South Africa’s top brands invest heavily in social media. Research conducted by Fuseware and World Wide Worx this year revealed that 93% of leading brands use Facebook, 79% use Twitter, 58% use YouTube, 46% use LinkedIn and 28% use Pinterest. Their research also included an analysis of South Africa’s leading 50 brands, which showed that each of these brands have an average of 58,000 Facebook fans and 12,785 Twitter followers.
Are brands receiving the maximum ROI from their social media andSEO efforts? I feel that many South African brands can do much more to harmonise their social media efforts with the other relevant elements within their digital marketing mix.
This is where the social media optimisation (SMO) and search engine optimisation (SEO) digital marketing disciplines play a crucial role. The concept of SMO has been with us for quite some time but a large number of brands are yet to implement it. What exactly is SMO? According to Wikipedia: “Social media optimization (SMO) is the use of a number of social media outlets and communities to generate publicity to increase the awareness of a product, brand or event. In general, social media optimisation refers to optimising a website and
It is crucial to prioritise Google+ in terms of both backlinks and social signals. Google+ can be largely seen as a purely SEO-orientated social media platform. The focus of Google+ content should be to enhance the brand’s SEO and not for user engagement, which, for example, is the case with Facebook and Twitter.
Website A did not have any backlinks from Facebook or Twitter over the above-mentioned period when perusing its Google Webmaster Tools’ backlink report (a free website-specific service which Google can provide). This is due to the Website A’s sample size being too small. Website B’s backlink report only reflected a single backlink each from Facebook and Twitter during the above-mentioned period.
Social media platforms provide an ideal channel to drive traffic to a brand’s website, especially Facebook and Twitter. Facebook and Twitter provided Website B with approximately 14% and 5% of their visits respectively. The next largest source of social media-derived website visits was via Google’s Blogger (Google’s blogging platform) with 0.12% of website traffic.
The emphasis needs to be put on the ‘sharability’ of the high quality andoriginal content. An example of this could be a Facebook post, which, in turn, may have a call-to-action and a link that would direct the user to the website.
SMO requires a comprehensive integration of social media into a brand’s website and content strategy. There should be effective cohesion between a brand’s content creation, content publication/’seeding’ and social media platforms. This is where the services of SEO and social media professionals are helpful to guide brands effectively through this complex digital marketing discipline.
All relevant social media platforms should be connected to their respective brand’s website and other social media platforms, where applicable, to assist in the facilitation of social sharing. Simply put, the visibility of a brand in the organic search and social media spheres are magnified significantly through the combination of SEO and SMO.
Stephen Sandmann – SEO Strategist, Neo@Ogilvy South Africa.
Neo@Ogilvy is a leading South African digital media buying agency; offering turnkey digital media buying, search engine marketing (SEO & PPC), social media marketing and mobile marketing. Neo@Ogilvy is a global market leader; with 800 professionals in 40 offices across 32 countries.
Social@Ogilvy is a global, cross-discipline team of social experts from across all of Ogilvy’s businesses. We know there’s a new customer and
Fuseware and World Wide Worx.
Google Webmaster Tools.
Search Engine Watch