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When it comes to exclusivity, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram  are no respecters of business. Every business, whether it is Nike or grandma’s brick and mortar knitting shop, they’re all joining the social media craze. Business owners are anxious to extend their reach in any way possible and it’s not just the hipster young millennials on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram anymore… it’s practically everyone.  In very rare circumstances is it a wise decision to not advertise your product or service via social media, but when it is, and in all circumstances, it’s wise to have a strategy.

Too many small business owners get a Facebook page, a Twitter, or and Instagram and expect the likes, follows and retweets to immediately come.  You need to have a strategy. I want to share with you what kind of SEO value of your social strategy will have on your search engine rankings.

The SEO Value of a Facebook Like

To many business owners’ dismay and misfortune, Facebook likes carry no direct weight in the rankings. Google can interpret how many likes a company has; however, they cannot determine the quality of those likes. With companies like Fiverr or Boostlikes, any business can purchase likes for a very inexpensive cost.  It’s been a long time since Google has given quantity more time of day than quality so be aware of the ineffectiveness of purchasing likes in relation to your SEO strategy.

The SEO Value of a Tweet/Retweet

A tweet has more gray area than a Facebook like when it comes to providing SEO value.  When a link is tweeted it is automatically made a “No follow” link, giving your fan’s shout out to your homepage absolutely no link juice. However this does not mean twitter is not worth your businesses time and effort.

Google, Bing and Yahoo all list tweets in their search results in real time. This means tweeting about a developing topic or a current event could lead to your tweet being seen by thousands or potentially millions based on content alone. Keep in mind that these search engines use the first 42 characters to determine keywords so choose them wisely. Through the use of relevant content, hash tags and @ tweets people can end up on your page indirectly and this is never a bad thing.

The SEO Value of an Instagram

Like a tweet, a link provided in a picture’s caption will provide no link juice. However, the concept of using hash tags is the same as twitter, and in my opinion, much more valuable. There are approximately seven hundred and eighty-six million, two hundred and forty thousand tweets a day. Let me write that number out for you… 786,140,000. While on the other hand, there are approximately 55 million posts to Instagram per day. That’s a little more than 14 tweets to every Instagram.

This means when
people search a hash tag on twitter, your tweet can quickly get lost in a sea of tweets with the same hash tag making it difficult for people to see your tweet after a short amount of time (depending on the uniqueness of the hash tag). However, with Instagram, your hash tagged picture will almost always stick around the top results for a much longer time than twitter.
It’s also important I note that Instagram has 200 million monthly mobile active users while Twitter has only a surprising 184 million. So not only will your picture stick around for longer, but you have a wider audience (at least to the smart phone user).
I am also of the opinion that people lose interest of scrolling through posts with a certain hash tag on twitter much more quickly than they do on Instagram. This is because tweets are primarily just text, whereas every Instagram post is either a picture or a video; there is a lot more stimuli to keep people interested and continuously viewing content.

Business owners usually use social media to engage with users and build relationships- as they should. However, it’s important that businesses think about how social media can have an indirect effect on SEO. Instead of just focusing your social media efforts on relationship building and engagement, make sure SEO comes up when you discuss and build your social media strategy.


Jamie Bates
Online Marketing Director