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Social Media Isn’t an SEO Replacement

November 15, 2013 by  

Social media is an increasingly important component of an online marketing strategy. People are spending more and more time on social media sites and good marketing entails being where your target audience is spending their time. If you learn how to “do” social media well on behalf of your business, it can really provide a great return. It’s a great way to engage with current and potential customers, resolve customer service issues, and share information about your company. However, even if your social strategy is working out great it doesn’t mean that you can ditch your other online marketing tactics, specifically SEO. No matter how well your social campaign is working it will never be a replacement for a solid search engine presence.

Social media is a great place to interact with those that are already familiar with your business or brand, but what about potential customers that don’t know yet that you exist? They could stumble upon your information in social media, but there is a greater likelihood that they will first come across your content in the search engines when they conduct a non branded search for a keyword or keyword phrase that you are targeting on your site. Giving up on SEO in favor of focusing solely on social media means that you will be losing out on the stream of visitors that the search engines provide.

Social media is a worthwhile investment, we aren’t denying that, but there is also a level of risk involved, mainly because as a business you don’t own your social media pages. The owners of those pages are the social networking sites themselves and your page should be thought of more as “rented space”. This means that you need to abide by the rules and regulations set forth by the social network. With SEO on the other hand, you are generating traffic to your business website which is your owned property. You can set it up as you’d like and include whatever content you please. In many ways this is better able to convey your brand and tone as opposed to the “cookie cutter” social profiles that resemble all of the other social profiles out there in regards to layout.

It’s also worth considering that social media sites have a shelf life. No matter how popular a site may be today, there’s no guarantee that it will be that popular 2 or 5 years down the road. It’s a gamble. There’s always a new social network on the scene that will try and usurp those that came before it, which means that your social strategy will always need to be tweaked to stay involved with the sites that are the most popular for your target audience. Your business website, on the other hand, is timeless which is why it’s important to always focus on generating traffic to it from the search engines.

Social media is important and actually assists an SEO strategy, but that doesn’t mean that traditional SEO work should be abandoned. It’s still important to have a quality website that has great content and build a variety of links to the website outside of the links that are shared in social media.

About the Author

Nick Stamoulis is the President of the Boston SEO firm Brick Marketing (http://www.brickmarketing.com). With over 13 years of industry experience Nick Stamoulis shares his SEO knowledge by writing in the Brick Marketing Blog and publishing the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter, read by over 120,000 opt-in subscribers.

Contact Nick Stamoulis at 781-999-1222 or nick@brickmarketing.com

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