The debate around whether social media is the new search engine optimization (SEO) has been raging for some time. Facebook’s Graph Search tool served to add further weight to the argument that, if social media is not becoming the new SEO, the two separate entities are certainly set on a firm collision course where the lines between them will blur forever.
Of course, you know that social media is part of a winning search campaign. In fact, the industry experts know this, so why there is a fight between them is anyone’s guess. Part of the reasoning is that many website owners and increasingly forsaking SEO strategies, such as keyword optimization and content marketing, in favour of exclusively pushing their social activity.
The increasing number of people shouting from the rooftops that SEO is dead and social media is the way forward has driven this attitude. Although we agree that social media is crucial to any marketing campaign in 2013 and into the future, it shouldn’t be the be all and end all, and you certainly shouldn’t pursue it at the detriment of other search strategies.
Do you want to know why? Read on to find out.
You Don’t Own It
Everything that is on your website has your copyright stamp on it, no one can use it without permission from yourself.
Social media, even if you have paid for a premium page or on-site advertising, is the exact opposite. One careless tweet or wall post for your business and you could fall foul of some of Twitter and Facebook’s often obscure business rules. If your sole focus is social media, what do you do if it goes wrong and you end up not having a page?
Social Can Distract You and Your Customers
Even if social media is just a small part of your strategy, we’d be willing to wager that you probably spend a little more time on it than you intend.
At the same time, targeting customers through social media alone can be a dangerous game. You may be throwing out killer content, but all it takes is one or two posts populating a users’ timeline around yours, and that could be today’s interaction over and done with.
Social Media is a Fad
That title might inspire you to stop using social media altogether, but it shouldn’t do, you should just be realistic about how much of a long-term impact it will have.
MySpace changed the world once, and now Twitter and Facebook seem to lead the way. However, Pinterest could take over their mantle, and a social network not yet invented or developed could follow that in three or four years’ time.
Social Isn’t Search
Despite what Facebook might tell us, social isn’t search. If someone wants something, they don’t sign into their social streams and search a product. They might post something saying, “who has tried this?” but only after searching through Google first.
Make social media part of your overall SEO campaign, but don’t allow it to become your SEO campaign.