“He Said, She Said”: Social Media Reviews, Marketing and Online SEO
A study carried out by Search Metrics in 2013 measured which factors on a website are most important to ranking high on Google’s search results. The study showed that it is no longer keyword and internal link tactics that impact results most; social media factors such as Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter activities are playing a large role now. Below is a display of the results.
When it comes to SEO and social media strategy planning, the name of the game for a business is building trust with the customers. According to Google, 97% of customers search for local businesses and offers online.
With social factors determining largely what results come up, one of the biggest priorities needs to be building an online reputation through social media platforms. If customers can’t find out about a business, or don’t like what they see, they’ll go to the competition. Let’s take a closer look at the importance of customer reviews.
How Important Are Reviews?
This survey, which was based on the results of 1046 customers of a particular mid-sized company, showed that 88% of customers were influenced by reading reviews before making their buying decision:
As you can see, the majority of customers were influenced both for and against a product by reading reviews. The next part of the study looked at the percentage of customers who shared their own experiences through a review and where they did so.
The results showed that 45% of customers share their bad reviews, while only 30% share their good reviews with online friends. In addition 35% shared bad reviews through online review sites, while 23% shared good reviews.
The repetitive trend to also note here is that more users are sharing bad reviews, than good ones. Also, the overall amount of reviews shared via social media were average in comparison to those in person. Lastly, we will look at how many people are reading online reviews.
As you can see, the most commonly recalled place to read a positive review was Facebook. It is worth noting that 63% of customers recalled reading a negative online review somewhere, while 69% recalled reading a positive one. An average of 66% customers had read an online review.
If 66% of your potential customers are reading online reviews about your business, what would they find?
Social Media is a New SEO Tactic
It is for this reason that a business must not only just use specific keywords, add backlinks and provide valuable online content. They must also build their online reputation and popularity by encouraging satisfied customers to share their good experiences via a social media platform. This is one of the reasons why social media will impact SEO.
According to the survey, 39% of the participants had seen bad customer survey reviews on review sites, whilst 44% had seen positive customer service reviews on Facebook. These are the first places that a business must begin making a positive impression in order to win customers over.
Tips on Social Media SEO Strategy
It is time for businesses to merge SEO and social media together. This may prove difficult because social media is about people, while SEO has always been about analytic processes. In order to successfully merge the two, the focus has to be on networking and engaging honestly.
Customers want to know about businesses and the true benefits they offer. The best way to get that information is good old fashioned “word of mouth”. Because people want to know the truth about products, reviews are becoming the content of top search results.
There is no better way around building your reputation, than offering quality products and services, encouraging reviews and letting the good business speak for itself. Here are a few other tips to take away:
- The Ripple Effect-The goal is for your content to spread as far as possible. You want messages that start as a drop, to send out a ripple which gets larger and larger. To do so, the message must be something that impacts or engages the audience.
- Reviews-Google presents people who are searching for businesses with local results which rank well. Therefore, by having reviews online for your business, local customers will be influenced.
- Hire an Expert-Recruit the help of a social media consultant who knows the tactics to follow in order to make the most of your efforts and dollars.
- Ask Your Customers for Reviews– Your customers need to get the memo that you want them to go online and share their experience. There are many ways to do this now with QR codes, push notifications, follow up emails and even displays in your store.
- Create an Incentive– Offer an incentive for customers who post an online review for you.
- Network-Focus on building your online network. You want to expand and reach as many people as you can. This takes consistent engagement and online activity.
- Create Engaging Content-. You must provide the information that you want people to see in an interesting way that encourages sharing.
Today, the internet is constantly changing and businesses, even if not actually online, are impacted by online material. The content of online material is continuously evolving. Big players like Google are aware of this and they change their search criteria regularly in order to maintain the search results people want.
Not being aware of these changes in search engine criteria and content, is detrimental to businesses. What this means now is that today’s businesses can no longer depend on one PR section and a separate SEO specialist. They must have the capability to link both of these together.
Although this initial approach should have a recognizable positive result on your business, it may be short lived if not updated regularly with Google and other search engine criteria updates. For now, a key factor for business is maintaining a good reputation through the old “he said, she said” with online reviews using social media.
From MavSocial | Social Media Marketing Software for Business