2017: Social Media vs SEO

Written by: Jason Bayless | January 11, 2017
Social media plays an integral part in everyday life. It connects people from great distances while giving everyone a soapbox to stand on. It’s this engagement that encourages approximately 78 percent of the population of the United States to have at least one social profile. When it comes to delivering content, however, does it compare to investing in search engine optimization?

Content Creation

The creation of quality content is important for both SEO and social media marketing. However, both have slight differences that need to be addressed. The same strategy that works for one doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for the other.

SEO Content
Thanks to ever-changing algorithms in search engines, quality content reigns supreme. This means you need to deliver as much information that is relevant to the topic as possible. Every sentence needs to be succinct and easy to read by the average visitor.

Social Media Content
To grab the attention of social media users, your content needs to be condensed and catch their eyes quickly. You’ll need to understand how hashtags work and use imagery that resonates within the viewer.

Target Audience

In reality, you’re trying to attract the same target audience whether you’re using social media or search engines. However, there is a difference in how these two are done.

SEO Audience
When you focus on the SEO practices of your content, you’re putting effort into attracting visitors based on what they are searching for. This is more of a strategy to keep drawing those individuals over the long term. This is especially true if you’re developing evergreen content.

Social Media Audience
Those you engage on social media are more of a short-term solution to driving traffic. These people are more affected by the emotions that are stirred from brief messages or imagery. It’s often the affect a post has on someone that causes him or her to share it with others.

Audience Engagement

The purpose of any content on the Internet is to engage an audience. This is done differently when you compare a regular webpage versus a post on sites like Facebook. The time you can possibly invest is much different overall.

SEO Engagement
Engagement on a website is demonstrated through tools such as heatmaps or by implementing a comment section as with most blogs. For the most part, there is usually far less interaction between the content author and those reading the material as opposed to social channels. However, good content can keep people reading post after post.

Social Media Engagement
Interacting with those on social platforms takes far more effort to maintain than a webpage, especially if your profile becomes ultimately popular. This is why many companies will hire an expert specifically to manage online profiles. Keeping social visitors engaged can lead to a greater reputation and possible income.

Number of Visitors

When it comes to the number of visitors, you need to decide whether you want long and steady or short and popular. In many cases, it may be more profitable in the long run to maintain a flow of traffic over a stretch of time rather than something like a popular tweet.

SEO Visitors
Evergreen content can be listed in the top of search engine results for years. In fact, some posts have been so well developed that they still show in the top 10 results more than six years later. These pages are the ones that keep generating traffic for extended periods of time.

Social Media Visitors
One of the highlights to using sites like Facebook and Twitter is that you can engage a large number of people almost instantly. With the right hashtags or comments, a post on social sites can go viral while grabbing thousands of views. However, this popularity is somewhat short lived as the flames can quickly die out over the span of a few days.

What it really boils down to is that both SEO and social media will play important roles when trying to gain an audience in 2017. The most important thing you’ll need to consider is how much time you have to invest in social sites. Because without engaging fans and followers, social media marketing can be as fruitless as a page without headers.