Since the Google search algorithm relies on the number times your content is linked to and social media has become the key way that people share links with each other, it is clear that social media and SEO have become inextricably linked.
You only need to consider how many posts are generated on Twitter per hour to realise how big of an effect this can have on Google’s indexation process. Imagine that your brand gets picked up for some reason on Twitter. With tweets and retweets the Twitter storm can soon generate a mountain of content. This outpouring of tweets is going to make it rather a lot easier for Google to find your content. Once that happens you rise to the top of the search results and your naturally occurring traffic begins to grow.
Traditionally Google would look at how many sites linked to your page to decide how relevant it was and therefore how high up the page the result would come. As this mechanism has become understood and therefore manipulated, by the use of hidden text, dummy websites and the overuse of keywords, Google has had to refine it’s process. This is the reason why social media links have now become so important if you are interested in optimising your search results. Rather than trusting websites, Google is looking to ‘real people’ to decide how relevant things are. In essence posts, tweets and likes are the new signpost of the internet, and Google Plus,+1s are like signposts ringed in neon lights.
The other advantage of having well run active social media presences is that each social media account that you operate for your company will generate a search result. By keeping your social media accounts active you are maximising the number of avenues through which your customers can reach you. It is especially worth while keeping a Google plus a count active, because if someone does search for you Google will display the details of your Google plus account at the top of the page.
So far I have focused on Google in terms of searches because Google is far and away the major player in search engines. I do however want to point out that search engines are not the only way that people are connecting with brands and companies.
For many people, they will begin their search within their social media platform of choice. Rather than simply using Google they will search Facebook, for example, and use this content to assess your company before deciding if they wish to engage with you or not.
It is clear that there are many mechanisms through which social media can influence your connections with customers. Since social media runs on content it is clear that if you wish to make the connections that are needed to boost your site to the top of the search page you need to be developing your content, because on social media coverage content is king, and social media management is becoming indistinguishable from SEO.