Which Social Media Platforms Should You Use for SEO?

by Jayson DeMers

Social media has become a wonderfully diverse field, with dozens of
different platforms in all kinds of different niches. While some
powerhouses have clearly risen to the top (i.e., Facebook), some
platforms offer incredible niche opportunities for businesses trying to get the most out of their campaigns.

when it comes to choosing the right platforms to support your SEO
campaign, things can get a bit confusing. It’s too much effort to pursue
a strategy on every single platform you can find, but at the same time
you want to make the most of your budget. So which social media
platforms work best to support an SEO campaign?

Why Social Media Matters for SEO

First, we need to clarify an important misconception: social media doesn’t directly affect your search rankings.
It may seem like getting more popularity on social media could feasibly
improve your rankings, but that’s not how Google’s algorithm works. So
why is social media still important for SEO? Because it has a number of
peripheral benefits for your search optimization strategy:

  • Building an audience.
    Social media makes it easier to build an audience, helping you expand
    your brand visibility and reputation, which in turn makes it easier to
    pursue SEO strategies like link building.
  • Promoting your content.
    Syndicating on the right platforms can also increase the reach of your
    content.  With more reach, a better reputation, and a bigger audience,
    you’ll also stand to earn more inbound links, which have a powerful
    effect on your organic search rankings.

A Look at Each Platform

Now let’s take a look at how each of today’s major platforms can help you in this regard:

1. Instagram.

up, we have Instagram, which now stands as the second-most popular
social platform in the world (with over 400 million users). Instagram
has a huge visibility advantage–if you run a contest here, you could easily attract hundreds of new followers
or retain some of your older ones. It doesn’t take much effort to
manage a branded account, but there’s one major disadvantage; you can’t
include links in your posts. This makes it exceptionally hard to
distribute your content and earn more links.

2. Facebook.

remains the king of social media, with more than a billion users
worldwide and enough flexible functionality to make even the pickiest
marketer happy. You can post links, written content, images, or video,
and employ contests, run ads, or join groups and participate in
discussions. It’s arguably the best platform for content syndication and
audience growth due to its universal appeal, but keep in mind that organic reach is slowing down, making it more difficult to scale effectively.

3. Twitter.

is a fast-paced platform that allows you to syndicate links quickly and
reach out to new people easily. For these reasons, it’s one of the
better platforms for quickly building an audience and pushing your
content out. However, the main drawback for Twitter is that it’s showing
signs that it may be past its prime as a social media channel. Many
people have predicted the imminent death of Twitter, and its user base
doesn’t show many signs of a potential recovery.

4. LinkedIn.

serves a great niche–professionals, entrepreneurs, and career
builders. Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks. LinkedIn caters to
individuals, so there aren’t as many opportunities for brand pages to
get visibility. However, if you’re using personal brands as conduits to
gain connections, participate in groups, and promote your core brand’s
content, it can be highly effective.

5. Pinterest.

format makes it a make-or-break platform for most brands. If you’re
interested in promoting image-based content or appeal to its consumer
demographics, it can be one of your greatest assets. However, there
isn’t much range of functionality here, and it’s not going to appeal to
every business. It also has a comparably smaller user base than the
above candidates.

Though all of these platforms have advantages
and disadvantages for SEO, you still need to consider how your specific
brand fits into the equation. Different platforms will cater to
different individual brands, so it’s important you know what your
specific business’s advantages and disadvantages are. For example, if
you’re consumer-focused with lots of visual products, Pinterest will
work better for you. If you’re a business consultant catering to
late-career professionals, LinkedIn will be better. Of course, the only
way to tell for sure is to try a platform and see how it performs–just
don’t be afraid to cut the dead weight.

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