SEO 8 min read
5 Ways Social Media Trends are Influencing Your SEO
- Propelrr Contributor
- 25 Apr 2022 7 min read
Social media trends and influencers affect the online marketplace more than perhaps any other factor. Be guided in how you can leverage it to improve your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and build durable results.
Social media trends are known to have impacts on SEO – positive and negative. Indeed, businesses have been made and broken just because of social media trends in the past.
But while all business owners know the potential gains from seeing a spike in social media attention toward their products, only few can turn this temporary fame into sustainable gains. In part, that’s because trends come and go in the blink of an eye.
This makes it hard for brands to discern – much less, put into action – if they should anchor campaigns on these. So what happens when you do find a social media trend that aligns with your business goals? One that, given your data on your business and consumers, you feel compelled to ride on? Are there specific social management strategies you can employ to help this boost your SEO?
Let’s discuss that, below.
How do social media trends impact SEO?
Simply put: Social media trends impact your SEO by changing what people search for.
Depending on what your pages and products are currently optimized for, social media trends can either hurt or help your SEO efforts and status. Specifically, social media trends are able to:
1. Drive traffic for certain keywords
For example, social media trends can drive traffic toward certain keywords for which you already optimize your pages. Say that you have a product for a specific industry niche or trend, like a certain style of shoes. A TikToker content creator then makes a video celebrating that style of shoes, and it goes viral.
Your business can benefit from this because people will now search for the keywords associated with that style of shoes. If your website is ranking high for these terms, you will receive an influx of traffic and possibly sell more shoes.
If the influencer also mentions your website, it will boost brand recognition and may bring even more traffic to your online shop.
2. Insight Into new search focuses.
Social media trends can also positively impact SEO in the long term. By paying attention to what people search for, you can take that data and then use it to adjust and improve your future search engine optimization campaigns.
Take the above example about a social media influencer announcing that a certain style of shoes looks cool (such as the shoe company Reef, who bet big on influencers last year). Your business analyzes the search keywords people use to get to your site. You may find that searchers use slightly different phrases or terms when searching for the types of shoes you sell. Taking that information, you can then adjust your SEO keywords appropriately.
Basically, all the data you’ll get from a short-term social media trend can yield long-term improvements to your SEO if leveraged properly.
In this regard, you can also employ social listening to identify and assess what is being said about your company (or your brand or product) by watching or reading conversations about it on social media.
3. Trickle effect from social media.
On a similar note, you’ll want to consider how a trickle effect of social media trends can affect website purchases.
We’ve seen this happen in many cases that share similar patterns: Trends spike on social media, search trends follow and, eventually, website visitors are converting into leads, and even, customers.
To cite one recent case, we look to the spike in chess board sales in 2021. This was around the time when Netflix’s hit mini-series ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ was peaking and inspiring people to play chess.
True enough, you can note the same pattern: The show airs and enthralls social media users, search follows, and all of this resulted in much higher sales for chess sets and accessories.
This trend, we sniffed a mile away, as Google Search Trends for the term “chess board” suddenly saw more attention in the months of the show’s peak than in the years prior.
Now granted, you may not have a popular show that involves a product that you’re offering. But pay close attention to what’s circulating often on social media, and then think about how your business can respond appropriately so you can capitalize on a circulating topic.
For example, if there’s a circulating hashtag that’s relevant to your business and what you offer, you can (and should) include that hashtag in your upcoming social media posts.
Leveraging social media trends for better SEO
The benefits of social media trends for your search engine optimization campaign are tangible and very important for e-commerce sites. However, you need to know how to take advantage of those trends to maximize their benefits for your brand. You can do this in several strategic ways.
1. Recreate trends in brand content or, trendjacking.
First, you should try to re-create social media trends driving traffic to certain keywords or search terms in your brand content. There are a few ways to do this:
- You can make video content on the platform that started the social media trend, such as Instagram or TikTok. Make a supportive video about the trend or even parody it, depending on the mood of your audience. Make sure that you have a link back to your website as well.
- Making advertisements referencing social media trends and that link back to your website.
- Create new content on your blog on a regular basis, and promote them via your social media posts where you utilize trending hashtags. Keep in mind that many people who find your website in the first place will do so by going to a blog post first. Blog creation and promotion should be an ongoing part of your strategy.
You can also deliberately seek out trending video styles or activities on these social media platforms, then make similar content before broader discovery. For example, TikTok has the well-known discovery tab, where you can find plenty of trending videos. Use these to get in front of a major social media event before it happens.
Just be careful not to re-create the trends in an “uncool” way,
2. Create ancillary, supportive content.
At the same time, you should create content that supports the current trend and your business. Say that your company benefits from a sudden social media trend, and your SEO efforts are pushing your website to the top of Google’s first page.
You can post blog posts referencing the social media trend or lean into what makes your brand special. Evergreen listicles are particularly good content, as they’ll always be relevant and laced with important search engine optimized keywords to drive traffic to your online store.
ADDITIONAL TIPS: 17 Tips on How to Use a Blog to Promote Your Business
3. Reach out to influencers.
Don’t forget to reach out to influencers to maximize the longevity of a social media trend and its boosts to your SEO. Certain influencers, including the one(s) who started the trend in the first place, can be great boons to your brand and bring people to your online store in the most organic way possible.
That said, don’t try to do one-off deals with influencers. Instead, try to forge long-lasting marketing relationships with people who seem to fit your brand’s image and thematic identity. That’s the best way to cultivate a loyal audience long-term. Most influencers don’t like one-off deals anyway, as it makes their marketing efforts seem inauthentic.
4. AdHoc Social media marketing.
Your social media marketing team should immediately launch into a full-force campaign when there’s a social media trend boosting your SEO. You can improve your SEO even further by:
- Making regular social media posts with keywords that relate to the trend.
- Communicating with people on your social media profiles to answer questions or direct them to your online store.
- Posting “candid” content. For example, a dental office’s digital marketing team can make a video inside the office to seem more authentic and personable to its target audience.
You can also use platform-specific SEO tools, such as Twitter and its hashtags. The right hashtag can seriously bump SEO performance in the middle of a social media trend, as these memorable keyword phrases are often copied and pasted directly into Google’s search bar by new searchers.
5. Refresh landing and product pages
Lastly, consider refreshing the landing and product pages for trending products or services and lacing new keywords for SEO phrases into their copy. That way, those pages will show up even more readily for people who search for your brand, thanks to the social media trend in question.
Just remember to make researching popular keywords an ongoing part of your strategy as well (just like with creating and promoting new blog posts on an ongoing basis). Trends can and do die down, which means that certain keywords will eventually become irrelevant. Aim to research new keywords at least once every month or so.
Social media continues to prove itself as a powerful tool for growing business. This is not just in the way it affects your other digital channels, but also in how it affects your bottomline. Hence, it’s important to take due action to make these trends deliver more sustainable results for your online business.
To that end, remember that:
- Be agile and inclusive. Trends come and go faster than you can hope to anticipate and prepare for them. So you can act with agility to meet these trends, remember to ground your executions on data, and seek approaches that synergize, rather than, isolate your online efforts.
- Sometimes, it’s better to take a pass on trends. Especially if it’s one that doesn’t feel like a right trend for your brand to be riding on. Relevance is key in online communications. Lose this, and you may just lose customers instead of attract new ones.
- Seek to set the trends, instead of following. Many brands think that social media trends only happen unintentionally. But what the big brands that have invested in experimentation proved is that, you can actually identify patterns and weave this patterns to start your own.
Curious to learn how you can explore experimentation on social media for your brand? Or are you perhaps already experimenting? Chime in on the comments section, or talk to us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, and let’s bounce off some ideas at each other.
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About the Author
Lee Li is a project manager and B2B copywriter with a decade of experience in the Chinese fintech startup space as a PM for TaoBao, MeitTuan, and DouYin (now TikTok).