Is it really that important to have both search engine optimisation and social media strategies working hard for your business?
At The Future of Marketing & Advertising event in London yesterday, two of the speakers I heard were saying that social media and social media marketing will wipe out the need for us to use Google and the other search engines to promote our business. Is this something that businesses should be listening to and acting upon?
The argument put forward is that if you use social media in the right way, then you can go on the hunt for people that have problems or issues that your products or services can help to sort out.
The reason that you can do this is that the search engines built into networks like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, allow you to very easily find what people are talking about and the groups or pages that they have commented on. Enter in, introduce yourself, provide a link to some good value content on your blog or website and they may just choose to take a look at it, see that you are an expert in your field and buy from you - better still syndicate it to their networks.
But what if you don't have the time to go hunting?
The bigger question should be, what if you don't have the right gun?
Time is a critical factor, but hunting in social media is a skill that needs to be grown over time and honed, but starting today is a good plan. All you need is the right strategy to monitor social media and the applications to do it, engage and build up your credibility as someone that helps people… don't launch into it expecting to sell your wares!
My concern with platform speakers saying this at conferences and events, is that businesses will think that they can forget SEO tactics and link building strategies all together and focus on social media on it's own.
In my opinion that is the wrong thing to be doing now. In a few years time maybe, but for now it is something that will potentially hurt your business online.
Many websites still see Google as the main source of referral to their site in their website analytics. Social media and blogs are growing, but they are still not overtaking the referrals sent from Google. Taking this into account, it shows that many many people are still finding sites by using Google.
Getting high in the listings of natural search, and even paid search (Google Adwords) is still an important strategy. In looking at the stats of our clients, I would say that it is even more important than social media, based on the ROI generated.
Getting involved and learning what social media is all about is vital for the future success of your business. Don't treat it as the saviour of online marketing yet! Let it mature, learn how it works and how to use it, but keep your focus on activity that is driving visits to your site and continue to measure the success of your marketing activity. If it continues to produce a positive ROI, keep going. If the ROI falls, tweak it to try and improve it or get some professional help to review it and sort it out. Then after a few of months, if you want to ditch it, consider it based on facts and stats. Don't throw it out of the strategy immediately.
We can help take a look at your online marketing activity for your business and review what you are currently doing. Afterwards we will suggest ways to improve things and give you an objective view on where to go next and what to plough resources into. Call us on 01793 238 697 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we would be more than happy to chat to you.