SEO, or search engine optimization, and social media are both highly useful tools to be sure to add into your internet marketing campaign. By using both methods thoughtfully, you can multiply your company website’s views exponentially and build trust, recognition, and visibility, which all lead to higher revenue at the end of each quarter.
Although SEO and social media advertising are technically two separate strategies and two different approaches to online marketing, they have many similarities, and they work best when used in combination. To get the most out of a combination of search engine optimization and social media marketing, it is important to fist understand how each one can benefit your company.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is quickly taking over the marketing world, as it allows businesses to interact with customers in a brand new way. While ad retargeting and other new methods of online advertising still operate essentially on the same billboard ideal of marketing, where you directly sell your product to consumers by telling them why it is the best and why they should buy it, social media networks offer a brand new way of advertising.
By being active on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or other networks, companies and their marketing and social media representatives can connect with customers on a personal level, and appear more relatable.
Best Practices for Social Media Marketing
With social media marketing, the most essential rule of thumb is that most of your advertising, about 80%, should be non-advertising content. This means that, if your brand has a Twitter presence, only about 20% of your brand’s Twitter posts should be directly promoting your business. The majority of posts should be comments on customers’’ posts, replies to customers, retweets, and other engaging activities.
The second important rule to follow in social media marketing is to utilize every type of media. This means that you should be using pictures: posts on Twitter and Facebook are more than 100% more likely to be viewed and interacted with than posts without pictures. On Instagram, since pictures are already required for every post, you should go above and beyond by trying to include videos in your Instagram posts whenever possible.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is essentially the practice of optimizing your website so that it appears more frequently in browser search results and appears before your competitors in search results. This is done mostly through the use of keywords.
These keywords are what web users use when they use the search bar in Google or Bing in search of websites that are relevant to their current interests or needs. Your goal in search engine optimization is to include the correct keywords in the correct spots on your website to attract those internet users to your site.
Best Practices for Search Engine Optimization
Keep the user in mind. While optimizing your web page for the web browsers, it can be easy to forget that the website is for human beings and not just for internet search algorithms. You have to remember to keep your website, first and foremost, user friendly. Your website should always be readable and functional.
All links should always be working and the page should not simply be packed with keywords (this is called “keyword stuffing.) Users can immediately see through this type of keyword overuse, and while it may initially bring web users to your site, they will immediately leave, which doesn’t do you any good.
It is always important to be monitoring your website’s functionality and statistics using Google Analytics. This tool will allow you to see how long your website takes to load, and to make sure there are no broken links or other problems with the site.
It will also allow you to track which key words are working best at bringing people into your site, and from where. By using this tool, you can hone in on what types of key words you should be using, and which types just aren’t working.
Google Analytics will also give you examples of key words that are much-used and ones that are not used very much. You have to strike the perfect balance there, because using keywords that are not used at all may bring in no traffic, while using keywords that are used a lot puts you in competition with many other sites.
Search Engine Optimization in Combination with Social Media
Finally, we can see what the similarities between these two marketing tools, SEO and social media, are. First, social media has its own form of keywords, which you will need to tap into once you are comfortably engaged in a social media network. These keywords on social media are called hashtags.
You absolutely have to use hashtags when using social media to market a brand, whether it is your personal brand or a business that you are working with, because connecting your content with a hashtag related to that content makes your content part of a much larger conversation.
When you use the hashtag, say “#tbt” or throw-back Thursday, your content is immediately added in with thousands of other posts with the same hashtag. You can use hashtags that are more specific to your product and what is going on in your pictures or content to draw in more users and make your content more searchable.
This is how SEO and social media work together, and where they are very similar. Hashtags in social media allow your content to rise to the top by categorization. Rather than just floating among every single other Twitter or Instagram post, your post is easily findable to people who are interested in the hashtag “Cross Fit.”
If you are marketing a Cross Fit studio, users of social media can easily identify this because you’ve added the hashtag, and your photo or content marketing your studio goes into a category that is marketed directly to those people who follow Cross Fit and similar markets, which is the exact same way that the keyword, “Cross Fit,” would work to enable fitness fanatics to more easily find your business if they were to type it into Google.
By using SEO and social media marketing, understanding how they work and how they work together, and by following these simple best practices, you brand has the opportunity to compete in the world of online marketing and to thrive.