SANTA MONICA, CA – As a writer and administrative assistant to the CEO of an SEO company that provides its customers with the tools for landing a top spot on the first page of Google, I have had the chance to meet many experts in the fields of search engine optimization and social media marketing. By working with them, I have learned that to Millionairium, you must understand the many different factors required for effective Google SEO. Blog optimization is one important factor, but so is making sure that the online audience engages in the conversation, hence our constant examining of social media importance. After all, I have found myself repeatedly seeking new answers to these two recurring questions: how effective is social media marketing (SMM) for the bottom line and why does it matter for SEO?
Seeking some fresh insight, I decided to talk to an expert with a writing and marketing background similar to mine, Aaron Smyk, who is the Director of Web Marketing for Transparent Corporation. Before I delve into the details of what Transparent Corp. has done with SMM, I must first join with Smyk in issuing a disclaimer regarding my ‘new’ findings. Setting out to prove the effectiveness of social media marketing is nothing ‘new’, and has actually been the topic of countless debates over the years. One of the earliest and most public discussions took place at the Search Marketing Expo in Seattle, where moderator Danny Sullivan introduced the importance of SMM to SEO efforts.
“Search engine optimizers really need to understand social media. Social media traffic is great for a site. A lot of people are going to social media sites and are doing a basic behavior of discovery,” Sullivan said.
Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz.org pointed to YouTube as an example of the power of Social Media Marketing.
“What can viral media marketing do for you? Do you remember when there was no YouTube? In December of 2005, YouTube became more popular in a month. What did that? Lazy Sunday from Saturday Night Live was put there, and now YouTube dominates the market. Viral media gives you the ability to brand. Viral media causes search rankings through links. Viral media means that you are growing your fan base. RSS subscribers go up,” Fishkin said.
New Money Making Opportunities With Social Media Marketing Platforms
Over the years, the effectiveness of SMM has lead to a plethora of online opportunities that just didn’t exist before, and they range from gaining clients and readers to finding a job. Sites that were once used primarily for link bait are now bringing job opportunities to the attention of qualified applicants.
Reddit is how Smyk became the Director of Web Marketing for Transparent Corporation, a developer of software aimed toward neural stimulation, mental training and biofeedback. Serving over 100 countries, Transparent’s products are used by therapists, businesses, M.D.’s, teachers, academic researchers and the masses. Smyk was immediately interested in the position and was happy to talk about the value of sites like Reddit.
“There is a sort of common culture that unites people on that site, and I think having that common base of interests carried over really nicely into this role,” Smyk said.
The Overlap Between SEO and SMM: Getting Results By Combining Them
Smyk has witnessed the overlap between SEO and SSM and said that while it has been hard for him to tell which set of techniques is more effective on their own, good content will always provide better SEO results.
“It’s a hazy area… is a site ranking well because they have lots of ‘likes’ on Facebook? Or is it ranking well because that content is good, has been linked to extensively, and as a result, has also picked up a bunch of positive social stats?” Smyk asked rhetorically, adding his opinion. “If something does well on a social platform, that shows you that you’ve created something that is actually meeting a need and getting attention, and also increases the exposure to that content.”
Jumping on the social media bandwagon is a topic that Millionairium has been addressing from the beginning, and this fact remains the same: you need to have a Facebook account and a fan page for your business, says Millionairium CEO Ali Husayni.
“You need to encourage your friends to ‘like’ the page, and you must post useful information, videos and photos to it on a regular basis,” Husayni said.
Of course, Google+ has come into the picture and provided another social media marketing platform.
Google+ Brings New Opportunities
In a recent blog post about Google+, we talked about how the benefits of Google plus are many, and if you don’t have a Google+ account, you are strongly advised to get one.
“It’s a real step in the right direction. They needed to have it from the get-go,” Husayni said.
Smyk sees the value in Google+ for business, but notes that Google+ has its limits.
“Google+ is a completely different story… a single +1 can have a huge impact on how that page is presented in Google SERPs, but that is only if you’re signed into Google,” Smyk said. “Safe to say, if your audience appears to be using Google Plus, you need to have a strategy for it by now.”
Smyk also made an important note about the role of SMM in his line of work, stating that everyone in the SEO industry should be keeping an eye on social media marketing, as best practices in the area are constantly evolving. Husayni agrees that SMM is evolving just as SEO is.
“As SEO continually evolves, so does the need for a dedicated team ready to meet the demands of an ever-changing market. After all, getting to the top of Google takes determination, hard work and a little bit of patience,” Husayni said. “You may not have the budget for a full-scale SEO campaign if you’re just starting out, but having an SEO consultant to get you started may very well be within your budget and well worth the expense.”