Have you heard? Social is the new search engine.
It’s true. The reality is that your ideal clients are now turning to social media as their new "Google"—searching Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and more to find inspiration, information, products, and services.
Social media is becoming more and more search-oriented, which means you need to implement the best SEO practices when it comes to these platforms.
It works like this:
- The more you optimize your content, the more the app will understand your content.
- The more the app understands your content, the more likely it is to put that content in front of the right audience.
- When your content gets in front of the right audience, the higher the likelihood is that those people will resonate with your posts, interact, and follow you.
Ultimately it means better engagement and performance on social media. So how do you best optimize your social content?
Keep reading, my friend…
What is Social SEO?
Social SEO is just like it sounds—it’s search optimization for social media.
It’s the practice of optimizing your social posts using text-based tactics like relevant keywords, alt tags, hashtags, subtitles, captions, etc. to give the platform a better idea of what your post is about.
Optimizing your posts is all about getting found when people type things into the platform’s search bar. But with any luck, your posts will also get served up as organic relevant content—even when users are mindlessly scrolling!
Social SEO works in conjunction with the algorithm. While social algorithms serve content to more passive, browsing users (think TikTok’s For You page or the Instagram Explore page), its main objective is to rank content based on how likely it is for each user to like and interact with it. And how’s it going to do that unless it knows what your content is about?
Following the optimization tips below will help your posts get served up and discovered by users who are actively searching for—or interested in—the type of content you’re creating.
So yes, Social SEO is totally worth the effort.
Here are 7 tips for optimizing your social media content:
1. Optimize your Social Profiles
From your Instagram or TikTok bio to the Facebook About section, you'll want to list the basics of your business. At the very least, this should include your name / business name, geographic location if applicable, relevant keywords like "Los Angeles Wedding Planner" or "Maryland Brand Photographer", and a link to your website.
2. Use Relevant Keywords in Captions & Hashtags
Keywords in the caption or video description along with relevant hashtags help your content get found. Need to do some keyword or hashtag research? Go to each social platform’s search bar, start typing in a keyword, and see the suggested auto-completions.
3. Use Subtitles / Speech Captions for Videos
Auto-captioning is great for accessibility, but it's yet another way of helping the algorithm figure out what your video is about! Bonus points if you fit your top 1–2 keywords in your videos, as they'll be said both out loud and included as text on-screen.
4. Include Alt Text for Images
Alternative text (also known as alt text or alt tags) are written descriptions that explain what's in an image, making the image accessible to people with visual impairment. It also helps the algorithm decipher the image, of course. Alt text can be included in the caption labeled as ID: (Image description), but most platforms also have fields for it.
5. Tag your Location
This will help people doing location-based searches find your brick-and-mortar business. With Instagram Maps, for example, couples can tap location tags in posts or Stories, type a city name into the Explore search bar, or search location-based hashtags.
6. Use High-Quality Images
One of the best ways to get noticed is by posting gorgeous, high-quality images! Think of social media as an extension of your website. While everyone loves seeing the casual and approachable side of a business, always make sure the “cover photo” that appears in your feed is an eye-catching one that keeps the overall aesthetic of your feed on-brand and cohesive.
7. Tag Photographers and Vendors in the Credits
Always tag the photographers / vendors whose work is showcased in your posts. Not only does this let them know their work is respected and appreciated, but it also increases the chances of your posts getting shared out to their followers.
Implementing these social SEO best practices will help get you noticed by your ideal clients. And that's really the goal, isn't it?