Most people ask me what’s more important in Digital Marketing, SEO or Social Media?
Which one should I focus more on to be on top of my business?
Can you ride a two-wheeler with only one tyre? No, right? Same is the case with SEO and Social Media or should I say SEOcial Media as they both go hand in hand if you wish to make a mark in the digital industry! Well, some say that they both go together like BJP and Congress, and others will say they make a perfect match together just like the Hummingbird update and Anchor Text!
It’s been more than a decade of confusion about whether these two crucial aspects go hand in hand or if they exist poles apart. It’s not surprising that even today many people in the SEO industry tend to waste most of their efforts on activities that Google has started neglecting and don’t give due importance to fantastic platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Quora, etc.
The confusion is understandable. It’s not like having a ton of backlinks to your website is going to give you relevant users or business. Similarly, poor quality content and just sharing your content to your website pages is not going to help you rank on search engines. All of this may have been helpful a decade ago when Google was still pretty simple, and social media was evolving. Today, after Google, social media is considered as the next biggest search engine.
As per Google’s new update, the search engine aims to look for ways that will provide people more accurate and relevant data in the search results. For that, no better platform gives you real-time update than Social Media; it not only tells you what’s popular and people are talking about but also give you the information of who these people are and how you can utilise them to market your product/services and convert them into a customer.
Here are a few reasons why SEO and Social Media should go together and can’t be run independently:
If you’re updated about the new algorithm changes for ranking by Google, then I need not tell you that link building is one of the most important factors to be considered. I am not the only one who is talking about it. Experts in the industry like Neil Patel, Brian Dean, Gareth Daine, and many more are talking about this.
One of the major off-site factors is (or was) creating rich content and building good links, whereas social media is about engaging with people on various platforms and building relationships. What many so-called SEOers (not an actual word but now it is) forget here is that Social Media can easily provide a large number of natural backlinks too.
Again confused by how this works?
Let’s say you are a fitness expert and you have an amazing service package which you want people to subscribe to. Obviously, one way to promote your service would be to have a good website and SEO done on it with keywords, H tags, Metadata, etc.
But have you thought of what if you come up with an exclusive blog on your service and you share it on Facebook, Twitter and various other social platforms?
There’s a good chance that if you put in some efforts and promote it, it might give you exemplary engagement.
What? Are you thinking does Google care? Not directly but because of all these efforts and engagements, an editor of a website with good DA and PA decides to feature it with a link on their website.
Google will care for sure now!
Once your content has started creating a social buzz, it’s not uncommon for bloggers, journalists and editors to spot it and refer to it on their website. It’s obvious that not every share will result with you or your client getting a link but even the mentions are great at building brand awareness amongst your target audience. You can keep an eye on these mentions through various tools such as Google Alerts, Buzzsumo, Fresh Web explorer, etc. I like the details and visuals of Buzzsumo:
Better sustainability on Social Media
I know this is pretty odd when we talk about real-time platforms, but the results speak for it. Social media is really sustainable in terms of building relationships and results. Think of it this way- will the people visiting your website through organic SEO efforts bookmark your page on the first go? Or what is the certainty that they will become returning users? Social media makes it much simpler and easier for them to visit your site and also become one of your subscribers. Every time you or your client gains a genuine follower, your customer base increases, and this rapidly growing audience size further increases the likelihood of future content reaching a wider audience.
First things first, who are these influencers? And what are these influencer endorsements everyone is talking about?
Influencers are the people who have an enormous amount of people following them in a particular industry, and they just don’t follow them blindly - they trust and enjoy whatever content these influencers post and share.
Looking for a good example? Search for the Marketing experts’ name I mentioned above. Do note that it’s not necessary that every piece of content of yours is going to be viral but getting an influencer to share it increases the chances.
Sometimes these influencer endorsements end up in a ripple effect - where a reader is influenced by a product/service and sells it on your behalf.
How to find these influencers?
To get your content in front of influencers, you are not supposed to just sit there by publishing content on the website and hope an influencer will pop-up to pick it up and share. You have to find out the appropriate list of influencers in your industry and get in touch with them proactively. It is indeed not a quick process, but it’s more than worth it if you can stand out in your conversations as you’re certainly not the only one tapping them.
What I do to make this process smoother is ask for their opinion or use their published content whenever I am planning to publish a new one for myself. Of course, they won’t always reply, but when they do, it’s worth it and they also feel involved, and may happily share your content.
Two tools that I use and have mentioned above: Buzzsumo and Topsy have a great advantage of being social analytics tools, which you can use to measure your social efforts too.
(There are various other ways to find influencers which I will be discussing about separately, Stay Tuned!)
To Sum It Up!
Hopefully, by now you would have been able to see the benefits of using SEO and Social Media together. Just because Google doesn’t directly see something shouldn’t mean that you should also ignore it. Most of us spend 2-3 hours daily on social media and engage with the content in different ways. The importance of social networks will always be dependent on your (or your client’s) industry and the type of content you are creating, but it is crucial to manage good social engagements through building relationships as they will also serve as links for you.
Always remember, if it’s about quantity for SEO then it’s about quality for Social Media, and a good product needs both.