How to Integrate Social Media and SEO to Drive Brand AwarenessAs the owner of a small business, you know what it’s like to have a lot on your plate. Some days, it may feel as if you need a small army in place just to keep up with the way you need to market and brand yourself – not to mention making a profit and paying attention to your customers! Well, I’ve got a secret to share with you: you don’t need an army. All you need is a thirst for knowledge. The trick is to stay on top of trends and when things move, move with them!

Working in the marketing industry, I’ve come to understand that it is never about one thing or the other, it is about how all of the pieces of the puzzle come together to form the big picture. Ten years ago, your business might have gotten by with some television commercials and perhaps an advertisement or two in your local newspaper, but times have changed – how can you compete and stay on top today?

Getting Social 
You have to get social – and to do that you have to get active with an online presence on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Do you have a strategy for managing a successful social media presence? Here are a few key components to keep in mind when pulling one together.

  • Community building
  • Promotions and contests
  • Partnerships with local businesses
  • Branding
  • Sharing relevant information and building your expertise

Once you are active on social media and you have a following in place, you might start to realize that it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish yourself as greater than everyone else. Five years ago, having a presence online was enough but today, everyone is doing it. And you need to be better than the best.

Just as quick as you have come to this realization, those who are in charge of the algorithms and networks on social media have come to that same realization. Creators of social networks want to make the platforms as interactive and fulfilling as possible. This means that they are constantly coming up with ways to stay relevant.

How Can Your Business Stay Relevant: Social Media + SEO 
While social networking sites are searching for ways to remain relevant in the minds of consumers, your business is too. This is where you want to take the next step and bring in more pieces of your puzzle: are you familiar with SEO?

Search engine optimization is the way content is optimized to appear higher in search rankings. It is typically discussed as it relates to search engines such as Google – but guess what: Social media sites are search engines, too. And their algorithms are just as complex!

What is the bottom line? Integration. You want to mold your SEO strategy with your social media strategy.

Where can you start?

  • Coordinate your content marketing strategy with your social media strategy
  • What keywords drive traffic to the content on your website? Those are the keywords you want to implement in any future content. You can use free tools to do basic keyword research and create a strategy that integrates popular search terms with the ones that drive traffic to your site – then you can use those topics to post relevant content on your social media sites as well.
  • Which sites are people looking to for content? You will want to consider entertainment sources as well as news sources. This is relevant for curating relevant content that is not original content of your own to share on your social networking sites.
  • Always maintain a social presence. This is about more than just posting relevant an engaging content. Social media is about engagement on both ends. You want to be actively posting on other local community social accounts, too. This makes your presence known and gets people to pay attention to you, too.

The most important thing to do is pay attention to how the social media algorithms impact content in your news feed. For example, images tend to take higher value in a news feed – consider a social media content strategy that utilizes image heavy posts.

As a business owner, you want to do all you can to drive traffic to your brand. So get started today and remember that the more engaged and relevant you are, the better off you will be. These things won’t happen overnight, but if you work at it, you can succeed!

To summarize, here are your top 2 goals to try today:

  1. Create an effective content strategy that integrates social media
  2. Leverage your influencers and get involved with them

John Boudreau, COO and Co-Founder of Astonish, has been in the insurance marketing and technology business for nearly 10 years. He works closely with local insurance agencies across the country to understand what works and what doesn’t in an attempt to increase their share of the digital landscape through online marketing tactics and a robust customer relationship marketing tool. To find customer reviews of Astonish, formerly Astonish Results, see Before Astonish, Boudreau honed his problem-solving abilities while working as an environmental analytical chemist. He also founded Ion Marketing Group, a digital marketing company focused on the real estate industry. An avid musician, John plays the drums, the bass and the guitar.