Mastering Social SEO: rank high with short-form video

10 tips to create an effective social SEO strategy for TikTok, YouTube and Instagram

Today’s consumers, particularly Gen Z, demand quick and visually engaging answers to their questions. A recent study by Google revealed that 40% of 18-24 year olds rely on short-form video platforms like TikTok, YouTube Shorts, and Instagram Reels as their go-to search engine. From finding local hotspots for their next city trip to discovering cleaning tips and quick recipes, this generation values a fast response and visual representation of the information they seek. As a marketer, it’s crucial to tap into this shifting consumer behaviour by implementing a comprehensive social SEO strategy. This is all you need to know to succeed with Social SEO. 

73% of consumers prefer to watch a short-form video to discover new products (wyzowl, 2022). So how does social SEO work on each platform? Does this mean that the younger generation only watches short videos? No! According to YouTube’s Culture and Trends Insights team, 59% of Gen Z watch longer versions of videos they discover on short video apps. 

Social SEO

This makes short-form content a great addition to your already existing long-form video strategy. So how does Social SEO work on each platform?

Social SEO for TikTok

TikTok collects data on how users interact with different videos. Based on this information, TikTok can determine a user’s interests and serve them related content. According to Statista’s latest user report, TikTok users spent an average of 45 minutes per session on the platform! In that period, there’s plenty of time to spark attention, but also plenty of time to get lost within the mass. For your video to rank high, it is important to: 

  1. Understand the power of sound. With this, we’re not only aiming at incorporating trending tunes to your video – but also the actual words you say. 
  2. Turn on closed captions for your video. They help the algorithm to understand what your content is about
  3. On-screen text. Use your keywords and related phrases on screen in your video. Use broad hashtags and combine them with niche hashtags. 
  4. Go native. Add text and captions native to the app you’re using. TikTok identifies metadata, especially when you’re a new user.

Did you know that TikTok is gaining more and more visibility in Google and Bing search results? Ahrefs recently launched data about its growth over time – it’s impressive! And it’s about time you start utilising this with a clear Social SEO strategy!

Social SEO

Social SEO for YouTube

The same popularity counts for YouTube Shorts. YouTube’s short-form feature, which is accessible via the YouTube app, reached 1.5 billion monthly logged-in users as of June 2022. Shorts amasses over 30 billion daily views from global users in 2022. This popularity is only to grow more, since Google – mother of YouTube – started to include Shorts in Google’s search results. When people are Googling, they can now see Shorts as an answer.

This means more traffic! Add the fact that the in-built feature allows you to guide your Shorts viewers within the same app to the longer version of your video on your YouTube channel. YouTube Shorts is a great feature to gain visibility for your brand. Here are some social SEO tips. 

  1. Tell YouTube what your video is about. Use your keywords from your research, in your title, description and the tags.
  2. Optimise your audio and add captions. Same counts for the YouTube algorithm, it hears the words you use. Together with the closed captions, it favours you above others.
  3. Regularly check analytics and optimise accordingly. Compare your results and make small adjustments to rank even better.

Social SEO for Instagram Reels

Instagram’s algorithm remains pretty vague, which leads to a lot of frustration by creators online. The Reels algorithm has a separate one - different from regular posts and stories. A few tips we’ve figured out are:

  1. Stop using hashtags in the wrong way. Instagram has this new feature. When posting a reel go to add topics and choose three topics that describe your content the best. But don’t make it too diverse, because otherwise Instagram won’t know where to push your content to. After that we recommend using six to eight hashtags to categorise your content and you’re good to go. 
  2. Don’t upload your well-performing TikTok straight to Instagram. Instagram recognises meta data and will not push your video. Remove the watermark first!
  3. Don’t skip the alt text. Briefly describe the most important aspect of your reel. This gives more information to the Instagram algorithm to rank your content.

Want to learn more about using data and research to succeed with your Social SEO strategy?

Elevate your brand using TikTok!

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Written by

  • Julia Graafland

    SEO Copywriter

    Team5pm

    julia@team5pm.com

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