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The relationship between digital marketers and social media has been complicated at best and downright misunderstood at worst. For a long time social media was considered the untamed wild west of digital marketing, with people who knew little about it selling consultancy to those who knew even less.

Nowadays social media taken for granted as a rudimentary form of digital marketing that every practitioner does by default. How could anyone say no to marketing on social media when so many potential customers are using it habitually?

When it comes to the relationship between search engine optimisation and social media, there are some interesting revelations to be discovered. Let’s take a look at how social media influences SEO outcomes.

It does, but it doesn’t

Big search engine players like Google have made official statements declaring that social signals such as followers and engagement with posts don’t have a direct impact on website rankings. Google has outright said that they treat Facebook and Twitter pages just like any other website.

Therefore, while we can assume that social signals have no direct correlation to ranking outcomes, there are plenty of ways in which using social media fits into an SEO campaign.

Building brand awareness

The biggest benefit to using social media for a business is that it allows you to engage with an audience in an environment that fosters social engagement. This is especially useful for small businesses who want to engage directly with locals in an endearing way.

The best posts for social media engagement are usually humorous in nature and take advantage of internet culture by using memes or inside jokes. There is usually a fine line between being legitimately relevant and pandering to a digital audience, so you need to be careful with how far you try to push the humour.

This social engagement snowballs and gives your brand more exposure, which ultimately leads to more business as people discover your website. This is why it’s prudent to include a link to your website in your social media posts, prompting people to visit.

Driving traffic

All of your efforts on social media are ultimately designed to drive people to your business website so they can become customers. The reasons this effects SEO is because the more visitors you generate, the higher your ranking will go as search engines are seeing the traffic your page is getting.