How Does Social Media Marketing and SEO Compare?

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By Jacob Maslow

SEO vs. Social Media Marketing – What’s Better for New Businesses?

When you are looking for inbound tools that help bring targeted audiences to your pages, your two options are SEO and social media marketing. Deciding on the better between the two for any business requires a deeper understanding of what each strategy does.

Differences Between SEO and Social Media Marketing

SEO and social media marketing are both powerful tools. An SEO strategy helps you achieve higher search engine result rankings, whereas social media marketing creates brand awareness and helps promote your products.

Let’s take a closer look at the differences between SEO and social media marketing:

Different Underlying Purpose

With SEO, you provide your audiences with the information that led them to the search. You use valuable keywords, website formatting, high-quality content, and link-building to achieve your SEO goals.

With social media marketing, you create a presence on your buying personas’ favorite socials, build your online engagement, and create brand awareness. There are two ways to send traffic from social media to your website – community building and paid ads.


Different Target Audience Identification

In both forms of marketing, you need to identify your targeted buyer personas to direct your strategies toward them.

However, identifying your targeted audiences differs between the two marketing strategies.

When you plan an SEO strategy, you collect data to identify which audiences are interested in your services or products. You then specifically cater your strategies by basing them on their search engine queries.

With social media marketing, you turn to the platforms and research the platform demographics. First, you need to know the type of buyer personas using the social media platform and which interact the most. Then, once you have located your target audiences, you create a strategy to get their attention.


Different Content

With SEO, your content must provide the information that answers the questions asked by your audience on their search engine search. And that is why you must give them the relevant blogs, articles, and web page content desired.

On social media, the content for your marketing serves a different role. Its purpose is to prompt emotion that induces engagement. Therefore, it must be short, very interesting, or visual-based.

In both cases, the correct implementation of the content is vital to the strategy’s success.

Different Results Measuring

It takes time to see successful measurements with SEO. The reason is that search engines will take time to index your content and move your position on the search results pages. However, as your pages gain credibility and with continuous effort, you will see a difference in your measured results from KPIs like traffic and click-through rates.

Within social media’s fast-paced environment, you will have instant feedback on your marketing with KPIs like engagement levels from clicks, shares, and comments.

Different Resource Requirements

People use the same keywords to search on just a few search engines, meaning you need less time and resources with an SEO strategy. However, you require a long-term SEO strategy focusing on informing, educating, and entertaining to continue driving people to your website. SEO is the best way to send people to your website, so you cannot afford to neglect it.

On the other hand, social media marketing is more demanding. You must provide content more regularly, often on several platforms, to ensure you reach your audience, meaning more demands on your time and pocket. Therefore, you need a clearly-defined strategy that includes posting schedules, goals, and objectives combined with constant KPIs.

Advantages of SEO and Social Media Strategies

SEO and social media marketing both have cons, but these are the major advantages of these inbound marketing methods:

SEO Marketing – The benefits of optimizing your website to search engines include generating higher traffic. The reason is that these searchers are almost ready to purchase since they are further down the buyer’s journey. Furthermore, it helps establish your authority and increases your visibility, helping to build trust.

Social Media Marketing – Social media is an exciting way to reach new customers and get them to interact with your business and each other. Thanks to shareable content and using strategies like influencers, hashtags, and backlinks, it increases brand awareness and drives conversions.

Is SEO or Social Media Marketing Better?

Both SEO and social media marketing have their strengths. However, they also complement each other. Therefore, combining SEO and social media marketing techniques is the best approach to get the most benefits for your business.

Combining the two can increase your traffic and boost your visibility as you progress steadily with SEO while creating the hype required by having your finger on the pulse of your social media audiences.

Therefore, no business can do without SEO, but neither can it afford to reject or put off planning a social media strategy.


What is the main difference between SEO and social media marketing?

The main difference is that SEO is focused on optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results pages. At the same time, social media marketing uses platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to build relationships and interact with customers.

Which one should I focus on first, SEO or social media marketing?

You should focus on both at the same time. However, if you must choose one to start with, go for SEO since it will take longer to see results from your efforts.

Can I do SEO without social media marketing?

You can do SEO without social media marketing, but you will miss out on the many benefits of having a social media presence.

Do I need both an SEO and social media marketing strategy?

Yes, it would be best to have both an SEO and social media marketing strategy. They complement each other and will help you reach your goals.

What are the benefits of combining SEO and social media marketing?

Combining SEO and social media marketing benefits include increased traffic, visibility, and brand awareness. Additionally, it can help you build trust with your audience and establish your authority in your industry.

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