Published on January 18th, 2017 | by Anna R0
Should You Invest In Social Media & SEO This 2017?
Should you invest in social media and search engine optimization (SEO) in 2017? Let the figures help you decide. According to recent statistics, the number of social media users worldwide will rise to 2.67 billion in 2018, up from 1.91 billion in 2014. The current number of active social media users is equivalent to a third of the global population.
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are no longer websites that simply connect people. These have become a marketplace for ideas and business opportunities. In Southeast Asia, people use social media to buy and sell clothes, books, appliances, and gadgets. A recent poll also showed that 80% of respondents aged 16 to 45 said that recommendations on social networks influence their online shopping decisions.
Social media and SEO are the wheels of online marketing. By leveraging social media tools to boost your SEO, you’d be able to achieve your marketing goals. Here are five social media and SEO trends for 2017 that you should know.
The more informative your business page, the better
Consumers check Facebook pages of businesses before buying a product. “Brands these days usually have a link to their website on Instagram and if I see something that I really like, I end up buying it nearly half of the time,” 25-year-old Jermaine Lim tells Channel News Asia. In creating your social media page, remember to place all pertinent information a potential customer would need to do with business with you in the most convenient way. Your NAP (name, address and phone), maps and images related to your offerings shall boost your local SEO, which allow you to target local consumers.
Video, gifs, and memes
There are countless content posted in social media every day. How can your content stand out? Social media users demand “on-the-go” materials. They scan content, “like” or “share” appealing items, and sometimes follow external links. Facebook’s Instant Articles encourages users to read articles and watch videos posted by publishers and brands without leaving the Facebook environment. To maximize this feature, know the types of materials that appeal to your target market. Are they well-educated people who read a lot? Are they millennials who appreciate creative videos? Also take note that live streaming, available on Facebook, SnapChat and Instagram, is an increasingly popular trend in social networks.
More interactive visual content
Quality content is one of the most important Google ranking factors. When you invest in content, you invest in SEO. What is quality content? According to Google, “Your site’s content should be unique, specific and high quality. It should not be mass-produced or outsourced on a large number of other sites.” For an engaging content, you can add images and videos of your products, your team or yourself.
One emerging trend for 2017 is social slideshows. TechCrunch explains Facebook’s Slideshow: “Now if you’ve taken more than five photos or videos in the last 24 hours and go to post a status, Facebook will suggest you create a Slideshow. It may also give you the option to ‘Try It’ when viewing a friend’s Slideshow.” You can use it to share events and happenings in your business.
Mind customers’ reviews
Review signals are major ranking factors. A survey from BrightLocal suggests that a business needs seven to 10 reviews before people can trust you. You should also take note of review quantity, review velocity, and review diversity. Keywords are among Google’s ranking factors. There must be product or service keywords in reviews to boost your SEO. Just a friendly reminder, though: don’t overdo it.
Negative reviews are inevitable. It’s important that you monitor these reviews to identify and resolve customer issues. When a negative feedback shows up, take the time to plan your response. “Responding too soon, in anger or self-righteousness, can do more damage than the original review,” according to Entrepreneur.
Turn your customers into influencers
2017 is the year of user-generated content (UGC). UGC is “any digital content that is produced and shared by end-users, an online service or website.” This includes images, videos, status updates and tweets, infographics, comments, blogs. and online ads.
One amazing example of an effective UGC campaign is Starbucks’ White Cup Contest launched in April 2014. In a three-week period, about 4,000 customers submitted photos of themselves with their Starbucks cups. In 2013, Belkin and Lego developed a social platform for customers to share photos of their customized iPhone cases.
For this year, you can come up with a campaign encouraging customers to share content promoting your product or services. Think of a creative and catchy hashtag to share around social networks.
Should you invest in social media and SEO? Definitely. In a couple of years, a third of the world’s population will be connecting via social media. People are creating relations, sharing product and service recommendations, and trading online. The marketplace is going digital. Your marketing trends for 2017 should be responsive to the changing times.