platforms to keep up with, remember that there are social media management tools (like Viralheat!) to help you better manage your efforts.  Drop us a line at if you’re interested in seeing more.

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