BrightonSEO: SEO and Social Media

Published on September 21, 2023 by Kaya Heaton

September is here again and the sun was shining on the south coast ready to welcome over 6,000 SEO enthusiasts. Here at Footprint Digital, we believe in being sponges not stones (which are best left on Brighton Beach!) and last Thursday was the perfect chance to expand and soak up more knowledge. 

Being immersed in all things SEO at Footprint Digital, the chance to hear new, diverse opinions on where the industry is heading is a brilliant way to provide a new perspective on the day-to-day.

It’s so easy to be focused on your own world view and the frequent changes in our industry so blocking a day out of the diary for a trip down south provides the perfect chance to reflect on the bigger picture and appreciate the brilliant, innovative people involved in making SEO a better place for all.

It was particularly great to learn more about the work done by Neurodivergents in SEO at their stand and see communities like Women in Tech SEO connecting. 

SEO and Social Media

The relationship between SEO and organic social featured heavily in the talks I attended this year, with a particular highlight being Dr Jamie Cohen’s session on The TikTokification of Everyday Life.

As a self-confessed TikTok enthusiast, listening to this exploration of the various micro-niches, or ‘cores’ that grip audiences interested in everything from books to cleaning products, was fascinating.

The specificity of micro-niche content has led to a desire amongst TikTok’s users to make a community and connect with others with the same interests, resulting in the emergence of repeatable, long-tail content. This perpetual niching-down has led to a ‘genre of nothingness’, illustrated by the ‘Get Ready With Me’ and ‘Day in the Life’ videos that are a regular feature in the routine of those of us who partake in evening doomscrolling. 

So what does this mean for SEO?

According to Cohen, the relatability of this content can make users forget that content creators are, in fact, working. This long-tail, community-based content performs very well due to TikTok’s conversational functionality, with the ability to respond to comments for example setting it apart from YouTube.

Further to this, Mathilde Høj’s session on TikTok SEO and how to incorporate the app into an SEO strategy emphasised the growing similarities between TikTok’s internal search function, whilst still highlighting the fact that TikTok content does not need to meet the same criteria as that found in SERPs – TikTok native content is essential.

However, that is not to say that the two aren’t linked.

Using a case study of Lidl in Denmark, Høj demonstrated the potential for viral TikTok content to dramatically impact website conversions. In the case of unplanned user-generated content, quick reactions from SEO teams to optimise relevant landing pages and content can mean that TikTok’s micro-niches have the potential to be heavily leveraged by brands.

The potential consequences of this for trends and conversion, especially with the news of TikTok and Google’s potential new partnership, could be fascinating and have provided much food for thought post-BrightonSEO. 

Avoid the distractions in marketing

As exciting as the possibilities surrounding TikTok may seem, Emily Long rounded off the session with a very important reminder: we marketers should avoid getting distracted by new, shiny things.

TikTok may be shiny, but it’s definitely not for everyone and consumers have the power, they will unfollow when a brand’s content misses the mark or comes across as insincere.

This relates back to a point also raised by Høj, and one that is repeated across the SEO industry: knowing your audience inside out is key for success.

If you have ever sat in an educational session from Footprint Digital, you are likely to have heard the phrase test and measure always and forever and this translates to TikTok. Long shares the 70/20/10 testing rule:

  • 70% of marketing activity should be tried and tested, business as usual
  • 20% should be lower risk and lower reward, such as trying new audience types
  • 10% should be higher risk and higher reward

As strategies prove themselves successful, they can graduate into the 70% bracket, leaving room to constantly test out new ideas. Using this model all the time is designed to prevent destabilising strategies with the ‘shiny’ new kids on the block, without allowing activity to stagnate and stall in the comfort zone.

This set of sessions was just a snippet of the expertise on offer at BrightonSEO. As always, it was a fascinating day, and seeing such a varied agenda was reflective of the constant evolution we see in this industry. As a Partnership Development Manager, I get to hear from lots of different agencies with different expertise, including social media, so it was fascinating to see these topics on a wider stage. I’m always available to chat to our clients about our Partnership Network – so if you’re after more information on social media agencies, developers, designers and much much more, please get in touch, or look out for me at the next BrightonSEO!