Why I Focus on Social Media Marketing Over SEO Neil Patel



Why focus on social media marketing over SEO? You’re probably surprised to hear this, after all, I’m mostly known for all things SEO. So why do I focus on social media marketing now? Because I’ve learned that it’s one of the quickest and most effective ways to drive major traffic to any site. That doesn’t mean to say that SEO doesn’t work, it does, and I still love it, heck, my company relies upon it, our clients do, and SEO has created me one of the largest companies in the marketing space. Heck, it’s created me one of the fastest growing companies in the United States according to Inc. Magazine as well.

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But here’s an interesting stat for you, 74% of social media users actually use social media to make buying decisions. Influencers and social marketplaces are huge these days and they can quickly and effectively promote your products and services. And half of adult internet users say that when a brand incorporates their data into social ads it helps them discover products or services that directly align with what they’re looking for.

In essence, companies are using those targeted ads that a lot of people say they never click on and don’t work but in reality people are clicking on them. If they wouldn’t, Google and Facebook wouldn’t be as big of a companies as they actually are. And if you’re targeting younger audiences they’re all over TikTok and Instagram right now, and even Snapchat.

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The amount of time that adults use social media across every platform per day is higher than ever, 95 minutes, that’s more than an hour and a half, that’s a ton of time, plenty of time for your ads to be seen and ultimately converted on. Instagram Story ads will bring in almost 16 billion in sales worldwide in 2022, according to HootSuite. Think about how quick and easy it is to create an Instagram Story and how inexpensive it is.

Again, love SEO, but because it takes a long time to see results, with social media you can see results instantly and you can pivot and figure out what’s working and adapt that to your SEO strategy as well.

See, social is a rapidly changing environment but I can see what’s working and what’s not right away, and I don’t have to wait for a algorithm update or I don’t have to wait for someone to index my content. But at this point, you’re probably wondering, Neil, social algorithms? They keep compressing my reach. And yeah, you talked about ads, so why should I love social media? Because I don’t want to spend all that money on ads. Well, think of it this way. All platforms, whether they’re social or search, have algorithms, it doesn’t matter if it’s TikTok or Google or Bing, you can’t control what they do and over time they have all made it harder to get reach.

Google keeps showing more content within their search results so that way you don’t have to click through over to their website. And if you’re wondering what I mean just Google what the weather is today within your city and you’ll see what I’m talking about, it just shows you the weather you don’t have to click on weather.com or go to any site, you just see it right then and there. TikTok used to have much better reach a year ago than it does today; still a great platform, just like Google, they take up a lot of the clicks these days but it’s still a great search engine but you can’t do that much about it.

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So instead of complaining about Google, YouTube or LinkedIn or TikTok or Instagram, as a marketer you just have to use these channels for what they are whether you like them or not. And there’s a lot of platforms out there for you to use, so maximize them and get as much traffic as you can from them. And as I mentioned earlier, it’s easier to see quick gains from social media over SEO.

Now to be clear, I’m not saying that you should use one channel and not the other because that’s far from the truth. You need to actually take a omnichannel approach and use all the channels that your customers are on. But at least you know why I prefer social media over SEO even though I use both of them, and you should too.

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