For small and medium-sized businesses. it is important to pursue both Search engine optimization(SEO) and social media marketing. Each one works in a different way to drive traffic to your website and businesses that effectively use both mediums will get the maximum results for their marketing dollars. At Brainstorm Studio, we handle numerous SEO and Social Media campaigns for clients throughout Long Island, New York City and beyond. Our experience has taught us the following simple truths…
One reason why businesses may hesitate to focus on social media is that it has a limited effect on their search engine ranking. Obviously, claiming a higher rank is an advantage over a competitor, but that isn’t the purpose of social media. Social media should strive to engage customers, build loyalty and trust, so that they become familiar with the brand and recommend it to their friends.
Here is a quick breakdown of why both social media and SEO are critical to marketing success and how they work together.
Everyone know’s that search is important. Search engines like Google have become embedded in today’s culture as our primary way of discovering new information. With the variety and multitude of competing options available to customers, businesses certainly want to secure a high search engine ranking. After all, if consumers don’t know that the business exists, they’ll never have a chance to become customers.
What search engines don’t provide are personal interactions like recommendations or sharing of a product or service with new visitors. In that case, consumers will trust recommendations from people or sites that they know. This is where social media marketing comes in.
Currently, most people don’t use social media sites to search for businesses, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t see them while they’re browsing. Whenever a customer claims an online deal on Facebook, it gets sent to all of their connections. Twitter and most other social media sites create similar exposure when customers post links to their favorite business, pictures of the products they bought, or even just general comments about whether they like a business. Every time someone does this, it’s an automatic recommendation to the people they know. Even if they have never heard of a business, the fact that their friend enjoys it increases its credibility and familiarizes them with the brand.
That’s the minimal and natural effect of social media, but it can be taken further with a well-managed business page. For example, on Twitter, businesses can post a link to a special event or sale and ask their followers to re-tweet it. Simply asking customers to help can produce a tremendous response, and all of those re-tweets inform potential clients for free. Some businesses will even add incentives in order to increase the number of re-tweets. Either way, the point is to interact with current and potential customers.
It is important to note that pursuing social media marketing does not guarantee new customers, nor should it be the sole focus of a business’s marketing strategy. It’s purpose is to increase exposure and build brand loyalty and trust. Because social media is so thoroughly integrated into our lives, it no longer makes sense not to use it.
Bottom line, businesses should use both social media and SEO because their customers use both. Each medium serves a different purpose, but is equally crucial to convey information to consumers, build brand loyalty and make a sale!
By John McHugh