Or, What A Watermelon Can Teach You About Marketing
As a business owner, taking a bite of social media marketing is a lot like taking a bite of watermelon. Except in this simile, social media marketing isn’t a manageable, seedless wedge of fruit. It’s the entire watermelon– way too large for your bite to absorb all at once. It’s also chalk full of seeds, the bland content of social media, and lots of juicy fare, the high quality content. You must forever invent ways to make your offerings noticed by your audience.
Putting time, effort, and money into social media seems like a ginormous waste of resources without proper help or education. Why even be present in social media when all your business’s information can be found via search engines? Or can it? These are valid questions, and they have answers. Not easy answers, not cheap answers, but answers that others are exploring and implementing in their marketing strategies. And more importantly, those other business owners are getting results that you could be getting as well when you properly combine SEO and SMM.
What is the difference between SEO and SMM?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Simply put, it means guaranteeing that search engines notice your website. If your business has a high SEO ranking, then Google, for example, will list your business as one of the first entries when someone searches for your field or a product you sell.
SMM is short for Social Media Marketing. It means both having a business page on social platforms as well as actively working your business profiles there. In a nutshell, it means your business has a robust presence in social media.
SEO vs SMM – Which one is a better choice for your business?
This is a trick question since both marketing methods target different needs, but both are important.
When a business is trying to generate leads, organic (unpaid) search is the victor by a long shot, according to an eBook survey of over 500 businesses by Marketing123.
Naturally, being found as a nearby business is more easily done via search engines, so SEO wins in local visibility as well. (However, active social media profiles can appear in local search results as well.)
SEO is the reason social media marketers emphasize the importance of a business having a Google+ page. As is apparent, Google owns Google+. Therefore, if your business is on Google+ and is active there, Google recognizes your business more readily than if your company were on another social site, such as Pinterest.
The goals and successes of Social Media Marketing are quite different from SEO Marketing.
SMM is invaluable for brand awareness. Your customer is probably not searching for your business via a search engine every day, but your customer may see your Twitter or Facebook post every day. It’s a daily exposure for your brand.
Social Media platforms are also vital places for interaction. Your website is not typically going to be where potential customers ask you questions or comment on your products. However, communication is simple for the consumer on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
How do you apply a combination of both to your business?
First, your website needs a solid foundation to merit potential visitors’ time. This infrastructure can be achieved with an uncomplicated page layout, superior title tags, mobile website coding, and an aesthetically pleasing design. I don’t have the space in this entry to explain how to achieve each of these vital facets in detail, but plenty of information is available online to get you started.
Second, a high SEO rating is about consistently producing content that adds value. Maybe you’re sick of hearing it, but it’s still true. Content is merely noise unless it adds value. Tweet this
Make content educational, inspirational, or humorous. Vary the style. Shoot a simple video, take a photo, draw a picture, publish a podcast, write an eBook, record a song, but make it worth it for your readers. The rewards of quality content are higher conversion rates, a bigger fan base, a stronger social community, more direct traffic, and the list continues, all leading to a higher SEO rating.
Third, the content you produce should be consistently shared on social media. As a business owner, you should be presenting your work on each of your social sites. In fact, if something you’ve published in the past has been well received, keep sharing it! Bring it back every few months and let your hard work continue to pay off for you.
Search engines like Google place a higher priority on links when they are associated with social signals such as Likes or Shares. So the more Likes and Shares you receive, the higher your website’s SEO. The same goes for merely having the link present on social platforms. Google “notices” links in social media. The more links associated with your website, the higher your SEO rating.
When it comes to marketing your business, plenty of tasty options can be thrown into the mix. But when your customers prefer the juicy watermelon of social media, guess what food needs to be included in your marketing cocktail?