How to Use Social Media to Improve Your SEO

Did you know that your social media channels can help improve your public library’s ranking in search results? It’s true: While social media activity isn’t a ranking factor in search engine algorithms, it does have the potential to improve your search engine optimization (SEO). 

SEO and social media are highly complementary strategies that reinforce one another when implemented correctly. Just as improving your search ranking will draw more potential audiences to your social media, your social media presence, in turn, can move you up higher in search results. 

Here are some tips for improving your SEO with social media:  

Increase your follower count.

The number of followers and impressions on your social media has an impact on your ranking in search results, as well as the frequency of your content appearing on the coveted first page of a search. (Remember: first page results = more potential views and click-throughs!) However, the quality of those followers counts, so buying “proxy,” or bot followers, will not help rankings.  

Instead, focus on developing a unique and consistent brand. It’s important to use the same voice to share useful articles, resources and discussions at peak times. For example, if you want to share an in-person event at the library to increase attendance, first pose a relevant discussion question with appropriate hashtags. Then, engage in the conversation and reply directly.  

At the event, you may choose to “live-tweet” and engage in additional discussion online to increase awareness for future events. This process of close engagement and personalization will build an organic and genuine base of interactive followers that contribute to your authority in the online space and encourage additional followers with interests aligned to your brand. 

Use external links often.

As part of your social media marketing, focus on sharing content from other websites and resources as well as your own. We know that links are one of the top Google ranking factors, and while social media shares are not directly quantified as links within the search engine, there is a correlation between popular social media posts with credible content and the likelihood of viewers following your page and linking your original content around other areas of the web.  

In addition, brand association, while not a direct indicator for search results, has the ability to draw in audiences from others’ similar following. You should include your own content while commenting on existing threads and discussions whenever possible, such as those brands you want to be associated with. 

Optimize your posts for search engines. 

Google leans towards content that uses high-quality news articles, credible soundbites of information relevant to your industry keywords (known as Knowledge Graph entries), and popular social media updates and hashtags. To ensure you’re posting impactful content, start with a strong “anchor,” such as an infographic, article, video, etc. Then, frame the text for a specific query by weighing potential keywords in terms of current timeliness, popularity and even seasonality.  

Let’s say you want to share a video to promote a new coding bootcamp for girls that’s being held at the library. Your social media post should include hashtags for #girlswhocode and #STEM as well as relevant keyword phrases such as “learning how to code.”  

For more information, MarketingProfs has a social media “cheat sheet” that helps to quickly identify marketing trends on specific social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter. 

By aligning your social media marketing efforts with your search optimization plan, you can drive more traffic to your website, encourage more people to sign up for events, and expand your reach within the community. 

About Tiffany McClary

Tiffany McClary is the Director of Communications, Marketing & Outreach for the New Jersey State Library. She coordinates marketing and public relations initiatives in order to enhance the reputation of the State Library, and promote the value of NJ libraries and the services and programs that they provide to residents.