“Control what you can control and let the rest take care of itself.” After twenty years of football seasons listening to my husband coach, there are a few phrases that he says every year, and this is one of his favorites. Lessons learned on the athletic field often translate to other areas of life, and when it comes to inbound, I’m learning this applies to developing the right digital marketing strategy for anyone looking for quality traffic, higher search rankings, and connection to their target customers, clients, or blog readers.
When it comes to the digital realm, businesses and organizations should be aware of two important strategies: social media promotion and SEO best practices. Both elements are integral in helping drive organic traffic, boost engagement with target audiences, and potentially increase visibility within search engine results pages (SERPs). With each avenue offering its own unique advantages, there are several key considerations to take into account when deciding which is most appropriate for your business.
Social media algorithm changes are making it harder for companies to connect with followers, let alone gain new contacts, without paying for advertising. This by itself is a challenge for small marketing budgets, but algorithm changes are not the only problem. Facebook and Twitter have both acknowledged the existence of fake profiles on their social platforms, which means you may be targeting your ads toward non-existent customers.
There is a growing skepticism around social media promotion. Business owners and consumers now have the data to confirm their suspicions. “Points North Group said it has found that midlevel influencers‚ those with between 50,000 and 100,000 followers‚ often have about 20% fake followers. The company, which analyzes influencer marketing, estimated that in North America, brands pay influencers millions of dollars each month to reach followers that are fake.” (source)
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Organic SEO vs. Social Media Marketing
Let’s be clear – social media is still an avenue that deserves marketing attention. Despite the seemingly constant wave of negative news stories plaguing the various social media channels, in June 2018, Facebook reported 1.8 billion daily active users and 2 billion monthly active users. (Source) Thus, advertising dollars aimed toward target audiences on social can still be money well spent. Yet, when it comes to marketing, it is always better to diversify your touchpoints with customers rather than relying on rented internet space.
Your website, blog posts, and email list are the only real estate on the internet you own. Everything else (including your social media content) is borrowed space, and as with all rented property, you are at the mercy of your landlord. Even Facebook ads you pay for are impacted by the latest algorithm’s settings.
What happens if Facebook decides your company is promoting an unacceptable product or you are hacked, and someone creates social media posts using offensive language? In either case, the Facebook admins could choose to shut down your page.
If you are only focused on building a following on social media sites, and your page is hacked or shut down, you have little to zero control over communication with your customers. But, if you have a blog and an email list, you can quickly post an explanation of what is happening on social media, followed by an email that directs your followers on how to stay up to date on your company.
Improve Organic SEO with Social Media Channels
Alexandra Tachalova of Moz did an in-depth research study on Organic SEO vs. Social Media Marketing in 2016. She determined that social media and SEO website practices are nuanced subjects with a lot of overlap between the two areas. This was also presented recently by Shane Barker in the article 7 Ways Your Social Media Strategy Might Hurt Your SEO who reinforced that organic search traffic is best achieved when social media is included in a marketing strategy.
Shane says, “SEO and social media strategies work better together. The role of social media is more than just promoting content. If used correctly, social media can help improve organic search. Though this is the case, brands often fall into the trap of developing isolated strategies for each.“
Key points to remember:
1. Quality traffic is king. Make sure that your content and messages are delivered to the right audience for maximum engagement.
2. Optimize social media profiles, post regularly, and include links to drive traffic to websites.
3. Invest in SEO best practices, such as keyword research and on-page optimization for each page of your site.
It is important to note that there are different aspects of SEO and social media marketing that will play a part in increasing organic traffic. Creating high-quality content, optimizing social profiles, and building relationships with followers are critical pieces of the puzzle when it comes to pushing organic traffic to your website.
Finally, by combining SEO best practices with social media marketing efforts, you should be able to increase your organic search traffic and build an effective online presence. So why not leverage both? The thing to remember is that you own your website and email lists. You are renting space on social media platforms. Don’t allow your marketing efforts to be dictated entirely by algorithms you have no control over. By implementing consistent SEO best practices, you tell Google details about your content and can make sure you are always found in organic search.
By developing a diverse SEO strategy, you can increase the opportunities that your brand will remain accessible to current and potential customers despite any algorithm change on social media or search. Ready to diversify your marketing? Let us help you develop an SEO campaign that is right for you. Contact us today!
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on October 10, 2018 and has been updated with fresh content.