There seems to be some grey area on whether or not social media affects your search ranking. You may argue that page ranking does not consider keywords on social posts but that is inaccurate. Google and Bing looks at various data from social sites in order to articulate how high or low to rank a website.
Social profiles definitely have an influence on your search ranking. If you think about it, whenever you do a search for something, in most cases, social profiles are often amongst the top ranking in search results. I just did a search for NESCAFÉ and its Twitter profile came up, number two on the search rank – point and case.
An often understated fact is that social media increases brand awareness – an increased familiarity can lead to links. For example, if you post a link on a product, that link may be shared which can increase traffic to the website. Social sharing is a form of link building which influences SEO. If content is repeatedly shared on social media, search engines may interpret it as quality content and rank it higher. Google favours quality over quantity.
According to Forbes, in the piece, 6 Social Media Practices That Boost SEO, it says “Social media is also useful because it encourages more external sites to link to your content, and the more diverse external links you have, the more authority you’ll gain in Google’s eyes.” If you are producing quality content, there is a much greater chance of your content being shared. It will also help you become an authority on a subject or a thought-leader.
There is a notion that a mere mention on a blog or website will also influence ranking properties even if there is no hyperlink. Google refers to this as “co-citation” and considers it a brand signal. Co-citation mentions can be born out of social media’s tendency to foster brand awareness.
Social media does affect your search ranking so it’s important to combine your social media rollout and SEO execution into a cohesive strategy.