Search Engine vs Social Media Marketing
Most webmasters use multiple tools in order to effectively develop a marketing strategy for their websites. While once the dominant force in marketing, search engine optimization and the considerations that come with it are increasingly coming under scrutiny thanks to the development and success of social media. Many are left asking, “Which one is the best for me?”. In this article, we will detail the key advantages and disadvantages to using each platform so that you can optimize your marketing strategy to take into account any particular circumstances.
Search Engine Advantages
One key element that search engines have going for them is the sheer level of usage. When someone wishes to look for something, they’re going to think ‘search engines’ and not ‘social media’. While social media is making strides in this territory, search engines are best at aggregating content. This is in large part due to them pinging sites on a consistent basis, gathering relevant information. Search engines also offer paid solutions for breaking into key categories – although they offer no long-term benefit.
Search Engine Disadvantages
Due to the intricacies involved in being organically discovered via search, many people feel that scaling the ranks in search engines is time consuming and not worth the effort. By comparison, it is relatively easy to build a presence in a particular category using social media marketing. Advertising via search engines is also quite a bit more expensive, although some would say the audience and conversion rates are better, too.
Social Media Advantages
One-on-one interactions are a huge plus when using social media. While search engines are beginning to incorporate some of these elements (Bing is a notable example), social media clearly has the advantage. Whenever a page or advertisement is liked by a person, their friends will see this and have it recommended to them in many cases. Studies show that this sort of personal recommendation drastically increases conversions. Another great element that social media offers is the ability to interact and troubleshoot with customers and followers in real time.
Social Media Disadvantages
Advertising via social media is much cheaper, but the generalized approaches (not including recommendations from friends) are far less effective than with search engine advertising. Pinging sites like you do with search engines is nearly impossible via social media; some social media signals can lead to better search engine results, but not vice versa. You are also limited in the fact that when someone wants to find something, they almost automatically go to a search engine first and not social media.
In the vast majority of cases, both social media and search engines provide the same benefits – although one usually trumps in the other. In some cases, you will need the services of one exclusively in order to deliver the desired results. Any successful marketing campaign will incorporate elements from both platforms in order to gain maximum exposure and traction, so it really becomes a question of which particular marketing elements you are seeking to implement and which methods achieve those best. Once you have the answers to these questions, determining which platform gets the most attention in your marketing strategy becomes much clearer.