Social media marketing is the popular trend and most companies understand that they need to have a social presence in order to take advantage of the marketing potential it holds. We have found that the majority of businesses are missing the mark when it comes to reaching the audience they want via social portals. Posting intermittent messages on Facebook and Twitter and expecting high returns is as crazy as trying to throw darts at a target 200 miles away.
Social Media and SEO
For some businesses marketing on social media can have great results and be effective in reaching targeted consumers. But not all products and services will be successful. Social media is not a magic bullet that quickly turns prospects into clients. For some reason the general public has adopted the idea that social marketing is inexpensive, is not interruption marketing like TV and radio and that a huge audience of social users are ripe for their marketing. We continually use social media for marketing but we use it in a far more powerful way than what most SEO agencies are doing.
It is not as expensive as a Super Bowl commercial or publishing a full-page advert in an industry publication but to create a powerful campaign that brands a product or service and that creates targeted traffic is not a quick fix. Facebook provides advertisers with a decent amount of information to target potential users but that data is not as specific as most people think. Age, sex and location is great data to start with in small local markets but I can’t targeted users that currently need a specific product or that needs to reach a very targeted market. That means that a large portion of marketing dollars spent is being used to promote an advert to an audience that is not highly targeted.
Inbound marketing is based on an idea that quality content providing answers and solutions to potential readers can be posted on social channels to reach an audience that will send a flood of users to a web site. Great content magically creates site traffic. The problem with inbound marketing, and HubSpot methods, is that most businesses don’t have 50,000 Facebook followers and an army or Twitter readers hanging on every word that they post. In order for users to see this content that have to promote it on various social channels.
Inbound marketers seem to think that their advertising is drastically different than TV or Newspaper advertisers which flood a market playing a numbers game to reach potential clients. In other words, TV advertisements interrupt a television program to push a product to a large market (which is somewhat targeted based on the demographics of the TV show) in attempts that someone will need that product at that time. How have inbound marketers convinced clients that social media uses a different model? Social media is a social platform, meaning that users are there to interact with friends, family or interact socially. When users are interrupted with advertisements in a social situation, is that really any different than being interrupted during a TV show or when listening to music on the radio?
It is expected that we will be marketed to while watching TV or listening to the radio but Facebook started out as an ad-free platform. Users were accustomed to browsing Facebook without being inundated with marketing messages. The addition of advertisements now heightens the level of annoyance and feels like a blunt interruption that is invasive to personal social space.
The general public is accustomed to being marketed to through media devices like the television, radio, magazines or newspapers. It is a trade-off. The television network provides the user with a TV show or form of entertainment and in exchange the viewer watches an advertisement. In a subtle way it is a method we have accepted for paying for our entertainment.
But consider interruptions in social settings. Interruption on social media is much like being interrupted with a door-to-door salesman while having dinner with family or that annoying cold-call at an inopportune time. Would it be appropriate to market a product and give a sales-pitch during a dinner party or would you text message all of your friends an advertisement they did not ask for? Invading private social space often results in more annoyance than sales. I have never once gone to social media to search for a product or service.
The common thought-process is that because everybody uses social media it is a great resource to reach your target market. Large numbers just means that it can cost a lot of money to reach a large number of people that don’t want a product or service. I have been to funerals with large numbers of people but that does not mean it makes for an optimal marketing environment. The better marketing situation is one where clients are more available to hear a marketing message and that is a smaller group of highly targeted potential consumers. One click to a web site that is targeted is far better than 1000 that have no interest in buying a product. Highly relevant users return a far better ROI than mass marketing to every Tom, Dick and Harry that happens to be on Facebook.
Access to information is more available to consumers than it ever has been making the general public far more educated when it comes to making purchases. Knowledge is power and marketing initiatives have to change as technology changes and consumers demand more from businesses. Simply look at Netflix and the model of entertainment that is void of advertising. The quick growth of Netflix and other companies providing ad-free media is on the rise. This evolution within traditional media is a sign of consumers revolting against customary marketing practices. Consumers want information in their time-frame and when it fits their life. This bucks every aspect of interruption marketing and social media advertisements.
Search engines are the only form of marketing that allow consumers to actively search for a product or service exactly when they want it. It turns the marketing industry by 180 degrees and rather than marketers looking for consumers, targeted consumers are hunting down quality vendors and products. Instead of interrupting potential clients, a business just needs to be where the consumer is searching and provide a solution to their search query. This, of course, is why marketing on Google and Amazon have the highest conversion rates online. Content marketing allows a company to provide answers, products or services at the right time.
If Google is the solution than why would an SEO agency use social media?
Despite what most marketing companies may suggest, social media marketing, the right way, can help increase ranking on Google. We use social media to generate much higher conversions with higher ROI through Google than clients would ever get through social marketing platforms.
Much of our social marketing is based on using social channels in a far different way than how it is traditionally used. Much of our successful approach to getting the most out of social media is using social platforms that are not being touched by most marketing agencies.
Understanding the Limits of Each Social Platform
Through testing we know how much value and how to generate the most value out of each platform to help with ranking in Google.
Which Platform To Use
Not all social sites deliver the highest impact on Google rankings. Knowing which platforms to be on and how to setup a powerful post is how we set ourselves apart from our competition. The social sites that most people think have the highest value generate the smallest reward in marketing a page.
Cost-wise marketing dollars spent on social media designed to increase Google ranking has a greater return than traditional B2B interruption marketing attempting to reach key decision makers. Measurement after measurement shows a greater conversion rate for consumers actively searching for a business product or service over blanket interruption advertising. For businesses having a great deal of success through social advertisements, these same businesses could double or triple their success through Google.
Social media marketing is a key aspect to increasing search engine ranking if used correctly. The greater reward to social marketing in a B2B marketing field is the increase in Google ranking and not traffic or shares from social platforms. Use social media to boost SEO and generate more targeted traffic.