Social interactions and recommendations like Facebook likes, comments, and shares, Twitter retweets and mentions, etc. are called social signals.
With the increased importance of social sites like Twitter and Facebook, search engines like Bing and Google have started taking into account various social signals when determining a website’s ranking.
Note: Google encourages businesses to build their brand on social media as a long-term investment to drive qualified traffic, rather than aiming for short-term benefits like search ranking placement.
Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s web spam team has stated that Google takes a cautious approach when it comes to social media, as social trends and relationships tend to change too quickly to fully map out. Without a perfect ‘map,’ Google is understandably reticent to assign too much importance to the social sphere over other aspects of their search algorithm.
In summary, Google’s strategy is a sensible one – “wait and see” how things develop over time, as sites provide value develop longevity, trust and authority, and these are the websites that Google wants to display higher in its search results.
Social Signal Sources
Social sites that search engines like Google and Bing look to when measuring social signals include:
With over 1.5 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the largest social media network in the world. Research shows that one great post can reach up to 150,000 users, so even if it seems like Facebook is not driving a ton of sales on your website, don’t be quick to dismiss the power of leveraging Facebook, as Google uses data and information from Facebook when determining your search rankings. In fact, research shows that Facebook seems to have the most influence on search engine rankings of all social media sites.
(Number of active Facebook users. Source: Statista.com)
After Facebook, Twitter is the second largest social media site in the world, with over half a billion tweets sent out each day. Twitter has a significant amount of influence on the cybersphere and places great importance on tweeting posts that provide great value to followers over the amount of tweets sent …
(Over half a billion tweets are sent every day. Source: Internet Live Stats)
Google’s own social site naturally carries a significant degree of authority online, even if it is still a fledgling social community compared to sites like Twitter and Facebook.
(More people are interacting socially on GooglePlus each day. Source: Internet Live Stats)
In addition to the big three social media giants listed above, there are a number of other social media networks worth getting to know, like Pinterest, LinkedIn, Digg, StumbleUpon, and Reddit.
(Social media sites provide important signals to search engines that could affect your rankings)
Which Social Signals Should You Pay Attention To?
Social signals tracked by search engines like Bing and Google include:
- Facebook – e.g. how many Facebook shares, comments, and likes a person has, growth rate of likes and shares, etc.
- Twitter – e.g. how many tweets and retweets your URL has, how influential the person sharing your URL is, trending topics, etc.
- GooglePlus – e.g. who is following you (influential users), how many people are following you, amount and growth rate of +1s, etc.
- Other sites – e.g. number of Pins and re-Pins on Pinterest, upvotes on Reddit, etc.
- Other signals – In addition to the above, there are other not so obvious social media-related factors that can influence search traffic and rankings. These include positive and undesirable factors, such as improving clickthrough rate (CTR) [positive], and whether your site is deemed to be irrelevant by other users [negative].
As a business owner, it’s important to not only find ways to develop your presence on major social networking websites, but also to be able to monitor and analyze social signals in order to improve your business results.
(Use social media marketing to help improve your business results)
Monitoring social media activity allows you to find insights into what people are saying about your products, company, or brand on social media, measure the impact of campaigns, be alerted to disasters, spy on your competitors, and identify market opportunities. Additionally, monitoring social media can also provide you with vital information about emerging trends and what clients and consumers are thinking about specific products, brands, topics, or businesses.
As a tool for business intelligence, social media signal monitoring is invaluable. Using social media monitoring as a form of business intelligence, however, is a complex undertaking, typically carried out by a cross-section of groups that include digital reputation management (DRM) specialists, market researchers, marketing professionals, social marketing agencies, sales teams, and social engagement and community personnel. Typically, many small businesses do not have the budget to pay media monitoring professionals to track their coverage in the media and actively monitor their digital reputation.
Fortunately, different technology providers have developed many affordable tools that facilitate the active tracking of a variety of social media channels, allowing you to identify what is being said online about your brand, allowing you to respond proactively to conversations and engage with consumers in a timely fashion.
We have written a detailed article listing a number of social media tracking tools that are worth knowing about. For more details, visit this page: WordPress And Social Media – Useful Social Measurement Resources
(Do you know how to effectively monitor social signals?)
In this article, you will learn about a simple WordPress plugin for monitoring social media signals and growing your social media influence.
Our WordPress Product …
SocialMetricsPro – Social Media Analytics Plugin
SocialMetricsPro is an easy-to-use social analytics premium WordPress plugin that is designed to help users improve their social media presence online in an uncomplicated way. It is built on a simple concept – Social Metrics Pro tracks how each signal is performing and returns either a green or red indicator. Your task is to change red squares into greens.
(A system that any user can operate … turn all the reds into greens!)
Colors indicate relative popularity. Posts that get shared the most display green. Posts with low social media activity show up amber or red.
The plugin developers tested SocialMetricsPro on a network of 2,000+ sites over a period of 3 months. During this period, all they focused on was turning the “reds” to “greens” and then keeping their metrics on “green”. From these tests, they were able to notice that their top 10 best performing sites saw an improvement of up to 360% more traffic, 410% more keywords ranked in the first page of Google and they also experienced a 310% increase in revenues.
(According to SocialMetricsPro developers, improving your social marketing can result in higher search engine rankings, increased web traffic and an increase in revenue!)
More info: SocialMetricsPro
Here are just a few of the benefits and advantages of using Social Metrics Pro to track Likes, Tweets, Pins, +1s and more right from your WordPress Dashboard on your website:
Ready To Go To Work In Very Little Time
Social Metrics Pro installs just like every other WP plugin. Simply upload a zip file containing the plugin to your Plugins folder via your dashboard and activate.
Very Simple To Use
As mentioned earlier, the site owner’s objective is to turn more reds into greens. Social Metrics Pro tracks and measures social media signals the way Google sees it so you know where to put more effort and where to optimize.
Select Only Social Signals From The Networks You Care About
Social Metrics Pro provides a powerful dashboard to monitor social media activity across leading social media networks like Google+, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Digg, LinkedIn, and Pinterest directly from your WordPress dashboard.
Social Metrics Pro lets you easily answer questions like:
- Which social networks work best for my site?
- Which posts are performing the best on these social networks?
- Which are my most popular posts?
- And more …
With Social Metrics Pro, all this information is available on-demand, with just one click.
(Social Metrics Pro actively monitors the social sites that you care most about!)
Social Metrics Pro provides WordPress users with many features. Here are just some of these:
- Fast and easy to install and configure. Be up and running in no time.
- Widgets & Extensions Ready. You can extend its functionality using external and built-in widgets. View the latest information from your WordPress admin bar, display popular content on your blog sidebar or anywhere on your site using widgets.
- 1-click updating. Update Social Metrics Pro in one click via the WordPress Updates page, or update it manually. You can also choose to receive an email notification when a new version is released.
- Minimal usage of resources. Reports are compiled fast, consuming very little hosting resources. Report generation also displays the amount of time spent retrieving the information and the server resources consumed when gathering and compiling the data.
Additional plugin features include:
- Sort, Search And Filter Features: Social Metrics Pro lets you sort and filter data as you like. You can perform keyword searches to study topic-related posts, and even filter the results by publishing date, category, post authors, or by post type.
- Export Data To Excel: You can export data to Excel for further analysis. Data can be exported in tab-delimited and comma-separated file formats, and imported to Excel or the spreadsheet application of your choice.
(Social Metrics Pro is really simple to use … just turn red squares into greens!)
Feedback From Users
Below are a couple of the testimonials users have submitted for the Social Metrics Pro plugin:
“As with any cool plugin, it solves a very simple problem – how to view how well your WordPress posts are being promoted.” Adam Small, Marketing Tech Blog
“Social Metrics is one of the recipes for Social WordPress. You can integrate it quickly and easily on your WordPress site to view your performance on social networks” Jean-Francois Arseneault, Arseneault Consultation (WordCamp Montreal 2011)
A step-by-step guide on how to optimize your social media strategy (i.e. turn reds into greens) is also included.
The software is well-supported, and users get lifetime software updates and new releases for free with their purchase, backed by a no-risk, sixty-day, complete money-back guarantee.
Social Metrics Pro plugin is available in two editions:
- Single Site Edition – This license option allows you to install Social Metrics Pro on a single website. Includes free lifetime upgrades and free support. Price = $27.00 (one-time).
- Unlimited Sites Licensing – This license option lets you activate Social Metrics Pro on unlimited sites that you own. Includes free lifetime updates and free support. Cost = $47.00 (one-time).
Note: Pricing details of the Social Metrics Pro plugin depends on whether there are any promotions or limited-time special offers. The above reflects the pricing when this review was written. This may or may not be the actual price charged by the product developer when you visit the site and you may be shown additional upsells or one-time offers after you’ve purchased.
Check the plugin’s website for the latest pricing here: SocialMetricsPro – Social Media Analytics Plugin
Social Metrics Pro requires a self-hosted installation of WordPress and can be instantly downloaded after purchase.
We Recommend This
As mentioned earlier, Google has been elevating the importance given to social signals as part of its ranking algorithm.
No website owner can afford to ignore how important social media is to their online success. Social Metrics Pro solves the problem of how to find a simple, time-saving solution that gives users instant feedback on the success of their social marketing strategy and shows them where to improve their results.
Social Metrics Pro is ideal for beginners and advanced WordPress users alike. It tracks Tweets, Likes, Pins, +1s and more, directly from your WordPress admin area.
We recommend getting Social Metrics Pro if you own or manage WordPress sites and would like to outperform your competitors on social media.
For full details, visit the plugin website: SocialMetricsPro – Social Analytics Plugin For WordPress