You have high quality content that people want to read. The trouble is connecting your content to your readers. To help your blog thrive, you need a good digital marketing strategy. Because with a good system, you can drive more lifelong readers to your website at a low cost.
But, how do you do this? There are so many digital marketing strategies out there. So, finding the right one can be a challenge. Social media marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) are the two main ways bloggers market their content. Today, we’re exploring these two strategies to determine which is best for building your online audience.
SEO vs Social Media: Which is Better
What is SEO and How it Works
SEO is the process of specially optimizing your website, so that Google puts your content at the top of the search engine results pages. When someone searches a question or topic related to your blog post, Google will rank you high because your content is proven to be relevant, trustworthy, and authoritative. The trick is, you have to show search engines you have these three key qualities by working the algorithm.
Search engine marketing is all about hitting your target audience through good optimization. You’ll gain followers organically as people in your niche search topics related to your blogs, products, or services. When your content shows up on the first search results page, users know your blog post probably fills their need. This increases web traffic, brand awareness, and sales!
A good place to get started with SEO (if you haven’t already), is to read our article on SEO best practices for bloggers. Our article will walk you through all the steps you need to take to get better optimized. You can also check out our optimization services that can take care of all that hard optimization work for you. Either way, both options will help you drive more traffic to your website and launch you to your blogging dreams.
What is Social Media Marketing
When you grow a brand presence on Facebook, TikTok, Pinterest, Instagram, or any other channel, this is called social media marketing. Your posts populate as suggested content to users because of their other interactions on the platform. Then, when the title tag on your social media content grabs their attention, they follow you on socials and travel to your website.
This boosts traffic and readership. And, you get to develop relationships with your audience, which turns them into loyal followers. Launching social media marketing campaigns is an extremely lucrative way to boost business and drive more web traffic. This is why social media marketing is one of the most common marketing strategies!
SEO vs Social Media Marketing
Now that you understand what SEO and social media marketing are, let’s talk about the differences between the two. A great way of selecting the best marketing strategy for your blog is to understand the different ways followers find, interact, and consume your content. Let’s get into it:
One difference between SEO and social media marketing is how followers look for and find your content. When people are searching on Google, they are looking for specific information or the answer to a question. So, the title tags and meta description should show your content will provide users with the valuable and informative content they’re looking for.
Social media users, on the other hand, want to connect with people and absorb entertaining content. This means they’re drawn to emotional headlines that are humorous, sentimental, or pressing. So, consider which blog posts you’d market that would elicit emotion or a sense of emergency. Then, market that content across your socials.
Readers have different goals when on a search engine than on a social media platform. People search on Google because they want answers. They have a specific piece of information they’re looking for, and your blog post must provide that exact content. They’re looking for detail, too! So, a quality, long form post is the best way to capture search engine users.
On social media, user goals are much more loose. They simply want to explore and discover new content. Your social posts should be quick to digest and they should elicit emotion and develop intrigue – that’s what stops a user as they’re endlessly scrolling their feeds. Unlike search engines, social media users aren’t trying to locate anything specific, but hoping to discover something fresh.
As a blogger, there is a place for SEO and social media, but the purpose is different for each. A blogger uses SEO to build their integrity on the web. High search engine ranking tells users your content is meaningful and credible. So, when you manage SEO, you’re really managing your authority in your niche.
On social media platforms, however, you’re managing your loyalty and community. When you are building your blog as a business or your status as a micro influencer, maintaining your family of followers is vital. You want followers that are coming back to read everything you post. And, you want to continue to keep those readers coming back for more by interacting with them on social media.
When you regularly respond to comments and talk with followers, you build a bond with your readers. They get to know you and you get to know them. Thus, they become loyal to your content as though you were close friends. No other digital marketing strategy allows you to build loyalty among your audience like social media does.
Another difference between SEO and social media marketing is the variation in analytics response. When you post on social media, you can almost immediately see what works and what doesn’t.
The insights section for every post is available right away. So, you can see if your marketing strategy is increasing engagement or falling flat. This is a huge benefit of utilizing social media as you’re developing your brand and overall content marketing plan.
With SEO, the analytics take time to populate. When you post an article, you won’t see immediate search engine results. Instead, you’ll have to map your increased traffic over time and do a little more digging to understand where the growth is coming from. The insights aren’t as obvious and could take weeks to show any useful analytics. This sometimes makes managing SEO feel like navigating in the dark!
Number of Algorithms
We hear the term “algorithm” thrown around a lot. But, what does it really mean in the context of search engines and social networks? Simply put, it’s a computation procedure that informs news feeds and search engine results pages what content should rank and in what order. Every time you jump to a new social platform, you’ll have a new algorithm to dissect to achieve marketing success.
When you’re working with search engine optimization, you have comparably few algorithms to deal with. And truthfully, most people only focus on Google, because other search engines like Bing and DuckDuckGo only make up 7% of the search engine user base. Plus, they work very similarly to Google. So, when using an SEO marketing strategy, you just have to work with one algorithm to develop one strategy to soar up those SERPs.
Social media is a whole other ballgame. Every social media platform is functionally different, unlike the various search engines out there. Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram are all very different platforms that have their own unique algorithm. This makes managing lots of social accounts a real headache. Each one needs its own plan of attack in order to build a significant following.
Short and Long Term Benefit
Lastly, the short and long term benefits of each marketing strategy differ. When optimizing a blog post, you’re playing the long game. It won’t rank right away, but once it does, it’ll stick at the top of the SERPs. This is because once you reach a high ranking, you’ll get more and more organic web traffic. In turn, this will keep your content at the top of the results page! This makes SEO a great long term benefit, but it can be difficult to feel any immediate return.
Social media has immediate short term benefits. The content goes out and if it’s exciting and memorable, users will like, share, and comment. The post circulates and gains attention that drives people to your blog and website. But, that fame quickly dwindles as more content floods the platform. Your post won’t be new and relevant for long. So, you won’t continue to see increased traffic from the same post again and again over long periods of time. Long story short, SEO and social media marketing strategies will vary in their short and long term effectiveness.
How SEO and Social Media Work Together
It’s clear that search engine optimization and social media marketing vary in many ways. So, what is the better strategy? The truth is, you need both. Because the two paths benefit your blog in different ways. Having both a social media and search engine optimization plan for your blog will have the biggest impact on the growth of your business. Here’s why:
When you post blogs on your website and see the bounce rate of certain pages, it may be difficult to decipher why they’re leaving. If you see a steady decrease in readers, you might be left using trial and error to determine why people aren’t engaging. Really, if you’re only managing SEO, you’re blind to what your target audience really wants. It’s just a guess!
With social media, you have a consistent stream of communication with your followers. They can help you refine your brand strategy and niche to be the most successful. Social media moves fast, so figuring out your brand strategy won’t take months or years. You’ll have a better understanding of your brand and following with every new post.
One of the best ways of developing search engine optimization is by link building. On one side of things there’s internal linking, which is where you as the blogger link to credible sources. Conversely, external linking is when other sites link to you. Both of these are great for SEO!
When Google sees that other blogs frequently link to you, it’ll show the web crawlers that you’re a credible and sought-after source of information in your niche. If you link to others with high SEO ranking, search engines see that you provide valuable sources for your claims. So, when you link and are linked too, you and the other business share the SEO benefit.
So, what does this have to do with social media? Well, as you build an audience and interact in your niche on social channels, you’ll gain credibility in the space. People will start thinking of you as an authority, so when other bloggers need sources, they’ll link to you. This will increase the number of external links to your site and drive you up those SERPs.
When you write a blog and post it to your site and do nothing else, it won’t go anywhere—even if you have optimized your article! The chance of gaining web traffic exclusively through organic sources is low, so content marketing is necessary.
Social media is the perfect place to market your content. You can post your content with a photo, exciting title tags, and meta descriptions. In turn, social media users will find your content through sources they already follow or their suggested feed. Once they do, they’ll travel to your page, fall in love with your content, and stick around to be lifelong followers!
Overall, the best way that social media and SEO work together is to drive traffic. Social media drives traffic to your website. Then, the high traffic on your website boosts your SEO. And oppositely, users who love your website will help you build a following on social media by supporting and sharing your posts. Simply put, having both an SEO strategy and social media plan for marketing will diversify your web traffic. It will ensure you cast the widest net possible and grow your follower base every day!
SEO and social media marketing work together to help you refine your brand strategy, link build, content market, and, most importantly, drive more traffic to your website!
With a great social media marketing plan and a well-optimized website, you’ll see your blog soar to new heights. It’s a lot of work, but it’ll be well worth it to see your blogging goals become a reality. If you want some help while you handle some social media marketing, don’t forget that InfluencerSEO has optimization packages that fast track you to full website optimization! What a great way to take your blog to the next level! So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get optimizing!