It’s easy to treat social media and SEO as separate marketing tools, but there are many benefits to viewing them under same umbrella. By being strategic in your social media content and leveraging the features each platform offers, you’ll naturally see your SEO efforts improve over time.

Industry experts often argue causation vs. correlation, but it’s clear that even indirectly, a relationship does exist. Google has gone as far as to say that social signals do not directly affect SEO, but here’s what we do know: search engines monitor and take into account shares, retweets, and engagements. Social shares may not directly affect a site’s position in search listings, but profiles definitely influence the content of your search results. Just google any major brand or influencer and their Facebook page or Twitter profile will be one of the top results.

To that point, be sure to keep your social profiles updated and make sure they accurately represent your unit or brand (i.e. current links to your site).

*Keep in mind: Quality over quantity matters in social – Better to have two or three well-maintained profiles than six dormant ones.

Links on social media profiles are often considered high-quality because social media sites have a high web authority to begin with. Even if your Facebook page is new with very few followers, it’s likely to rank highly (potentially even above your own site) thanks to Facebook’s digital klout.

Google the Librarian

Think of the internet as a constantly expanding library, with millions of books and publications, but no structured filing system. As the library continues to get bigger and bigger, it becomes increasingly difficult to find what you’re looking for. That’s where search engines come in.

Search engines serve as an independent filing system for this vast library of digital content. Google constantly crawls, tags, and indexes the internet to help you find the right article or information. More so, Google uses Twitter to discover new content. Tweets can even be displayed in search results and allow for timely delivery of trending content. Now, with the advent of Google Posts (an experimental feature where select users can publish directly to Google), it seems Google is even more committed to blending social media posts and search results.

Make Content Shareable

The more people who see your posts, the more who might share or engage with them. Make sure your profiles are public. Sites like Pinterest make it easy for your content to be both searchable and shareable.

Simply put, the best way to get your unit/brand/organization to appear in search results is to focus on providing as much helpful information as possible. On social media, this means keeping your profiles and contact information up to date, building out your fan base and posting engaging content that extends your brand’s reach.

Social Media Channels as Search Engines

Google and Bing aren’t the first place that people go to search for information anymore. Pinterest, YouTube, and every other social media platform are increasingly where users go to find what they’re looking for. At the same time, it’s very likely that people will discover your organization or college on Twitter or Facebook through hashtags, a specific event that’s getting some buzz, or a friend sharing your posts instead of finding your content via traditional search engines.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, the goal for both SEO and social media is increasing brand awareness and engagement. The days of relying solely on search engine optimization to generate web traffic are behind us. Building your online reputation through high-quality content and accurate, helpful information will lead to greater online visibility. Search engines and social media will continue to blur the lines between how content is shared and searched, so it’s important and beneficial to expand your concept of traditional SEO techniques to include social media.