By Victoria Page

A social media presence serves many purposes, but does it really affect SEO? Yes, but maybe not in the way you think.

There is a relationship between a website’s rank and its social media presence, but a site’s rank is not necessarily caused by a high number of followers or “likes” on its social media accounts. Social media shares, on the other hand, are indirectly related to site ranking.

Shares generate links and engagement, which ARE directly related to site ranking.


Google claims Twitter and Facebook pages do not play a role in site ranking. Although Google dominates the search engine world, Bing is in control of about 24% of search queries.

A significant difference between Google and Bing is that social media “likes” and shares are a factor in Bing’s site ranking order.

Google incorporates social media shares as a factor in its search results in the sense that shares are equal to links, and links are a major SEO factor. Hundreds or thousands of shares on social media can result in a site’s top ranking on Google for a particular keyword.

So, this means that to optimize social media profiles for SEO, generating shares is more important than likes or comments.

Elements of a “shareable” social media post:

Interesting headlines—Think of the potential to go viral.• Images
Hashtags—Hashtags are keywords. Utilize Google Adwords.
Call for action—Give users a reason to read it, like it, and share it.

The best way to improve your social media presence in a way that will also boost SEO is to keep content consistent, relevant, frequent, concise, and interesting.

According to Hubspot, as of 2016, the number of people turning to Facebook to find content is nearly the same as the number of people using search engines:

Keeping your company’s description, mission, and image, consistent across social media platforms will increase brand recognition. As far as post content goes, the best posts are short and link to longer content.

Post frequently to make sure your accounts appear active, but not too frequently.

The guidelines to post frequency vary by platform:

Twitter: 15 times per day
LinkedIn: 1 time per day
Facebook: 1 time per day
Instagram: 1-2 times per day

Social media provides you with the opportunity to increase content visibility.

Your website might have great content, but what if no one sees it?

Social media platforms give you the chance to publish the same content again while driving traffic to your website. By boosting social media posts, you can reach a specific target audience over a specified period of time at little cost. Encouraging users to read your content increases engagement, and engagement lowers your site’s bounce rate, in turn improving your SEO.