Posted by David Oates 1 year, 6 months ago

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Many of us in the marketing realm see social media as mainstream. It's as - if not more - important to effectively communicate to intended audiences as traditional media. For many others, though, social media is still just a bunch of white noise, a fad with no purpose other than as a time waster or conveyance of mindless, narcissistic rants.

I get it. There's a great deal of clutter that comes with the undeniable fact that anyone with a smart phone can now broadcast their daily musings to the masses; something that only a short while ago was reserved to those that could afford to stand up an over-the-airways news station or printing press. No more. Now the likes of Snapchat, Periscope, Instagram and various podcast equipments turns even the most amateur of citizen journalists into a news source.

So it's understandable that a few organizations still don't see the value of social media. But don't lump all the posts into one big heaping junk pile. There are significant benefits to social media, but one often overlooked - and probably most important - is its impact to your organic search rankings.

Here's how. It's widely known that two of the most important factors the Google algorithm looks at in determining the value of a website and the information it provides is how many inbound links there are to it and how often those links are used by individuals. The right social media strategy points out valuable materials on a site and invites individuals to check it out. The more individuals do so, the better the site gets ranked.

The trick is to make sure your content is entertaining, informative and - as important - not all about you and your company. This is where an effective social media strategy gets a little Zen-ish. Information that appears self serving is off-putting and not worthy of a social media user's time to engage. This is where most organizations fail. They view Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other platforms in the same manner as the evening newscast; something that enables them to talk to - not at - a captive audience. Those days are gone. Consumers are in control and have a plethora of offerings for content they deem valuable. So your content has to appear genuine, sincere and with their - not your - best interest at heart.

Like it or not, social media has a place. I would submit that fundamental benefit - if done correctly - is to elevate the organic search engine rankings of your site. If you're not seeing that value from your social media efforts, it may not mean that you shouldn't continue putting resources into it. Instead, think about modifying your social media strategy.

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