By now, we all know that social media is a great platform to grow brand awareness, share valuable content, and connect with people to convert them into customers.

Sounds eerily similar to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), doesn’t it?

SEO is somewhat of a superpower many businesses use to organically drive targeted traffic to their site and build visibility for their brand, especially within the B2B space.

But how does social media affect SEO? And how can you optimise posts to have the best impact on social media platforms?

Keep reading to find out…

What is social media SEO?

In a nutshell, social media SEO, or social SEO, is the practice of optimising your social media posts so they can be found more easily on social platforms. This could include adding text-based features, such as alt-text, captions and closed captions to your text.

Although social media platforms technically aren’t search engines, they do have search bars. This means that your platforms are open to a potentially endless list of new users and audience members.

Social media platforms are becoming an increasingly popular way of reaching both new and targeted audiences, so it’s important to make sure your posts maintain a sense of brand consistency.

However, the way people use social media is changing as more and more users are beginning to use social media to find brands, products and local businesses.

In fact, 54% of social media users research products on the platforms and users are 6x more likely to buy from a product page if the page includes images used on social media.

By optimising your posts, you can increase your page’s visibility within searches and could see more customers purchasing your products.

How important is social media to SEO?

Before we dive into it, we need to establish that Google does not see social signals (such as likes, followers or comments) as key ranking factors.

So why does social media SEO matter?

Despite what Google states, there is some research suggesting that social media may affect your SEO performance after all.

After analysing 23 million shares, CognitiveSEO discovered that having a strong social media presence correlates to better rankings, highlighting the importance of optimising your posts to reach and engage with more potential customers.

After all, posts that get shared a lot get seen a lot.

Knowing existing and current SEO practices is pivotal to achieving great social SEO as it allows you to create content that is both engaging and visible to potential customers.

For example, small businesses looking to reach a wider audience should optimise their social media posts in tandem with a local SEO strategy to reach the biggest audience possible.

By making your brand more visible across numerous social media platforms, the more brand awareness you will generate and the more clients you will convert.

How social media helps SEO

Although social media is not directly labelled as a factor that can affect your site’s SEO, it can greatly improve your business.

Some of the key ways social media can improve your SEO include:

  • Creating a web of relevant backlinks
  • Social media posts get indexed by Google which can affect your SERP rankings
  • Enhancing organic traffic and online visibility
  • Giving posts a longer lifespan
  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Improving brand reputation
  • Boosting local SEO
  • Setting the stage for boundless content distribution

Choosing the right social media channels for your strategy

Before kicking off your social media SEO strategy, it’s vital that

Sure, it could be argued that being active on every social media platform is an effective way of boosting exposure, but if your target audience isn’t regularly on there you may be wasting valuable hours.

You must first consider who your target audience is by creating a buyer persona. This serves as a template to base your digital marketing strategies around, ensuring that you are constantly creating content for the correct audience.

From here, you should start to consider which social media platforms they will be most active – and more importantly, where they’ll be least active.

For example, if you have the choice of promoting your finance business on Tumblr or LinkedIn, we can almost guarantee your time will be best spent optimising for LinkedIn.

On the other hand, if you are a clothing brand that draws inspiration from pop culture, a strategy on Tumblr or Pinterest could be an effective one.

As a rule of thumb, we find that Facebook and Instagram are two of the most effective platforms to market on in 2023, especially considering that Facebook has over 2 billion daily users and Instagram has more than 500 million daily users.

However, in recent years, we have seen TikTok emerge as a new heavy hitter in the social media field, with over 1 billion active users worldwide making it a platform that simply cannot be ignored.

Regardless of the platform you use, make sure you are tailoring the content to each platform otherwise it will become repetitive and users will switch off.

The power of imagery for social media

Do not underestimate the power of strong imagery when posting on social media.

With channels like Instagram, Facebook and X all favouring image-based content, profiles posting high-quality imagery are more likely to receive a higher engagement rate.

Not only will consistently posting high-quality images encourage a higher rate of engagement, but it can also create an unmistakable sense of brand consistency that will allow your company to build trust with users and consumers.

It is worth noting that each platform has guidelines on the maximum pixel size any given image can have.

If you don’t meet these requirements your images will be compressed and lose some of their crisp, engaging quality. These requirements are:

  • Facebook: 1200 x 630 pixels
  • X / Twitter: 1600 x 900 pixels
  • Instagram: 1080 x 1350 pixels (portrait) / 1080 x 1080 pixels (square)
  • LinkedIn: 1200 x 630 pixels
  • Youtube thumbnail: 1280 x 720 pixels
  • Pinterest: 1000 x 1500 pixels

Social media SEO tips

Most social media platforms have their own set of algorithms, meaning each post should be modified to meet the individual requirements of each site’s demands.

Besides making original, conversation-provoking content, here are some tips to consider when doing SEO for social media sites:

Instagram SEO tips:

  • Adding alt-text can make your content more accessible to users and can also help Instagram understand exactly what your content is. This way, your content can appear in more relevant searches.
  • Including relevant keywords and hashtags in your caption can also indicate to the platform what your content is about. Hiding hashtags in the comment section is no longer an effective strategy to improve social media SEO.
  • Optimising your Instagram profile to suit modern SEO practices can also help your page stand out. This can include using valuable keywords in your name, handle and bio, and adding a location if relevant.
  • Speaking of location, tagging your location on posts can make your content stand out on Instagram Maps and can massively improve local searches on the platform.
  • Adding auto-generated captions can make your posts more accessible and is an excellent way of getting your targeted keywords to appear on the screen.

LinkedIn SEO tips:

  • Begin by optimising your LinkedIn page’s SEO by adding relevant and researched keywords on your page’s tagline and about us section.
  • Long-form content works exceptionally well on LinkedIn, so try to add longer posts with more in-depth information.
  • Experienced SEOs know the damage keyword stuffing can do to your site, and this especially runs true with LinkedIn SEO. Pages that overstuff keywords may be flagged by Linkedin as spam, severely damaging their visibility on the platform.

X (Formally known as Twitter) SEO tips:

  • Using keywords in your X (Twitter) name, handle and bio will help to optimise your X profile.
  • Naturally integrating keywords and hashtags into your tweets can help X’s algorithm show your content to relevant audience members.
  • If your tweet includes an image, adding alt text will make the content more accessible to users while also helping X bots identify what it is you are posting.

Facebook SEO tips:

  • Using main keywords in your Facebook page name, username, bio and posts will help potential customers find you.
  • Uploading captions and alt text with every image will also allow Facebook bots to identify what the content is about.
  • Hashtags can be used effectively on Facebook as they are indexed by search engines just like keywords.
  • If relevant, adding a business address to your profile and enabling reviews can help local SEO.
  • Businesses with multiple locations (e.g. London and New York) should make an individual page for each location. This can benefit both organic and local SEO as each page will be tailored to the location.
  • Although it won’t provide organic traffic, utilising paid promotion can help boost visibility, even in niche searches.

TikTok SEO tips:

  • Adding relevant keywords to your profile will improve the SEO of your profile
  • Saying your targeted keywords in your video out loud will help the algorithm identify your content as relevant to certain audiences.
  • Adding an in-text overlay of any speech on your videos will also make these keywords appear twice (and if the audience turns on the auto-generated closed captions, your keyword will appear three times at once instance!)
  • Targeting specific, trending keywords will make your content more visible to users and boost your brand awareness.
  • Although TikTok focuses more on keywords than hashtags, adding relevant hashtags to your captions can still help users find your content.

Pinterest SEO tips:

  • Pinterest works off of an SEO-friendly algorithm, hence it is imperative to add relevant keywords to your board titles. Your profile and board names should contain the main keywords you’re targeting.
  • Long-tail keywords are known to provide good results when used in Pin titles.
  • When creating a pin description, make sure it’s optimised with relevant search terms that align with what people are searching for on Pinterest.
  • Adding hashtags to your pin descriptions can help people find content related to a specific topic.
  • Since Pinterest is a powerful visual search engine, use high-quality images to stand out from other images on search result pages.

Youtube SEO tips:

  • Incorporating your primary keyword phrase into the video file name is key for YouTube SEO (e.g. social-media-SEO.mov).
  • Going on from this, adding your primary keyword in your title will help your video stand out. For better results, write it in a longer form as to how the user might type out the video search.
  • Adding keywords in the first two lines of your video description will help YouTube bots identify your content.
  • Much like TikTok, saying the keywords in your video will make it easier for YouTube bots to identify what your content is about.
  • Adding subtitles or closed captions to your videos will not only improve accessibility but will also add another element that can contain more keywords and phrases related to the topic.
  • Long-form videos are favoured by YouTube’s algorithm, so try to make your videos longer than 10 minutes when you can.
  • Creating ‘how to’ videos will increase the likelihood of users watching them in full as ‘how to’ videos tend to have more engagement.
  • Don’t worry too much about tags, YouTube’s algorithm has stated they only really use these to address common misspellings.

Ways an SEO social media strategy can help your business

We have already established what social SEO is and ways you can implement it on various social media, but how can social media and SEO work together to actually improve your business?

Below are five key ways SEO and social media marketing can improve your business:

1) Get your content seen

Social media SEO requires businesses to take a more active approach to their content marketing.

Users are typically looking for certain content, so by including relevant keywords in your pages, posts and profiles, you can make sure your content is more visible on a search engine’s platform. As the rule goes, the better the content and the page, the more people see it.

2) Grow on your social channels

By using SEO strategies, you can find the right keywords to use on your social media posts. This will allow you to grow your followers organically and reach more potential customers who didn’t know about your business yesterday.

3) Reach a new audience and potential customers

By optimising your posts for SEO, you’ll be able to reach new audiences and potential customers who might not have been exposed to your content without this optimisation. These users could then visit your site and convert into leads.

4) Increase engagement with followers

Following on from the last point, when people find the content they are interested in, they’re more likely to share it or comment on it.  After finding your page, a new user could share your content with a whole other brand new audience, increasing engagement and the overall reach of your page.

5) Improve brand visibility and recognition

By optimising your page and reaching a wealth of new users, you will enhance your brand visibility and be known to individuals who wouldn’t have otherwise known about your brand. These platforms will only make it easier for potential customers to find you online and then convert into a lead.

Reach a bigger audience with Inc Studio

Thank you for reading our post on social media SEO! The importance of social media SEO cannot be understated and we hope you can make use of the information in it.

If you’re looking to improve your online visibility, brand awareness and organic traffic, get in touch with Inc Studio today. We are a full-service design and SEO agency offering a wealth of services within the B2B space.

Simply get in touch with us using the details on our contact page and tell us about your business. We will be in touch with you shortly.