Should you be using social media as part of your search engine optimization strategy? Everyone who uses a computer uses social media in their personal life to some extent anymore. Case in point: many of us have logged in to find that that even our grandparents have sent us a friend request on Face book. That might explain why the younger crowd is on Twitter and Instagram mostly these days. The lasting and broad popularity of social media means that if you own a business or are looking to promote a website, then social media of all kinds is a must.

And the great news is that your effort pays out double when it comes to social media and search engine optimization. Not only will you be building a network of like-minded people who will lend you credibility by becoming “followers” and “liking” you, you will also be saturating the social media landscape with links back to your site. Those links will be followed both by real people and by search bots. Everything you post, as long as it can be traced back to the site you are trying to promote, lends a little bit of credibility to what you are trying to do.

Wait, do social media posts count for search engine optimization?

Search engine optimization gurus in the past might have told you not to waste your time with social media. Websites that weren’t at least somewhat static had a bad rep for backlink creation for a long time either because they were too hard for the search bots to read or because the content was oftentimes suspect. Everyone has been in an old-school forum or in the comments section at the bottom of a news article and seen an entry with a link that read, “Hey! Click here to earn $1000’s per week working at home!” Does that work for link-building and good SEO? Not really.

But the next time you are on Twitter, click on the “Details” link at the bottom of a Tweet (you might have to expand the Tweet first to find it). You’ll be taken to a page made up solely of that one Tweet with a unique URL that looks a bit like this:

You get something similar if you click on the timestamp at the bottom of a Face book post:

Those are unique links that search engines index just like any other link on any other website. Will one hundred backlinks that you create through social media count as much as one hundred permanent links back to your site from popular blogs or other, more traditional websites? Probably not, but every little bit counts. Social media is a “nose to the grindstone” kind of thing. There are no real shortcuts. So you’d better get used to it.

Will social media ever get easier?

Yes and no. If you dive in and get good at it, then posting to Face book and Twitter will become second nature. You will throw up a dozen quality posts per week and not even think about it. Social media isn’t difficult once you get used it, but it does require a good amount of work to use effectively, keeping it from ever being truly “easy”.

And if you also take into account that the landscape of what is popular in social media is always changing, requiring you to keep up with the latest trends to make sure you efforts aren’t wasted, then you might find that utilizing social media as part of your SEO strategy on your own is an insurmountable task. Lucky for you, there are plenty of professional search engine optimization specialists who are willing to help you and take away from of that burden

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