For too long, SEO (search engine optimisation) and social media have operated at different ends of the business spectrum, as each serve entirely different purposes for brands who are looking to promote themselves. While SEO techniques have historically been conceived and implemented by marketing exponents, social media activities have remained exclusive to public relation departments, and this has created a divide between two extremely valuable practices.
This has changed in recent times, however, as Google’s recent Panda update has acknowledged social indicators as an integral part of it’s search ranking algorithm. This has sparked demand for a more integrated approach to marketing and creating brand awareness, as SEO and social media experts work in harmony to optimise the effects of their efforts. The challenge that remains is how to do this effectively, and develop a strategy that has the greatest impact on their output.
The process of creating an effective integrated marketing campaign in 2012 relies on taking a balanced viewpoint, and more specifically developing innovative and customized techniques that combine the best of SEO and social media principles. Not only are both crucial to the success of any modern day business, but they also play pivotal and diverse roles in the course of effecting every stage of a marketing campaign. So while individually SEO and social media have their own merits, together they form a purposeful armoury that can make a brand global if utilized correctly. So: -
Optimise Your Social Media Content and Output
By it’s very nature, the purpose of SEO is to optimise content across all promotional platforms, and this technique can be applied to social media copy as easily as it can to website text. This gives an added edge to an organisation’s social media efforts, and takes into account the increasingly diverse nature of resources such as Facebook and You Tube. After all, the latter site is the Internet’s second largest search engine after Google, and ensuring that your social media content is SEO friendly allows it to be easily indexed and increasingly visible to potential consumers.
Turn Unique Visitors Into Long Term Customers
SEO is an exceptional and consistently evolving technique that has the potential to drastically improve your brand’s visibility among online consumers. Despite this, however, it has little impact on engaging unique visitors and encouraging them to become loyal and long term customers. This is where social media input enters the fray, as the fostering of relevant and engaging social conversations remains the key to selling a brand or product or individuals. An integrated and structured strategy creates consistency between these two activities, and should form the basis of a comprehensive and ultimately successful marketing drive.
Create a Better Perception of Your Brand Among Consumers
Another distinguishing factor between SEO and social media is the fundamental principles that drive them, with the former being a technical strategy while the latter relies on real time interaction and emotive input from participants. Strategies that rely heavily on SEO can therefore see brands have minimal control over their reputation and the perception that customer’s have over them, regardless of the quality of their keyword research and market knowledge. The implementation of a social media strategy helps to negate this issue, however, by personalising your firms marketing campaign and engaging followers in genuine and purposeful communication.
The Bottom Line: Why SEO and Social Media Are a Marriage Made in Heaven for Your Brand
Thanks to the vast differences that exist between SEO techniques and the fundamental aspects of social media, they work especially well together in an integrated strategy that optimises their strengths while negating any individual weaknesses. While SEO draws heavy criticism as a technical process that should have little bearing on genuinely organic search engine results, social media relies exclusively on the efforts of individuals who innovate and push the creative boundaries of real time interaction. Similarly, although social media is malleable resource open to wilful or unintentional misuse, SEO offers guidance and rigid principles that can optimise it’s effectiveness.
With these points in mind it is clear to see why a growing number of commercial ventures are striving to integrate both SEO and social media practices into a single marketing campaign. While this may well require a greater degree of collaboration between marketing and public relations experts, the end results are likely to be worth any additional time that is invested into organising such a project. Remember, while SEO and social media remain relevant and purposeful marketing tools within their own individual right, in today’s online space they are far more effective when used in unison and as part of one single, expansive promotional or brand awareness campaign.