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Social media’s growing influence on search rankings

In the fast-evolving world of social media, it’s clear the only constant is change. What may have been “best practices” six months ago can be eclipsed by a whole new set of tactics today.

Google and Facebook are adding to the frenzy by introducing additional interactive elements (“like” and “fan” buttons) pertaining to web pages and articles. Far more than just a popularity contest, these data are now being factored into search engine rankings.

Beyond this, research shows there’s a correlation between being “liked” and achieving improved monetary values. For instance, Syncapse, a social media management firm, has found that fans of products or brands on Facebook spend an average of ~$72 more than they would otherwise spend on those products. They’re ~40% more likely than non-fans to recommend the products to others … and ~30% more likely to continue to use the brand over time.

So what can companies do to earn these coveted “likes” and “fan” designations? It depends on your product or service, of course. But many of the tactics fall into one of three categories:

  • Coupons, promotions and giveaways: They’re the #1 reason people become fans.
  • Solving problems: Educating and informing can be extremely valuable to people.
  • Entertainment: Sometimes bringing a smile to someone’s face is all it takes to earn a “like.”

Whatever tactics you employ, it’s important to remember that “likes and fans” are now viewed by search engines as another form of relevant data, right up there with the explicit content on your web page …


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