A lot of people ask me whether they really need to set up social properties and make posts on them. They might be in a niche that doesn’t really call for social activity, so they just don’t think it’s that valuable. Some people think that just setting up an account on Facebook and Twitter is all they need to do. What is the right answer?
There’s no real right answer, in my opinion. I try to think of what Google wants to see for the long-term, and I try to match everything I do with what I know Google wants to see. What does Google want to see? It wants to see a website that gets updated regularly with fresh, good content. It then wants to see a website that engages with its readership as much as possible. That usually happens through its social properties and through sites like Reddit. Google wants to see that the site is adding value to people not just on the site itself but also across the Internet.
What does that mean for SEO? For us, we definitely recommend setting Facebook, Twitter, and other social accounts. That alone could give you a small bump in rankings. However, we theorize that you don’t get much of an SEO benefit until you actively post and engage on your social accounts. Why would Google give a bump in rankings to a site that set up social accounts but never uses them? That doesn’t benefit readers very much. When we work with websites, we recommend that they blog consistently and be active on their social accounts. After a few months, they will start to see across the board jumps in rankings. It could be a coincidence or for other reasons, but we think the evidence is strong that being active on social media does eventually provide a great benefit for SEO.
It may seem like a lot of work to be active on social media. There are ways to make things easier and more automated. You can use a service like Hootsuite or IFTTT to post your blog content automatically to your social media properties. You can outsource your social media management pretty easily to an agency for not that much money. We recommend doing whatever it takes to prove to Google you are serious about interacting with your readers. Google is getting ever-more insight into this data, and we think it’s only going to be more beneficial going into the future.
You may not see any immediate boost in your rankings, but over time being active on social media will definitely boost your SEO.