The extreme growth of social media users in the past several years has prompted the development of a new kind of internet marketing. Instead of emailing stories they like, people are "digging" and "tweeting" them. The importance of websites and blog posts are determined by the votes of readers on Reddit and Delicious. People can follow many of their favorite brands on Twitter and become their fan on Facebook. This intense boom in social media use begs the question, "Where did this all come from?"
The popularity and hype of social media marketing has taken away from the traditional marketing focus on search engine optimization and pay-per-click ads. SEO and PPC may have fallen into the background while social media shines with all its glamour. However, although social media marketing has proven to be useful, it cannot stand alone. All the followers in the world will not generate the amount of traffic that a great Google ranking can. Until search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo! decide to index every tweet in their rankings, SEO is an absolute must in internet marketing. The trick to creating an effective marketing plan for your business is to combine traditional SEO tactics with fresh, new social media methods.
Here are some of the important "can" and "cannot" features of social media:
Social Media can…
• Help you engage your customers. Social media allows your company to engage with the public in a casual, conversational way. You can find out so much about your potential clientele through this mode of communication! This is reciprocated as your customers learn more about your company through your conversations.
• Help you build a following. Connections with your customers through social media outlets give you more opportunities to build sales through word-of-mouth reviews. It is also a great way to resolve questions and concerns in a way that will build trust with other readers. Social media is great for building awareness for your brand.
Social Media cannot…
• Be the sole source of traffic for your site. Relying solely on social media networks to bring traffic to your site is entirely ineffective. In a recent presentation by @HubSpot titled "How to Use Social Media for Lead Generation," they revealed that while three social media sites accounted for about 15% of all traffic to their site, Google alone provided over 22%! This means that while social media is certainly on the rise, search engines still provide the largest source of traffic.
• Get your site ranked. Twitter, the fastest growing social media site, is filled with internet marketers promoting their brand. While this is a great method of driving traffic to your site, it is invisible to all outside of the Twitter world. Google do not index activity on Twitter. Most people rely on search engines to bring them to the information they’re seeking. To take part in that, you need to use SEO tactics to give your site a great organic ranking and, therefore, a piece of the pie.
Despite all its glitter and appeal, social media is not a one-stop solution for internet marketing. Search engine optimization and pay-per-click ads may seem outdated amidst all the social hype, but don’t abandon SEO! These traditional methods take advantage of the search engine traffic that social media cannot access. In the dynamic industry of internet marketing, it’s important to stay on top of all the latest trends, so stayed tuned for more SEO and social media tips from Marketecture!