I think everyone can agree, at this point, that social media activity has a serious and measurable impact on search engine results. Search engines may use this social network information differently but no one can deny that it is having a significant effect on automotive SEO.
Let’s start with Facebook shares, all the way back in July 2011 Rand Fishkin did a study which found that there was a high degree of correlation between Facebook likes and higher search engine rankings. What he wrote says it better than I ever could “Pages that earn tweets + Facebook shares also correlate well with earning links, and send direct traffic on their own – ignoring these services at this point seems foolish.”
I’m going to switch over and talk about Bing for a moment. I know they’re not the popular topic but they are still gaining market share and could be somewhat relevant soon with the new advertising push and improvements to their product. Bing pulls directly from social sharing results to determine ranking on their SERPs. Bing calls this process “collective IQ” which sounds a little too dystopian sic-fi for my liking, but what it means is that things that are popular on Facebook in general, not just among your friends, will rank more prominently. So the better your reach on Facebook specifically the better Bing will rank you.
Social signals that search engines follow don’t always lead to a permanent result. This isn’t all bad though, what you can do is use social media to promote a landing page for a limited time promotion and receive a huge boost of traffic and exposure as well as an SEO boost while the promotion runs.
Social review sites like Yelp and Google Places tend to fall through the cracks when it comes to talking about Social, but those sites are social network, they are quite large and can have major impacts on your business. The major benefit to getting positive reviews on sites like this is better local search ranking. It is important to get positive reviews from authoritative or influential individuals.
SEO is all about achieving organic rankings that will last long term and drive relevant traffic to your site. Social media sharing is now another way to accomplish this goal other than link building and content creation. Why wouldn’t you jump all over this opportunity to drive more traffic, rank better in search, and at the same time increase brand awareness and brand loyalty. Social media is a no-brainer.