One choice I often hear people discussing is whether money should be spent on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Social Media Marketing. Is one more valuable than the other? Do you get more bang for your buck from SEO or from social media? Can’t you get somebody in-house to do both for you?
As always, the answer is a little complicated.
The first thing I’d think about is:
What Is Your Main Marketing Goal?
Putting social media against SEO in a vacuum is stupid.
There’s no way to say that one is definitively better than the other because they both serve different purposes and will help your business in different ways.
I’m going to disappoint you right now and tell you that both social media and SEO are great for businesses. But which is great for your business is a different matter!
Think About Your Marketing Strategy
What is the current goal of your marketing strategy?
“To make money!”
Ok, but that’s not really a concrete goal, is it? We can’t form a strategy around simply making money. So instead we want to focus on a more specific goal:
- Does your business need to build awareness locally or nationally?
- Do you want to connect to people locally who want your specific services?
- Are you wanting to offer better support to customers who are interested in your products?
- Do you need to remarket your services to past customers?
- Are you wanting to upsell current customers?
The list of goals is endless.
Before deciding on whether you’re better off using social media or SEO, you need to know what you want out of the arrangement. The best way to do that is to look at your marketing funnel or strategy to see where improvement is needed.
Once you know that, you can then decide what you need to implement.
But how do you know whether your goal aligns with either technique?
Well, I’m going to lay out the pros and cons of SEO and Social Media right now:
Social Media Marketing and SEO – Pros and Cons
SEO is the process of improving your website and its content so that it shows up higher in search engine results.Why it’s good:
- People searching for local services on Google are people that are looking to spend their money right now. If you rank highly for certain search terms locally, a lot of business could come your way.
- Becoming a reliable resource in your industry online can keep people coming back to your website and builds awareness of your brand.
- Since SEO is based on keywords, you can connect to people that are searching for very specific things.
- If you’re in a competitive industry, your business will have to compete with others to get the best spots at the top of search results.
- It takes time for SEO to work. It’s not instantaneous.
- Your success is in the hands of Google. A major change from them could have a large impact on your business.
- There’s a lot to learn, so you would more than likely have to hire a professional.
Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing is the use of social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) to market your business.
Why we like it:
- It’s affordable. Whether you’re hiring an agency like us or doing it yourself, social media won’t break the bank. Platforms are free to sign-up to and you can put as many resources into social media as you like.
- People look to social media to check the legitimacy of a business. Potential customers will check you out online before they make a buying decision, social media is their way of seeing previous customer experiences and ensuring their experience will be a positive one.
- It builds customer relationships. Social media is a way to connect to current and potential customers on a more personal level. You can create a dialogue.
- Although it’s affordable, it can be time intensive. The larger your business, the more time will be spent staying on top of social media.
- You have less control over your brand’s message. Since social media is open to the public, you’re giving customers a place to air their potential grievances.
Which to choose – Social Media or SEO?
Now that you’ve figured out your main marketing goal and had a look at the pros and cons of social media and SEO, you should have a better idea of which is best for you right now.
In a perfect world, you’d use both. You should use every tool at your disposal to hit your marketing goals. But in the real world, you may need to make a tough choice.
If you’re finding it hard to make that choice, we can always help. We do offer a consulting package where we take a look at your marketing strategy and help you to come up with an action plan that will work for you.
Just remember, any choice is better than no choice! The sooner you get the ball rolling, the better.