Social Media Marketing has been in important metric in SEO because Google uses it as an indication of the reach and social influence a website projects, which in turn, is used in a complex algorithm to help calculate its authority.
To illustrate this think that your website is you and you have just entered a party held in a large mansion with a pool and a back garden. If you are relatively unknown you will be greeted maybe by one or two people as you enter and after spending sometime with one or two more you will manage to impress them with your knowledge and smooth talk. The party, around you, will roll on as planned and the inly impact (or influence) you will exert is as you work your way from the front door of the garden to the centre of the party inside and maybe the back garden and the pool. The only way I would have of assessing who you are is to track you down personally and spend time talking to you.
Now, suppose that you (i.e. your website) are really well known. You will find that as you enter the front garden people stop what they are doing and talk to you. Someone further away also spots you and calls out to a friend of his by the front door of the house who yells inside that you have arrived. The cry is taken up so that a stream of people find out you have arrived before you have walked more than a metre inside the garden. What’s more a couple more have texted their friends by the pool and now almost everyone knows you are here. I, standing somewhere inside by a makeshift bar, find out things about you before I even get to meet you in person and when I do, I am already convinced that you are pretty cool and worth knowing. You do not need to run your spiel by me.
The analogy is a pretty good one, explaining how social media marketing helps your website rank higher on search engines results pages.
Google, in the past, worked really hard to penetrated Facebook’s layers and gauge social influence and had a deal with Twitter about real-time search, which recently collapsed. These days it has its own social network with Google+ and, as you might suspect, it is incredibly good at using it to gauge social media reach and social media marketing activity. The question is, even in these early days, is Google+ able to boost your website up the search engine ranks?
The answer is a resounding yes based upon shares, connections and friends. Ford Motors, for instance, are one of the few companies who are permitted to have a profile on Google+ and they are benefiting from it with increased exposure thanks to the wide sharing of the profile amongst Google+ users. While it is still too early in Google+ days to tell of how it will ultimately affect SEO, logically, its cues would be taken into account by Google and perhaps given a tiny bit more weight in order to entice business and individuals to adopt the network.
It should be noted that Google+ is not open for business to businesses at the moment but there will be an enhanced listing service for business, offered shortly. If you have a business and want to promote it, currently, you should register on Google+ (let me know if you want an invite and I will send you one) and be very, very careful just what you post there to avoid getting banned.
Post 10% marketing and 90% personal messages, build up a following of friends and shares and your website will definitely benefit.