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, including increasing search rankings and improving search engine optimization (SEO).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Check out our essential guide to B2B social media marketing for more insight on how to implement a strategy that produces results for your company. We explain social media marketing’s role in your marketing mix and how to define and implement a strategy that will help your industrial company produce results.