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SEO Versus Social Media

The two marketing methods that we get asked about the most are SEO and Social Media. People want to know which one is better, how can they do it themselves, and if those efforts make a difference anyway. It’s hard not to chuckle when there is an expectation that a quick one-size-fits-all answer could be spewed out on the spot. As I presume my friend Albert would agree, it’s all relative.

Which one is better, SEO or Social Media?

SEO and Social Media seek out two entirely different audiences, and which one is better really depends on what you are trying to achieve. Actually, Social Media has become a critical piece of SEO. So, it’s hard to keep them in completely separate boxes.

SEO involves a multitude of on-going tasks that prove and validate your relevancy so that your website appears in a favorable position in the search results. It is like a massive popularity contest where the winner gets to stand on the podium on the front page of Google. Under the right terms, it’s a great place to be and one of the best ways to attract business from people who may not have heard of you. Here, your products and services are the selling point.

Social Media gives your business a personality and a place for people to interact with your business. This is one of the best ways to strengthen your brand. It’s a forum to handle both positive and negative comments immediately and in the spotlight. For the most part, Social Media is not where people go to shop. Great content will be shared and more people will “meet” your business and form a relationship before engaging in business. When people feel that they know you, loyalty is bred. Here, you are selling who you are through an engaging “conversation”.

How can I do SEO or Social Media myself?

SEO is a complex and rapidly evolving strategy that is quite time-consuming. While there are elements of SEO that a business owner can handle on his or her own, most just don’t have the time or expertise. On-site SEO requires optimal site structure and coding, engaging content and mobile-friendly design. However, this is only the beginning. The “rest” of SEO, and definitely the larger portion, is work that takes place off-site. How that is done has changed a lot over the last year, and especially since the beginning of 2014.

Link building is still what needs to be done, but it must be done in an infinite number of ways. Essentially, to create high-quality original content and get it published where it attracts the right kind of traffic. The goal is not just to put a bunch of links out there anywhere; it has to be done with purpose. The best results will come with that content is shared and picked up by well-known resources in your industry. So, what is high-quality content? It could be articles, infographics, blog posts, interviews, press releases, spotlight pieces on your business, directory listings, blogrolls, social media mentions, etc.

The Social Media hub is still Facebook; but, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest each have large audiences you can successfully reach with your message. In fact, you can even set it up so that your posts are seen in more than one place automatically. Think of Social Media as a person. You have to keep in touch on a regular basis, or the other party will either lose interest or think that you dropped off the face of the earth. So, you’ve got to post at least five days a week. A couple times a day at times when people are likely to be online would be ideal. Keep in mind that not everyone who likes your page will see your posts across the different channels. The more you interact with each other, the more they will see what you put out there. Interaction is a two-way street. You can’t just post. You also have to like, comment on and share what others put out there. If you have an exceptional post, go ahead and promote it to a targeted audience to increase your reach.

So, what do you post? Well, definitely don’t advertise your business with every post. Do that sparingly. Share insight, inspiration, tips, articles, images, links to your blog posts and relevant expertise. But, don’t forget to sound human!

Do SEO and Social Media make a difference anyway?

Without SEO and Social Media, you generally won’t just find yourself on the front page of Google or being tweeted about. If you want to be noticed, you have to stand up and let people know you are here. I don’t have to tell you that people go online to do everything from shopping to socializing. If you’re not there, you’re not going to get that business. So, yes, SEO and Social Media make all the difference in the world!