Social interactions and recommendations like Facebook likes, shares, and comments, +1s on Google+, etc. are called social signals.
With the rise of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, search engines now take into account various social signals when determining a site’s ranking.
Note: Google encourages businesses to build their social media presence as a long-term investment to drive qualified traffic, rather than aiming for short-term benefits like search ranking placement. Google’s own head of the web spam team Matt Cutts has stated that Google takes a cautious approach when it comes to social signals, as social trends and relationships tend to change too quickly to fully map out. Without a reliable ‘map,’ Google is understandably reticent to assign too much importance to social signals over other aspects of their search algorithm. In short, Google’s strategy is to “wait and see” how things develop over time, as websites that provide value develop longevity, trust and authority, and these are the sites that Google naturally wants to rank higher in its search results.
Social Signal Sources
Social media sites that search engines look to when measuring social signals include:
With more than 1.5 billion active users, Facebook is the most influential social media community in the world. Research shows that an average post can reach over 100,000 users, so even if no one is buying your products or services on Facebook, you should not be quick to dismiss the importance of Facebook in your business strategy, as Google processes data and information from Facebook to help determine your search rankings. In fact, Facebook seems influence website rankings more than other 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 600 million tweets sent out every single day. Twitter has a significant amount of influence on the cybersphere and places great importance on tweeting posts that provide value to followers over the volume of tweets sent …
(Over 500 million tweets are sent every day. Source: Internet Live Stats)
Google’s own social media site naturally carries great 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 year. Source: Internet Live Stats)
In addition to the big three listed above, there are a number of other sites that provide important social signals, like Pinterest, LinkedIn, Digg, StumbleUpon, and Reddit.
(A number of social media sites provide important signals to search engines that could affect your rankings)
Social Signals – Which Ones Should You Pay Attention To?
Social signals tracked by search engines like Google and Bing include:
- Facebook – e.g. how many Facebook comments, shares, and likes a person has, growth rate of shares and likes, etc.
- Twitter – e.g. how many tweets and retweets a site has, how influential the person sharing the information is, trending topics, etc.
- GooglePlus – e.g. who is following you (influential users), how many people are following you, authority of adds and shares, etc.
- Other sites – e.g. growth rate of Pins and re-Pins on Pinterest, comments on Digg, etc.
- Other signals – In addition to the above, there are other not so obvious social media-related signals that can indirectly influence search engine rankings. These include desirable and negative factors, such as age and authority of your social media account [positive], and whether your site is deemed to be of low quality by visitors [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 your social signals in order to improve your business results.
(Using social media marketing can improve your results online)
Tracking social media activity allows you to gain insights into your company’s online visibility on social media, spy on the competition, spot market opportunities, measure the impact of campaigns, and be alerted to crises. Additionally, social media monitoring can also provide you with valuable information about emerging trends and what consumers and clients are thinking about specific brands, businesses, topics, or products.
As a business intelligence tool, the ability to monitor social media is invaluable. Using social media monitoring as a form of business intelligence, however, is a complex undertaking, often carried out by various groups that include market researchers, marketing professionals, digital reputation management (ORM) specialists, social engagement and community staff, sales teams, and social marketing agencies. Typically, small businesses do not can’t afford to pay a social media monitoring service to continually track their coverage in the and actively monitor their online reputation.
Fortunately various service providers have made available affordable tools and solutions that facilitate the active monitoring of a wide spectrum of social media channels, allowing companies to identify and even predict consumer behavior around their products or brands allowing them to respond proactively to conversations and interact with online users in various social media platforms.
Go here for a detailed article about social media tracking tools and technologies that will help you manage, measure, and analyze your social media marketing campaigns:
(Are you tracking social signals effectively?)
In this article, we review a simple, yet effective plugin for WordPress websites for tracking social signals and increasing your social media influence.
Let’s Review …
Social Metrics Pro – Social Analytics WordPress Plugin
SocialMetricsPro is an easy-to-install social media analytics plugin for WordPress that is designed to help users increase their social media exposure online in an uncomplicated way. It is built on a simple premise – Social Metrics Pro measures and tracks how each signal is performing and returns either a green or red indicator. The user’s objective is simple … change red squares into greens.
(Social Metrics Pro provides a system that anyone can follow … simply turn reds into greens!)
Colors indicate relative popularity. Posts that get shared the most show up green. Posts with low social media activity display amber and red.
The developers of Social Metrics Pro tested their plugin 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 their revenue increased by 310%.
(According to SocialMetricsPro developers, focusing on improving your social media marketing campaigns can result in better search engine rankings, increased web traffic and increased revenue!)
Here are just a few of the benefits of using Social Metrics Pro to track Tweets, Likes, +1s, Pins and more right from your WP Dashboard on your web site:
Quick And Easy To Install And Use. Be Up And Running In No Time.
SocialMetricsPro is quite easy to install. Simply upload it to your Plugins folder via your WP administrator login and activate.
Very Simple To Use
As mentioned earlier, your objective is to change all reds into greens. The plugin tracks and measures social media signals the way Google sees it so you know which social campaigns need you to invest more effort and which ones need to be better optimized.
Track Only Social Signals You Care About
Social Metrics Pro allows you to monitor social activity from social media networks like GooglePlus, Twitter, Facebook, Digg, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
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 can be accessed with a single click.
(Social Metrics Pro actively monitors the social media sites that you care most about!)
Social Metrics Pro Features
SocialMetricsPro offers WP users with a number of features. Here are some:
- Fast and simple to install and configure. Be up and running in minutes.
- Social Metrics Pro Is Widgets And Extensions Ready. You can extend the plugin’s functionality using built-in and external widgets. View the latest information from your WordPress admin bar, add social content to your blog sidebar or anywhere on your site using point-and-click widgets.
- One-click auto-upgrading functionality. You can update the plugin in a single click via the WordPress Updates screen, or update the manually manually. You can also opt to receive an email notification when a new version is released.
- Plugin uses minimal server resources. Reporting is very quickly, consuming minimal server resources. Reports also include the amount of time spent retrieving the information and the server resources used to gather data.
Additional plugin features include:
- Sorting, Searching And Filtering Features: Social Metrics Pro allows you to sort, search and filter your data as you like. You can perform keyword searches to study posts related to certain topics, and even filter the results by category, post authors, post type, or publishing date.
- Export Data To Excel: You can export and plot filtered data and custom queries in 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.
(SocialMetricsPro is really simple to use … just turn red squares into greens!)
Below are a couple of the testimonials users have provided for SocialMetricsPro:
”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
”If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve.” Goes one of the most important sayings in business. And this is particularly true for tracking of your social mentions I found. There were two things that helped me a great deal to increase sharing after installing Social Metrics: First, I was able to see that some of my articles would perform much better on networks I wasn’t particularly using, such as StumbleUpon for example. Secondly, I could filter out the best performing content more easily and analyse what makes my readers share. Since then I have focused strongly on producing and replicating those posts that performed best.” Leo Widrich, Co-Founder of Buffer
Social Metrics Pro includes a step-by-step guide on how to optimize your social media strategy (i.e. turn reds into greens).
Social Metrics Pro Plugin Support
The software is well-supported, and users get lifetime updates and new releases for free with their purchase, backed by a no-risk, 60-day, complete refund guarantee.
Social Metrics Pro plugin is available in two editions:
- Single Site License – This license option lets you activate SocialMetricsPro on a single web site. Pricing includes free lifetime updates and free support. Cost = $27.00 (one-time).
- Unlimited Sites License – This option allows you to use Social Metrics Pro on multiple websites that you own. Includes free lifetime updates and free support. Price = $47.00 (one-time).
Note: The price of SocialMetricsPro can vary, depending on whether there are any promotions or limited-time specials being offered. Presently, the plugin is selling for the prices shown above. This may or may not be the actual price charged by the software seller when you visit the product site and you may be shown additional upsells or one-time offers after your purchase.
Check the plugin’s website for the latest pricing:
SocialMetricsPro requires a self-hosted installation of WordPress and can be instantly downloaded after purchase.
As mentioned earlier, with the increased importance of social sites like Twitter and Facebook, search engines like Google and Bing have started taking into account a range of social signals when determining a website’s ranking.
No website owner can afford to ignore the importance of social media. SocialMetricsPro solves the problem of how to find a simple, time-saving solution that gives you immediate feedback on the success of your social marketing campaigns and shows you how and where to direct your efforts in order to improve your results.
SocialMetricsPro is ideal for beginners and advanced WordPress users alike. It tracks Tweets, Likes, Pins, +1s and more directly from your WP admin area.
We recommend getting Social Metrics Pro if you own or manage WordPress sites and want to avoid wasting resources on over-optimized social media marketing campaigns.
For more details, check out the plugin here: SocialMetricsPro – Social Analytics Plugin For WordPress