Are social media conversations important for search?
The new anthem of CEO’s has been officially named “What’s the ROI of Social Media, Baby?” For some “social media strategists” the very thought of measuring social media efforts sends nerves-a-twitching before the chorus begins.
After all, how can you measure a relationship? Can you truly put a value on friendship?
If you’re in business, the answer is yes and YES.
Social media for search engine optimization
There’s no denying social media conversations open up a world of opportunities to meet new people. Some of those random chats turn into long-term, meaningful relationships and some don’t. Some conversations introduce you to people you would otherwise not have met. And some don’t.
What if the words used in those conversations echoed the keywords you’re trying to rank for on your website? For example, I work closely with Dr. Breus, a sleep doctor, and people often ask questions about insomnia and sleep challenges. Echoing back a question when supplying a link allows me provide useful information to the fan and to search engines.
Franny Facebook Fan – I can’t sleep and I’m desperate. Please help!!!!
We can’t give you medical advice, Franny Facebook Fan, but this link will give you the info you need: http://www.thesleepdoctor.com/resources.php
Sorry to hear you’re struggling with insomnia, Franny Facebook Fan. Many people suffer from sleep disorders and it’s frustrating when you can’t find the info you need. Have you visited Dr. Breus’s Blog? You can also find a sleep doctor near you on Dr. Breus Sleep Resource Page. ~ The Dream Team
See the difference? By taking time to echo back Franny’s concerns (Mom calls it active listening) and using Dr. Breus’ keywords, we’ve helped a fan AND the search engines find what they’re looking for.
Social media for stressed out strategists
But didn’t we say something about measurement? Before you start twitching again, social media is an online tool. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube connect through the Internet. That means search engines want to know what you’re doing – and why they should send traffic your way.
Every conversation you have on Twitter or Facebook is sorted, catalogued and, over time, build a case study about your brand. Just like every conversation you have with someone who walks in your door leads toward an opinion of your brand. The only difference is that the conversation in your store is with one person. Having a conversation on Facebook is like standing in a stadium and letting anyone in the world hear it. At their convenience. Forever.
Those conversations can be measured and tracked a number of ways. For example, Google Analytics lets you track:
- Keywords attracting visitors to your site
- Sites sending traffic to your site
- Bounce rate, which means visitors who came and left without clicking past the first page
While these tools are a great way to tweak your site’s performance, they can also help you gauge your social media effectiveness. If you’re spending money on social media, it makes sense to know whether that money is growing your business or…
Let’s not forget the relationship though…
There’s no denying social media is about relationships. It transforms cold calling to smart calling and helps people get to know you better before they buy from you.
But it’s more than that. Whether the conversations you engage in turn into a lasting relationship or not, each one exposes your brand to new people who may not have otherwise have met you. They allow you to transform your brand to a human experience. Instead of the experience being solely about the exchange of money for a product or service, they become an accountable, real relationship.
When I engage with a brand on social media, I enter a new type of relationship. They aren’t allowed to only market to me (though I understand that’s part of our relationship) and I am obligated to rant with respect. They must be true to their brand promises and I must be true to my willingness to allow a company to make it right when things go wrong. It’s a delicate balance – beautiful, complicated and much more enriching than reading an ad in a magazine.
Still think you can’t measure social media conversations? Last week I spoke at Tweetstock.ca and talked about my 5 Social Keyword Rules. Watch the video. It will help. I promise.
Post a comment below and let’s start talking.