It’s lunchtime on Wednesday. You’re scrolling through your brand’s social media feed. Your latest post is captivating, on brand and informative. What a great way to connect with customers!
Did you know it’s also a way to improve your SEO?
Let me guess… You just fell out of your chair. Don’t worry, it’s true!
So, what improves SEO?
We‘ve all heard about how these SEO strategies apply to websites. Well, these strategies are also true for social media! Think of your social media as an extension of your website. If your website represents your business’s storefront, your social media is the enticing window display that convinces customers to walk through the front door.
In this post, we’ll talk about how to use social media marketing to build the best window display on the block! As a bonus, we’ll include handy accessibility tips to further improve your SEO.
Keywords are the building blocks for boosting SEO and gaining a competitive edge. If you haven’t already, start building a list of keywords that are relevant to your customers, business and industry. Use analytics tools like Google Search Console or Moz’s Keyword Explorer to research keywords your customers are using. Run a competitor analysis to discover new keywords. Maybe you even have a catchphrase or tagline for your business. When deciding on your hashtags, this is the perfect place to start.
Depends on which platform you’re using!
For Twitter, keep it short and sweet and stick with 1 to 3 hashtags for each post (this will keep your tweet under the allotted 280 characters). For starters, create a specific hashtag for your brand and include that with each tweet. From there — mix it up! Perhaps a trending hashtag? Or, something related to your brand’s niche?
For Instagram, you can use up to 30 hashtags per post. We recommend using 10 to 20 hashtags that are carefully selected for optimal engagement (and so your post doesn’t look too cluttered). Hashtags are a great opportunity to add color to your posts and reach new audiences! *Pro Tip: Add your hashtags as a comment to declutter your caption.
Okay, you’re #Convinced. Now...what to hashtag?
As a good rule of thumb, you should have a handful of consistent hashtags related to your brand. Approach your consistent hashtags the same way you approach your website. Which keywords do people use to search for your business? Likewise, which hashtags do people use to engage with your brand?
We recommend using 5 consistent hashtags to build a base of fans and followers that will eventually become clients and partners! For Instagram, use these 5 hashtags with each post. For Twitter, rotate hashtags based on their relevance to each post.
Next up...explore! Diversify your hashtags with each post. Change it up based on the post’s content, the day of the week and current events. Add your voice to trending topics. Experimenting with hashtags is a great way to uncover unique and powerful niche hashtags that you can make your own. With niche hashtags, fewer brand results will surface, allowing your brand to stand out from the rest.
Spend some time categorizing your hashtags. For example, use trending, general, niche, creative, and industry-specific hashtags. Be flexible! If your hashtags aren’t resonating, switch it up.
Accessibility Tip: Make sure everyone can access your social media content by including alt text image and video captions. When you’re ready to post your accessible content, use the following hashtags to let your followers know you’re making accessibility a priority:
#AccessibilityMatters #AltText #ImageDescription #Captions #InclusivityMatters
*Always use CamelCase with Hashtags! It’s easier for screen readers to interpret your hashtags this way.
So, you’ve attracted more followers with your carefully crafted hashtags. How do you convert those followers to website visitors?
This is a common mistake that many businesses make with social media. Once they’ve gained a follower, they often neglect to nurture that relationship. It’s simple: you’re more likely to get likes and comments if you give likes and comments. Also, more social media engagement increases the algorithm for your posts (similar to the way clicks increase your website’s SEO).
Likes and comments are great — but what you really want are clicks for your website, right?
One of the best ways to improve SEO is to add backlinks to your website. Start with a link to your website in your company profile. At the very least, make sure you’ve included your website in your “About Me” or “Bio”.
As a bonus, include your website in a post to save a step for your followers. For Twitter and LinkedIn, this is pretty straightforward. For Instagram, it’s a little trickier because users can’t click on links in captions. Try shortening your link for easy copying and pasting or use #LinkInBio to direct users to a clickable link.
Feature one of your website’s pages. This encourages users to navigate to the website and click through to other pages as well. The more visitors engage with your website, the more you are driving SEO.
Create shareable content. Whether that’s a beautiful photo, an inspiring quote or an attractive infographic, create posts that inspire followers to retweet and share your content with their fanbase. This drives traffic to your profile which in turn drives traffic to your site.
Location Tagging. Especially if you are doing business in a smaller metropolitan area. Clients in your area are more likely to connect with your brand if you’re local. Just like people follow hashtags, people follow locations too. This increases your reach and leads to higher engagement.
Social media accounts often surface in Google searches, especially if someone is specifically searching for your brand or business name. The more social media sites you maintain (with consistent content), the more credible your brand appears. Also, keep in mind that some users prefer to check out your social media before diving into your website. Your social media sites may be your first business impression!
Accessibility Tip: Shorten URL links in posts. Remember screen readers read every character. The shorter the better! As a bonus, the URL looks cleaner, too. Polished, streamlined content creates a better overall user experience (UX) for your audience.
Which leads us to our final point…
When it comes to UX, make sure your content is:
Visually Appealing. This is an obvious connection to your Instagram content. Your images should be creative, sharp and attractive. Tweets and LinkedIn posts can be visually appealing too! As always, make sure to add an alt text description before posting.
Relevant. When was your last social media post? If you have to think about it, it’s been too long. Post consistently to keep your followers up to date. Two posts a week is a good starting goal. Your post could inspire someone to check out your other content!
Easy to Navigate. Are users able to quickly access your website and contact details? Fix any broken links and position your brand’s mission statement front and center.
Relatable. Set your intention for each post. Do you want to: inspire, inform, entertain, connect, or offer? Keep your captions short and entertaining. For longer posts, focus on drawing your readers in with an intriguing first line.
Accessible for All Users. Websites that prioritize accessibility automatically have better SEO. Do the same for your social media to demonstrate your commitment to accessibility! Alt Text for Images; Captions for Videos; CamelCase Hashtags. Check out Scribely’s Instagram post on this topic.
Naturalistic in Speech. We can’t emphasize this enough, because…
The world can be a lot to handle at times and many turn to social media to stay personally connected with people and businesses that inspire them. In fact, according to Content Marketing Institute’s recent poll, 2020 will be the year for naturalistic voices in social media.
Many people consider social media as part of their downtime (or what they do to take a break at work). This is the perfect time to connect with potential clients who are in a more receptive state of mind and more likely to engage with businesses on social media.
Gone are the days of formal business pitches. Nowadays, customers are more likely to choose a business that stands out from the rest and resonates with interests and ideas on a human level.
Accessibility Tip: Simplify your image’s file name. Why? Would you look at a photo called 1209oijflkjf3092akdEE.jpg? No? We thought so. Rename your file to give it some context. Search engine bots and screen readers will have more context for the image. Now, would you look at a photo called cute-otter.jpg? Of course! Who doesn’t love otters!?
So, what’s the verdict? Can social media improve your SEO? Absolutely!
Think of your social media strategy as one of the many tools you can use to improve SEO. Another important tool…prioritizing accessibility features across your website and social media platforms. In our next blog, we’ll get more specific on how to create accessible content that strengthens your business and attracts more customers.
Interested in learning more about how the experts at Scribely can help you meet your accessibility goals? Contact us today for more information!