Social media marketing and SEO (search engine optimization) are two of the most popular digital marketing strategies used by businesses – and arguably two of the most effective. But just which one is better suited to your business? While it’s worth investing in both, this guide explains which one could be worth focusing on more.
Do you want to build brand awareness or direct leads?
Social media is much better for building brand awareness, while SEO is better at building direct leads.
While you can still generate direct leads through social media, the platform is much better at simply generating brand awareness because of the ability to share content and start conversation through comments. A successful social media campaign could lead to hundreds or thousands of people discovering your product in a week – people who may not otherwise have searched for your product. This can lead to customers later down the line.
SEO is much better for building direct leads. You can target keywords used by consumers who are actively looking for your business, helping to lead them to your website where you can convert them into customers. With social media you are more likely to generate impulse purchases. Consider whether your product is the type of product people actively look for or if it’s the type of product people buy on impulse.
Are you more likely to win people over with visuals or words?
When using social media, you can more easily promote your product using visuals. In fact, social media posts containing images and videos perform much better than posts that are just text. If you’re a company that relies heavily on visuals to sell your product (such as a cake-making company, a tattoo studio or a clothing line) you could find that social media is very effective at getting leads.
Other companies are more likely to win people over through words as they may not have much to offer visually. For example, an accounting company is unlikely to have much to visually boast about. SEO relies a lot on targeting keywords and so being able to sell your product with words is important. An accountancy firm may find that they’re able to get more leads by winning people over with specific keywords like ‘best local accounting’ or ‘accounting for retail’.
How quickly do you want results?
When you share a social media post, it becomes instantly visible. It’s possible to generate instant results because of this – which could be useful if you’re promoting an event in a week’s time. The downside is that social media campaigns are usually short lived unless you’re willing to keep posting new content.
SEO can take months to take effect so it is less suitable for advertising immediate events. However, it can have a more long-lasting impact – succeed in optimising your website effectively and it could maintain high rankings for years. It’s worth using search engine optimization services to get good results. DIY SEO is not recommended.
Why your business needs both
All businesses can benefit from using both strategies. Some consumers are more likely to be converted by a social media post, while others may solely use search engines to find products and services. By using both strategies, you can make sure that you’re targeting both types of consumer.