Social vs. Search
Social media and search marketing are becoming increasingly intertwined. Today, it's more important than ever for marketers to employ both. How do they compare? We let the two battle head to head and show how each stacks
up - and what can happen if they work together.
How they weigh in
- For lead generation: For many businesses, lead generation is a two goal of digital marketing initiatives. According to a survey of more than 500 marketing professionals at B2B and B2C companies, search marketing is more effective
at generating leads than social media. Which makes the biggest impact on your lead generation goals? (Keys: SEO; PPC; Social media marketing): 1) B2C: SEO - 41%; PPC - 24.8%; Social media marketing - 34.2%; 2) B2B: SEO -
57.4%; PPC - 17.9%; Social media marketing - 24.8%. The winner - search.
- For brand awareness: Looking at the top benefits of both marketing channels, marketers cite increased traffic as the top objective of SEO efforts. Greater brand exposure and awareness are the top benefits of social media
marketing, according to marketing professionals. Top benefits of social media marketing (according to Social Media Examiner): 1) generate brand exposure; 2) Increase traffic and subscribers; 3) Improve search rankings.
Top objectives of search engine marketing (exclusively SEO) (according to MarketingSherpa): 1) Increase website traffic; 2) Increase lead generation; 3) Generate brand awareness. The winner - social media.
- For local business visibility: When consumers are looking for local businesses, they rely on search engines over social media sites by a wide margin, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Search trumps social
for finding local restaurants, bars, and most other businesses. Ways consumers find local restaurants, bars, and clubs: 1) Rely on search engines - 38%; 2) Rely on specialty websites - 17%; 3) Rely on social media sites - 3%.
Way consumers find other local businesses: 1) Rely on search engines - 36%; 2) Rely on specialty websites- 16%; 3) Rely on social media sites - 1%. The winner - search.
- For interactivity: Social media marketing trumps SEO and paid search when it comes to interactivity. More marketers report using social media as an interactive marketing tool than those who use search, according to a survey of
more than 600 marketers by Chief Marketer. What types of interactive marketing do you use? (figures represent percentage of respondents who use each option for interactive marketing): 1) Social media - 65%; 2) Search engine
optimization - 54%; 3) Paid search - 34%. The winner - social media.
The power of both
- Social + search (double team): Changes to search algorithms to incorporate social has everyone talking. The growing impact of social media on search rankings suggests marketers will have to harness both search marketing
and social media marketing to come out ahead. How important will social signals (likes, tweets, Google +1s) be to your SEO in 2012 compared to 2011?: 1) More - 53%; 2) Much more - 31%; 3) Same - 16%.
- The impact on strategies: Though marketers recognize the growing impact of social on search, not even one-third have adjusted their search or social strategies to include part of the other. This is likely to change soon: 1)
50% of marketers say social media has impacted their SEM; 2) 29% of marketers have merged parts of search and social strategies.
- The winner - the double team: Both social media and search marketing provide clear benefits to organizations that use them well. When paired up in a comprehensive marketing plan, the two can reinforce each other and
contribute to a company's overall marketing success.
MDG: Website: MDGadvertising.com: twitter: @MDGadvertising | Sources: Pew Internet & American Life Project; Social Media Examiner; Webmarketing123; 2011 Digital Marketing Report; Brightedge; 2012 Search Marketers
Survey; Strongmail; 2012 Marketing Trends Survey; Econsultancy; MarketingSherpa; 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report; Chief Marketer.