Essential Steps to Combine Search Engine & Social Media Marketing Efforts

Since a few years, Search Engines have been the prime focus and a hero of online advertising and marketing efforts for brand managers to connect to their audiences. However, after the arrival of Social Media, the picture has changed. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn have become an additional venue to garner the attention of audiences.

Earlier we spent most of our time on the search engines to find information & content relevant to our brands but now we spend most of our time interacting and engaging with one another via the social networks looking for the source of the same content.

social search

Now-a-days, many marketers (brand managers) are considering advertising via social networks as a direct medium to reach-out to the target audiences instead of revamping or dressing themselves up to be attractive on search engines.

Social Media Marketing holds more charm compared to the monopoly held by the search engines but it doesn’t hold the same costs as a dedicated SEM campaign does. They do require large amount of time and co-ordination.

A questions arises here, will search engine efforts become history? I think, not completely, because the web is a large space and will keep increasing as days-years pass by. Social media is indeed huge for finding some sources of content, namely stuff already within your sphere of interests and knowledge but research into previously unknown topics remains best done via search engine.

Recently when I had got an opportunity to understand Google Analytics better and how SEO campaigns work, I realized that there is an immense resemblance in engaging the target audiences through both Social Media Marketing (SMM) and Search engine Optimization (SEO). Since, for a successful brand campaign both require us to tap into interests of our respective audiences through published content, shared via blogs, social networks and emails.

A few brand marketers have two agencies – one who takes care of only SEM campaigns and other for SMM campaigns. I believe that this situation can be improved if the barrier between the two is broken down. Both SEO and social media experts use different tools and have different mindsets. Working together can develop a better approach in Keyword Analysis and research for both activities.

Listed below are a few key points which the SEO and Social Media teams can use to see how a common research approach can be used to develop a keyword strategy:

Targeting keywords based on themes:

You can always start your target keywords list with a set of themes. This should mirror custom concerns as you search for content and share what your audience is interested in.

For an e-commerce portal, for example, a user search behaviours include searches for different brands and types of shoes, bags, dresses etc.

Define and Review the usefulness:

Step 2 would be to produce a more detailed target list of phrases, grouped with themes or consumer behaviour identified in Step 1.

You can use Analytics and Keyword research tools to perform a search gap analysis which will enable you to explore potential visitors against actual visitors.

Social media listening tools (such as Google Alert, Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, Social Mention, etc) can also be used to compare the topics discussed in forums and on social networks.

Setting targets for sales and engagement:

You must consider the quality of traffic rather than the quantity to see the conversion to lead or sales ratio and justify further investment

Build up your content marketing approach to target keywords:

The victory of a SEO campaign is not just because of following the best practice of online copywriting for building links but it’s based on the content you develop to engage your target audiences and share through social networking sites.

You can use the social media listening tools to find specific interests by finding which types of content in the sector are shared well.

Put into action a communications strategy to use SEO and social media:

Develop a calendar on monthly or quarterly basis to implement the content themes you finalized. Use social listening tools to find influencers with whom you can share your content.

Do try combining your SEO and Social efforts with the help of these key points listed above by me from my personal experience. Also, feel free to add points if I have missed any.

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