Does your business need social media marketing? Yes. Does your brand need search engine optimization? You bet. While some marketers thing these two online marketing strategies stand apart from each other, they’re actually just different parts of the same strategy to increase your brand awareness.
It’s time to set the record straight.
First off, let’s explore these two concepts.
Search engine optimization is a process which allows a web page to appear in the most viewable placing possible in search engine results. For example, if someone looks up “fishing supplies” on Google, Bing, Ask, AOL, or Yahoo, they will get a list of related web pages that feature fishing supplies. Businesses that incorporate SEO strategies will, in theory, appear above others.
Social media marketing, on the other hand, is a tad bit different. Entirely different, actually. This method allows businesses to not only appear in search results on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest, but it also allows them to interact with customers through a variety of avenues. Marketers can represent their brand via profiles and pages. They can also share a constant stream of original and curated content, similar to an individual’s activity on these platforms.
We may be tempted to ask ourselves which one is better. SEO or SMM? Well, these two are not competitors. Instead, they cater to completely different aspects of the online marketing industry. The two are essentially completely different crafts despite contributing to the final product of increased online visibility.
That being said, social media marketing contributes to online marketing efforts in ways that SEO, in its nature, cannot. Here are the top advantages social media has over SEO:
1. Immediate customer and audience communication. Businesses on social media have the ability to respond to customers who are trying to reach out via messages, tagging, tweets, etc. After all, it is social media.
2. The ability to send out constantly fresh and updated content. SEO allows you to be in the spotlight in search engine results. Social media allows you to be in the spotlight of social media news feeds. The average Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram user checks their feeds multiple times a day, thereby increasing your chances of getting engagement.
3. Quick personalization and “damage control.” Are there negative comments about your business on social media? No problem. You can immediately respond to the “crisis” in a positive and professional manner. Does a negative comment pop up on search engines? You’re in for quite a headache.
4. The benefits of “peer reviews” and user-generated content. People like to read reviews from their fellow consumers. While places like Angie’s List and Yelp are helpful for this, social media is one of the most popular places for reviews and offers a special advantage- companies have the ability to respond and tell your side of the story, whether the review is positive or negative.
5. Considerably less expensive promotional options. Social media isn’t completely free if you want to be successful. Facebook advertisements, for one, is a very helpful albeit paid service. Still, social media promotional services may prove to be inexpensive when compared to premium SEO options.
Now, there is one bridge to connect these two worlds and that is Google+. By posting social media content on this platform, your SEO rankings will be improved on Google via the keywords you used in your updates. Google is by far the most popular search engine and offers this helpful solution to have best of both worlds.
When it comes down to it, SEO is a visibility tool. SMM is a communication tool.
There is a place for SEO. No smart online marketer would say otherwise. It can help service-based businesses show up when people are searching for solutions. However, SEO in no way replaces social media marketing. By representing your business on Facebook, Twitter, and the other platforms, you’re essentially giving your customers the opportunity to benefit your company by tagging your business, giving 5-star ratings, sharing your posts, and much more. It’s a completely different marketing animal, and one that is proven essential for online brand awareness.
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