Should Your Brand Focus Primarily on SEO or Social Media? Learn the Pros and Cons of Each.

Considering SEO or Social Media for your business? Discover the pros and cons of each to determine what will work best for you.

It’s clear SEO and social media are beneficial for similar and distinct reasons, but most brand teams don’t have the capabilities to be active on every medium in a significant way.

With limited time, budget, and resources, it’s in an organization’s best interests to be selective as to what marketing endeavors they invest in and why.

To date, 65 percent of online consumers look up information with search to learn more, find info on local destinations, discover how to complete tasks, and browse items when shopping. Search helps businesses provide the right information to customers when and where they need it most.

While at the same time, 71 percent of consumers who had a positive social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others.

Highlighting how social media is effective at both driving awareness to an organization’s offerings, but can also spread word-of-mouth at scale for companies.

Learn how to decide what your marketing team’s main focus should be and the pros and cons of either approach.

How to Select the Right Approach

Every organization has unique needs and concerns, which dictate who you’re trying to reach, the resources available for marketing, and the priorities across the organization.

When deciding whether to fully prioritize search engine optimization, social media, or combination of the two, analyze who your audience is and where they are most active.

“I think the main focus should always be to go where your audience is presently at,” says Rick Ramos, the CMO of HealthyJoy and author of Content Marketing: Insider’s Secret to Online Sales & Lead Generation. “It might seem like an obvious statement, but it does require a bit of research to fully understand where they are.

“Start off by working on buyer personas before you decide where to allocate your funds. You should understand what social platform [your customers] reside on, what their motivations in life are, what their fundamental problems are, etc.”

Develop buyer personas to fine-tune who you’re reaching and where they spend their time online. This might mean your customers are active on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook or that they mainly read blogs and aren’t active on social media at all.

With a clearer understanding of your customer’s activity, think about which aspect of the marketing funnel or the customer decision journey your organization needs help with.

For instance, if you’re looking to attract new customers, then the search engines and social media can each assist your business in distinct ways.

If your brand is looking to impact purchase intent, then serving SEO-friendly content on your website is one of the most effective approaches.

When it comes to retaining your existing audience online, social media is a more effective medium for cultivating long-term loyalty.

The right approach to choosing one channel over the other comes down to where your audience is active and what areas of marketing your organization needs additional support with.

Option #1: Focus Primarily on SEO

Investing mainly in search engine optimization is the strategy that most organizations will find success with over spending time solely on social media or a mixed approach.