Advantages of Social
1) Social improves SEO. Just like backlinks are such a huge part of SEO, Google’s algorithm is learning to recognize social sharing much more. Social is on the rise in its importance to search.
2) You’ll build strong relationships. Gen-Y is a vastly more social generation than previous ones. Connecting and communicating well with customers is increasingly important.
3) Social content can be repurposed. It can be used across multiple sites and, as it grows old, can be refreshed.
4) More targeted networks means more customers. Social is great for targeting. On a broad scale, Facebook leads in number of B2C customer acquisitions (77% of companies on Facebook have acquired a customer there) while LinkedIn leads in B2B, with 65% of companies having made an acquisition.
5) Social media provides the user generated content needed to drive sales. Over 80% of Gen-Y is influenced by user generated content. Many won’t make a large purchase without consulting user generated content.
Disadvantages of Social
1) Social needs content to succeed.
2) It can take months, even years, to grow your social media presence successfully. Building a list that will drive traffic, like any marketing effort, takes time to reap a reward. If you choose to speed that up, it is going to cost you money and time to invest in paid-for ads.
3) Content expires quickly. It should be updated regularly, but be careful, because people are not fans of having their feeds clogged with your posts.
4) Monitoring is time intensive. You have to watch your SM every day. Not getting bogged down with responding is a challenge.
So, which is better?
In today’s world, they feed off of each other more so than ever. Both rely on great content and the lines between both are blurring (as Google pays more and more attention to nodding its head towards social sharing). Hubspot endorses mutuality, but recognizes you may have to choose. They propose that you must choose between investing in a social media manager or a technical SEO expert.
However, the trend of Google’s increased recognition of social sharing seems to imply that social’s importance will continue to grow. This means that the work done for social will inevitably increase offsite SEO. With that in mind, it would seem that the best investment would be to learn the ins-and-outs of social now in order to stay abreast this trend. Fresh, relevant content, pushed through social networking, the blogosphere, and PR sites, will do most of your SEO work for you. What do you think?
(Source: Hubspot, “SEO vs. Social Media: Which is Best for Your Marketing?”)