The collective number of social engagement through likes, shares, and comments builds social media visibility and contributes towards the organic search ranking of a website or eCommerce store. Social signals constitute as another form of citation, similar to backlinks.

Over the last five years, social media has moved beyond being a mere messaging and engagement channel. It is mandatory for businesses to formulate a cohesive social media strategy and social signal tools play a dominant role in collecting and analysing social data. In this article, we will share few social signal tools, discuss their role in brand management, and share few tips to increase social signals.

Recommended Social Signal Tools

The usual way to comprehend the social chatter around a brand is to manually monitor the number of shares or likes on social media pages or the brand website. However, this approach is an unreasonable one because manual checking gives you a faint idea that people are sharing but doesn’t give a conclusive picture on what are they sharing or where are they sharing and what kind of ripple effect is the social chatter generating. Create and automate social signals data gathering and analysis through these tools:

#1 Google Analytics

A free recommended and accessible tool for every webmaster and business owner, Google Analytics should be the first foray into tapping and understanding social signals. The Google Analytics dashboard displays a “social sources” metric, which allows the administrator to identify the social traffic from various social platforms and helps to analyse the activity in each network. After social platform identification, click on each source to find which of the website pages are getting the maximum traffic. There is the “activity stream” feature to view the social users liking, voting or sharing the page content.

#2 BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is an industry leader and an excellent social signal tracking tool. Businesses get a lot of more data than such the signals such as backlinks profile, content analysis, and keyword trends. BuzzSumo is a paid premium tool at $100 per month, and the free trial version delivers just the basic social data from Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.  The tool also displays historical data for the last one year. BuzzSumo could become a one-stop solution for all business analytic needs.


A tool by SEO professionals, for SEO professionals, SISTRIX simplifies SEO, and social signals are a part of SEO. Their Toolbox gives access to a detailed dashboard that lists all the possible SEO performance indicators. It gathers data on every domain. Simply copy-paste the URL, and the Toolbox will fetch all the social data related to the domain, and present it in an understandable format. View the social media presence on various platforms, and compare the data with competitors. The Toolbox generates a social visibility over time graph through its comprehensive set of evaluation guidelines.

#4 Social Signal Checker

Created by Social Signifier, the Social Signal Checker tool is free to use. Simply copy-paste the URL to analyse, and the tool will show the number of social shares across Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter. While the tool isn’t a comprehensive one as it leaves out other social networks, it is still a good tool to get an idea of how and where consumers are interacting with the social business content.

Role of Social Signals in Brand Management

The purpose of any search engine is to make quality content available to users. One of the SERP metrics is to gauge the frequency of a URL visibility throughout the web. Since our communication channels have actively moved towards social media, social communication has become an integrated search ranking metric with search engines like Google.

According to Search Engine Journal, social signals like Facebook shares, Reddit comments, Tumblr reshares, StumbleUpon shares, Google +1s have a strong impact on SERP. An increase in social signals indicate authority of the URL and helps to improve domain authority. Though there is quantitative data on social signals conclusively improving domain authority, take a look at Brian Dean’s, an industry leader in the SEO segment, Ranking Factors which says that social signals “may increase a site’s overall authority”.

Ultimately, it boils down to human psychology. We tend to share something we believe in. If people are sharing a particular page/URL, Google considers that page/URL of high value, and thus, improves its organic ranking.

Whether you are a startup, small business owner or a large business owner, ignoring the social signals isn’t an option. Social chatter not only generates traffic but builds an image in front of the targeted consumers.

As you begin to comprehend the mind of the consumers through the social signal analysis data, it becomes easier to tap into the audience base and use the social signals as a marketing tool. Signals indicate a level of acceptance of a certain product or service within the market. It connects people and ideas to a business model. It becomes a valuable resource to use for the growth of business.

Tips to Increase Social Signals

Entertaining, valuable and informative content is the key to a strong social signal profile. Here are some tips to increase the social signal volume.

  1. Create customized images and post on social media accounts frequently. Images are known to increase interaction rates.
  2. Keep the posting frequency multiple times on social media.
  3. Set-up a team to monitor social media channels handles comments and critiques constructively.
  4. Use social signal tools to monitor shares, likes, retweets, and other social engagements. It is necessary to monitor brand perception actively.
  5. Partner with other brands and share their original content. Start contests and giveaways to retain consumer interest in the brand.

Endnote: Social media chatter is unavoidable. You need to deploy social signal tools to understand how consumers are interacting with the business brand, and set-up an active social marketing initiative around it. Hiring a “Community Manager” should become a priority as the person is responsible for building and monitoring the business brand.

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