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Social Signals: The Essence Behind the Term & 7 Techniques to Get More of Them

08 July ~ 11 min read 757 views
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Claspo Blog Social Signals: The Essence Behind the Term & 7 Techniques to Get More of Them

Users send social signals, such as likes, shares, and comments, to convey their attitude towards the materials they consume on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and other platforms. Many companies have already discovered the perks of using these indicators to enlarge their clientele, satisfy or anticipate shoppers' needs, and take communication with customers to another level. If you do not want to fall behind in this respect, it is time for you to turn these actions into keys to increasing your brand’s visibility & awareness. 

Table of Contents

Long Story Short: What are Social Signals?

People come to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest searching for something interesting, and they express their reactions with views, likes, shares, and comments to posts, they also subscribe to channels or follow accounts. We all send and receive dozens of these social signals every day. Cute cat video? Like. Funny story? Comment. Helpful tips on packing for a vacation? Share.

Naturally, every social media platform has its specific name for them. For example, Twitter has retweets, while Pinterest and LinkedIn have pins and connections respectively. Yet, the term itself is irrelevant, it is the value and meaning that hide behind the invented words that matter. Because social signals are a form of saying ‘I like it, give me more of that’, they can be used to:  

  • Proliferate your fan base organically.
  • Help better attend to customer needs.        

Social Signals as an Organic Way to Reach Your Audience

As stated by eMarketer’s report, in 2020 approximately 3.23 billion people, which accounts for 80.7% of internet users worldwide, turned to social media at least once a month. The opinion of a demographic this large has to make a difference, right? Naturally, it does, but not always in a direct way. 

Clearing the Air: Social Signals & SEO

Untangling the complex reciprocalities between social signals and search engine ranking is not an easy task. Every researcher passes his or her verdict on the subject. Hence, let’s examine all the arguments concerning the matter.    

Evidence suggesting that social signals are determinants of your search engine ranking:

  • Social signals are hard to trace and interpret. Therefore, the Google algorithm does not regard them as a valid search ranking factor (at least for now). Yet, Google did not become partners with Twitter for no reason, right? When your Instagram post gets popular, it means that your content is to the point, up-to-date, and of high quality. Google interprets this as a marker that makes you matching for its users’ search intent. Moreover, shares multiply backlinks. As a result, your efforts to produce engaging content pay off because it meets other official Google search ranking criteria.     
  • Bing, on the other hand, does view social signals as a form of user engagement and a legitimate ranking factor. However, this would significantly impact your performance only in the USA and China, where Bing’s shares of desktop users are 32.01% and 23.74% respectively.   
  • Both cognitiveSEO and Quick Sprout statistics confirm that it is a common tendency for highly ranked companies to have a strong social media popularity. But you have to keep in mind that it is a correlation, not an interdependence or causation.  

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Overall, the jury is still out on this controversial subject. However, regardless of whether it can directly influence your search results position, getting more approval is indeed effective in terms of explaining to the algorithms that people like the materials you create. You just have to refrain from making this the core purpose of your lead generation strategy and focus on generating fresh & quality content, which will bring organic traffic to your store.   

Earning Trust & Increasing Brand Awareness

Although social signals’ positive impact on search engine ranking is debatable, their ability to strengthen your connection with both potential and existing clients is undeniable. This kind of engagement can be a genuine booster for your brand’s reputation, popularity, and social proof. Tell your company’s story, put your products on display, pursue conversations with followers, provide support, and handle promo campaigns to prove to users that you are trustworthy, approachable, and deserve their attention.   

Measuring the Immeasurable: Social Signal Metrics

The idea of evaluating the extent of joy your social media publications can bring to users may seem nonsensical. Yet, modern technologies permit you to obtain social media metrics to analyze the dynamic & success of your efforts, your audience preferences, or the level of users’ approval of your content. These indexes and parameters are the litmus paper for your overall social media performance. Identify the publications that spark the most excitement, and spot the materials that do not please your audience.

Stop Losing Your Customers!

Common rates and stats do not require an explanation, you probably encounter them constantly:

  • Reach & Impressions;
  • Audience growth rate;
  • Engagement rate;
  • Customer satisfaction (CSAT) score;
  • Click-through rate (CTR);
  • Cost-per-click (CPC);
  • Cost per thousand impressions (CPM).

However, it is better to elaborate on specific benchmarks to help you interpret them correctly:

  • Amplification rate. It is the extent to which your followers share your content (total number of shares divided by the total number of followers). 
  • The virality rate reflects the exponential spreading of your publications (the number of shares divided by the number of impressions). 
  • Social share of voice (SSoV). Use it to determine the percentage of social conversation that is solely about your company (brand mentions divided by total mentions, where total mentions equal your mentions plus competitors' mentions). 
  • Social sentiment requires the processing of your brand mentions in terms of language and context to determine a positive or negative attitude toward your business.   

But how can you lay your hands on all this helpful data? Luckily, there is no shortage of software that you can utilize to track and measure these metrics.

Dedicated applications’ in-built analytical tools provide their users with the most extensive set of functions:

  • Meta Business Suit (Instagram & Facebook Insights);

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  • Twitter Analytics;

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  • LinkedIn Analytics;

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  • TikTok Analytics (for TikTok Business/Creator Account). 

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Google Analytics also provides instruments to observe and assess your social media performance. Yet, they are way less advanced and diverse:

  • Social Interaction Dimensions (Social Source & Action, Social Entity);
  • Social Interaction Metrics (Social Actions, Unique Social Interactions, Actions Per Social Session);
  • Social Conversions (Source/Medium, Multi-Channel Funnel, Social Conversions reports).

In addition, you can easily use Claspo to equip your popups with UTM parameters and monitor your traffic from a particular source (e.g., Pinterest or Instagram). Plus, figures and rates are effective in helping you paint the picture, but the contribution of feedback from your visitors to grasping the motives behind the actions is unmatchable. With Claspo, it will take only a couple of minutes to add a popup survey to your website.  

7 Tips on How to Receive Positive Social Signals

It is hard to imagine, but the power of simply clicking a ‘Like’ button is incredible. We smile when someone shares our post, and we frown when we notice a rude comment. Understanding the mechanisms behind people’s behavior enables you to design a set of strategic moves to trigger a particular response from your audience or spark its interest. So, let’s see what you can do to deserve the appreciation of your guests and followers. 

1. Be Present

Generally, people follow your account on social media because it is the easiest way to get updates or get in touch. If you do not post or react to messages/comments regularly, people will presume that there is no use in exploring your page.   

2. Enrich Your Profile

Social media is your platform to share your story with the world and an additional channel to sell your goods. Thus, your profile should contain everything your customers will be looking for, plus a bit extra. Do not forget that your social account should advertise your website, while your website should invite visitors to learn more about you on social media. Claspo’s extensive set of features and formats enables you to construct popups that serve as social group invitations.

3. Be Relevant, Relatable, and Fun

Of course, people come to your account not to have a good laugh. They usually seek information about your products and services, helpful tips and advice, or want to find answers to their questions. Therefore, your posts should be primarily dedicated to business matters and advertising. But the ‘all work and no play’ strategy will inevitably bore your visitors. There is no harm in being both practical and entertaining.  

4. Interact with Users

There is no greater place for you and your customers to get to know each other better. So, gather and respond to feedback, participate in conversations, conduct contests and surveys, or even share/comment on posts that mention your goods.

Collaborations with influencers and other popular bloggers can also motivate people to take a look at your account. Plus, you can use Claspo to build content locking forms and induce visitors to mention you or be active on your profile in exchange for hidden data (e.g., comprehensive statistics, helpful tutorials, etc.).   

5. Be Visually Captivating

Platforms like Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube that were created specifically to produce and share visual content (e.g., pictures and videos) are a great place to demonstrate your product in action. This will improve your credibility, help you impress the shoppers, and make them feel like they are trying or using your goods. Furthermore, Quick Sprout suggests that posts with images receive a 200% increase in engagement.   

6. Produce Creative & Quality Content

Why would people express their feelings about something completely generic that you can find everywhere? Users these days consume so much content that if you want them to like, share, or comment on it, you have to strike a chord with them. 

Develop your brand’s unique and recognizable style. Speak the same language as your potential viewers to be on the same page with them and choose the appropriate level of formality. But do not forget to keep your posts SEO-optimized, factually checked, and grammatically correct.

7. Reward Users with the Special Treatment

People genuinely love when you stimulate their sense of belonging, especially with tangible incentives. Coddle your visitors from a certain social media platform with a discount by specifying the source UTM parameter of your popup message in Claspo.  

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Final Thoughts

Of course, social signals play a vital role. Every share, like, view, or click informs search engines, other users, and you that this particular content is relatable, up-to-date, and inspiring. Hence, producing more posts of the same quality will bring you organic traffic and speak to shoppers’ preferences. In case you experience a lack of social media appreciation, you should use social signal metrics to analyze your current state of affairs and rearrange your content marketing strategy. 

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