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Does B2B Social Media Marketing Affect SEO?

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It is no stretch to say that social media marketing can be challenging, for both B2B and B2C companies. With social media’s focus on nurturing and building relationships, it can be difficult to see the value in B2B social media when B2B companies’ main goals involve lead generation. However, there are tremendous benefits to a well-thought-out B2B social media strategy, one of which is that it can increase your search rankings and improve your search engine optimization (SEO).

Continue reading to better understand why, as a B2B company, it is essential for you to join the social media marketing movement to help with your SEO efforts.

Bing Social Signals and Ranking Factors

First, the easy answer.

Bing is very transparent when stating social signals are indeed a positive ranking factor in its algorithm. Below is a quote from its Webmaster Guidelines.

"Social media plays a role in today’s effort to rank well in search results.  The most obvious part it plays is via influence.  If you are influential socially, this leads to your followers sharing your information widely, which in turn results in Bing seeing these positive signals.  These positive signals can have an impact on how you rank organically in the long run."

Bing cannot be ignored as an integral part of the search engine market. With Yahoo being powered by Bing since 2010, Bing makes up 33% of all desktop searches.

Thus, it is very much worth your while to develop a B2B social media strategy. Increasing your audience size will, in turn, lead to your content being shared more frequently which directly impacts your Bing organic search ranks.

Google Social Signals and Ranking Factors

Second, the not so easy answer.

Google is not as open as Bing when discussing ranking factors in its search algorithm. And by not as open, we mean super secretive. On several occasions, Google has explicitly stated that social media signals are not a direct ranking factor, meaning a company's "status" on major social networks Facebook and Twitter does not impact its page rank.

There are several reasons Google is not using social as a direct ranking factor. Broadly speaking, Google is not going to utilize Facebook or Twitter if it does not have complete confidence in their signals. Right now, Google is not able to crawl all of the pages on either of these sites without the real possibility of holes or blocks. Coupled with social sites’ extreme volatility, Google is wary of utilizing something it has limited access to as a direct ranking factor.

This, however, is not to say that social media cannot affect Google search results indirectly. Below are three ways you can use social media to positively affect your SEO.

1. Backlinks. If you create a piece of content and share it on your social pages, it could gain traction and additional shares from there. This leads to more eyes on your content which increases the likelihood of inbound external links to your site as additional content on the subject is created. And we know with certainty that backlinks are a direct ranking factor in the super secret algorithm.
 
2. Branding. We all know that trust plays a major role in decision making. Social media provides the perfect platform for promoting your brand’s trust. By sharing high-quality content across your social pages consistently, you are showcasing your brand’s knowledge and increasing trust. Subsequently, when a social user is viewing organic search results and they see your brand, one whose social content they have liked in the past, they are much more likely to click on your site over the other results.  
 
Consider this:

When I google “angle grinder,” I do not have a particular brand or supplier in mind. If I did, I would have searched “angle grinder milwaukee.” Thus, as I peruse search results, I will likely see multiple brands I recognize, but when it comes down to what link I am actually going to click on, it will first be a brand that has already gained my trust.
 

3. Create relevant content. Often overlooked is the strategy of using social media to determine what questions people in your space are asking. Perhaps a new product is being released or a new regulation is being enforced. With social media, you are more aware of the conversations and questions surrounding the latest developments in your industry. Armed with this knowledge, you are better able to create useful, quality content that answers these specific questions. As you know, quality content is shareable content, which circles us back to point one.

Conclusion

B2B social media strategy is a long-term, at times, strenuous process. We are not here to say it isn’t difficult, we are here to say it’s worth it. There are a great deal of business benefits to be gained from social media, and SEO should not be overlooked as one of them.

Bing has stated outright that social influence is a positive signal in its algorithm. The more followers and shares you have on social media, the higher your organic ranking. Although not a direct Google ranking factor, social media can still positively affect your SEO. Social media can directly impact the amount of inbound external links to your site, a confirmed factor, while increasing brand trust and keeping you informed of the most recent news in your space.

Plus, we have no way of knowing what the future holds. What is not a factor now could very well be a factor later. It’s important to keep this and the many other benefits of social media in mind.

Are you sold on the fact that your B2B company should focus on social media marketing? Take a look at these other resources to help develop a successful B2B social media strategy:

If you would like assistance with your B2B social media marketing, SEO strategies, or more, drop us a line. We love talking about what we do best.

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Allyson Amato

I am dedicated to generating leads, driving site traffic, and building brands with innovative, dynamic marketing strategies. Full bio

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