Although most marketers invest time in both social and search marketing the question still looms, which one is better?
I think the comparison is a lot like the “blogging vs social media” debate that happened years ago, social and search don’t necessarily need to be competitors, they are in fact intertwined in the marketing process.
Although both of these marketing tools are intertwined marketers need to be careful in what they use each of these tools for.
As far as lead generation goes, SEO is the clear winner with a 42% impact rate in B2C and a 57% impact rate in B2B markets.
This is compared to social media statistics that are 34% in B2C and 24% in B2B markets. For most businesses lead generation is the number one goal of their online marketing efforts and should definitely SEO for generating leads.
When thinking about SEO this actually makes a lot of sense as to why Search marketing works so much better for generating leads.
The better a company is at SEO the higher their search rankings will be and more people will click on that companies link, creating more leads in the process.
For brand awareness on the other hand, the clear and somewhat obvious winner is search marketing. Social Media is more of a PR tool than search marketing is which simply by its nature makes a better tool for brand awareness.
brand awareness is all about putting your brand in front of people who have never seen it before and the interactive and PR features of social media make it the obvious winner.
The question of which marketing tool is better for interacting with customers is also a questions marketers continue to ask and the winner would definitely be social media. Although there are interactive features of search marketing (be it very few) the very nature of social media makes it a much more interactive platform.
Social media allows businesses to get feedback from customers and even in some cases solve customer problems through dedicated customer service social media accounts.
The Take Away
the big concept to understand about search v social media marketing is that it isn’t necessarily a question of “which one should I use?” but “which one should I use more?”
Every online marketing effort should implement both of these tools. In fact, once you start using more social media you will find that it will automatically help your search engine results.
Although the debate rages on, one thing is for sure, both social and search have proven to be indispensable tools in the new marketing landscape.
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