SMX East 2011: Facebook, Twitter and SEO

Both Google and Bing say social signals are factored into their ranking algorithms for “regular” search results.  No surprise. So it was also no surprise it was standing room only at SMX East Facebook, Twitter and SEO session designed for the serious search and social crowd!


Danny Sullivan gave introductions with a reminder that not so long ago, searchers did not take social media as serious as they do today. That was soooo SEO yesterday.

Let’s log in to…”The Data” Guy, as he calls himself.  Horst Joepen, CEO, Searchmetrics (@HorstJoepen) takes us through Facebook, Twitter, SEO and beyond – he reminds us we can’t ignore the other social channels. First he talks about the correlation of Facebook Likes and keywords – higher page rank, the more likely there will be higher social mentions.

Social Media Visibility is defined as the number of social media events (Likes, shares, comments, tweets) linking to a web page over a defined period of time.

Organic Search Visibility is reciprocal keyword ranking multiplied by search volume of each keyword –  cumulated
for all known rankings of a domain.

He spotlighted Search Engine Land and the New York Times and gave us real life examples of how social media visibility can have a direct impact on organic search visibility. We also received a Google +1 reality check – even in our early-adopter-search-marketing industry, the Google +1 button is still rarely used in our own search community.

Key takeaways:

  • Social Media is influencing SEO – persistently
  • Social Media strengthens branding
  • To Do: Analyze hot topics and good social media channels of competitors
  • To Do: Analyze strategies also cross industry
  • To Do: Use intelligence to copy and experiment

“The Numbers Guy”, CEO of BrightEdge Jim Yu ,  works with more than 500 brands including Facebook and Twitter and is next up to share the numbers we should know and care about to make smart search and social decisions.

Let’s Talk History: Evolution on Internet Marketing

  • 90s:  Pages – Banners – Broadcast – Marketer-driven.
  • 00s: User Targeting – search gave us ability to focus on user interest.
  • 10s: User-Driven – today we find ourselves in a user driven world with the advent of social media.

This is not about what is happening on your website anymore, it’s about what is happening on other sites. Here’s a look at the leaders:

  • 1 B users Google
  • 750 M users Facebook
  • 250 M users Twitter

Yes, we are connecting with or customers in an unprecedented type of  way – we know more than ever that search and social are influencing each other!

Take a look at data – a recent study done by Brightedge:

  • Sites with Tweet button get 7x the amount of engagement than site that did not have button
  • But, only 42% of websites in a recent BrightEdge study had a Tweets button.

To Do:

  • Make it easy to engage – drive more social engagement and drive engagement even into your deep pages of your website.


  • Websites with a Facbook plugin get 3x more social engagement than those that did not.
  • But, only 50.3% of web sites surveyed have a Facebook button.

To Do:

  • Huge opportunity to drive engagement.

How does your social media measure up? Take this quiz.

  1. Do you have a Facebook and Twitter presence?
  2. Is useful content being posted to the accounts?
  3. Are your social media pages ranking in search results?
  4. Are you doing SEO on your Facebook page?

If you answered ‘NO” to any of these questions, consider a social media makeover.

What can you do?

  • Add Social Buttons to Your Site
  • Optimize Your Facebook Page For SEO
  • Connect Your Brand’s Existing Pages
  • Automate for Scale

How can we get the most value for in the least amount of time?  The self-proclaimed “Con Man” who is actually a very nice guy – Michael Gray, President, Atlas Web Service takes us through tips, tools and strategies of how to automate and not feel like a BOT? Is it possible? He makes it look so easy!

Tools to Use

Social media is a huge time sucker, using automation in a very smart way can make your social media life easier, more efficient, and above all meaningful.

Ways to make social media actionable:

  • Customer service – look for ways to be proactive – answer FAQs.
  • Problem Solving
  • Be a Curator – biggest thing you can do – Tweet out interesting info – informative, funny, other people’s stuff is always better – promote others stuff – share, share, share.
  • Promoting Others – Give a thumbs up for people, places, events.
  • Current Events – Be a good community leader and tweet blood drives, book fairs, etc.
  • Shameless Self-Promotion – Allow just 10-20% to talk about your own stuff, and try to scheduled for peak times.

Time-Saving Ideas

  • See what reoccurring questions come up and develop a list of answers ahead of time.
  • Take difficult problems offline.
  • Make a lists of good content in your space.
  • Make an Evergreen list –Evergreen means info that does not ever expire – Example: How to Paint Your Living Room – probably won’t change.
  • Use RSS, make it easy to scan, learn how to scan, get in and out – schedule the posts.

Michael’s Favorite Tools 

Remember: use tools that let let you work smart and maximize time, don’t be chained to your desk on social media!

  • Tweriod – Tells you when people are following are online – see when the time is hot to tweet – that’s when you want to maximize the opportunity – Tweet your stuff in the middle where you get the best audience.
  • HootSuite – scheduling software – one month out takes 30 minutes once a month.
  • Buffer – helps you tweet more consistently by allowing you to choose set times to tweet each day.


  •  Create a master plan
  •  Take it one step at a time
  •  See how you can recycle content – why reinvent  the wheel?
  • Create a library of questions and answers
  • Set up a dashboard of tools
  • Analyze timing
  • Put “evergreen” content into the mix


  • Humans should look at every single tweet
  • Interact with others, RT and have conversations
  • Schedule what you can so you are not chained to your desk

Try the 80/20 rule – 80% automation and 20% personalaztion

“The Ranker ” brings us up to speed on how to rank in authority.  John Doherty, SEO Consultant with Distilled, tells us the ins and outs of building rank and authority in social media. Websites like Klout help score your authority on what topics you are influential on and Tribrr give you a way to multiply and amplify your reach in a trusted tribal circle.

Will a social mention affect rankings? What is your score of influence and what really matters?

  • No.  of followers does not seem to matter … Bottom line – you can buy followers
  • Manual tweeters have 4x number of followers
  • Engage but do it smart
  • CTR does not matter

What matters most for authority and ranking?  Engagement matters the most – No. of clicks, @replies, gives you higher rank. Unfortunately, like in SEO, there is no quick win in social media when building authority. It’s that old adage when it pays to make the long term investment of time.

Triberr is a tool to help you get more traffic to your site thanks to developer @dancristo and here’s how it works:

  1. You  build a “tribe” based around a topic
  2. You share each other’s blog posts
  3. You Tweet each other’s blog posts

Measurement is challenging … Dohertly gives us ways to measure and see hwo we stack up socially with websites such as @ipullrank or

  • Crossbooster
  • Simply Measured
  • FollowerWonk
  • FriendorFollow

We ended the session with a wrap and one last tip from moderator Danny Sullivan. He gave us the idea of
“second chance tweets” — put out tweets a second time for those followers who might have missed it in their stream.

, author of Social PR Secrets, was named one of the top 40 Digital Strategists for 2013. @lisabuyer is passionate and ambitious about how Public Relations, Social Media and Online Marketing influence each other. She is President and CEO of The Buyer Group, an interactive public relations and social agency located in Celebration, Florida and editor for Social #PR Chat covering trends in Social PR, Mobile PR, Brand PR and SEO PR. A columnist with Search Engine Watch and a regular speaker with PubCon, SES and part of the @ClickZ faculty and most recently became an instructor of the University of San Francisco’s online Advanced Social Media certificate program.

See Lisa's author page for links to connect on social media.

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4 Replies to “SMX East 2011: Facebook, Twitter and SEO”

Google is already indexing tweets (albeit not in real-time) so Twitter pages and even individual tweets have already started appearing within Google search results.


It’s an interesting article you have been writing here, im trying to understand exactly how much seo depends on the social factor – im one step closer after this, especially the social media visibility is something i will remember! Thanks’

Great write-up Lisa, looks like it was a great session and I am sorry that I missed it.

Hi it was great seeing you and thanks for the feedback. I give a ton of credit to the speakers, they were top notch!


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