Social Media - Why an SEO background is better than PR! | White.net

Social Media - Why an SEO background is better than PR!

By Kelly Barrass / February 4, 2011

I’m debating on a Who Owns the Social Space event at a social media week in London next week – so I thought it would be a good idea to outline why I think an SEO background is better!

SEO vs PR
Image credit: Flickr

Back in 2009 I attempted to write a balanced view on where social media fits between PR and SEO – this time I’m being ever so slightly biased and using my search background to argue the case for SEO:

  • SEOs have long recognised the importance of social media and have built great relationships and connections on social media networks. This gives them a key advantage when trying to leverage a social media push to a strong network of contacts.
  • The heavy use of social media by SEOs also means that they have a great understanding of the type of content and ideas which generate online attention.
  • By maximising the reach of a social media promotion campaign, SEOs are more likely to pick up high quality coverage as well as extra volume. Also, third-party endorsements in the way of popular social media stories can often be more powerful for getting picked up by authoritative sources than going direct to the contact.
  • SEOs are more analytical by nature:  we like to have measurable results which we can show our clients. How much traffic did a social media campaign generate? What was the quality of traffic? How many conversions did it generate? How many links were generated? It’s not just branding! 😀
  • SEOs have a greater understanding of a wider range of social media channels. Not everything can be promoted via Twitter and Facebook; sometimes you need to use more targeted social bookmarking sites or even niche social media sites.
  • SEOs know how to write linkbait – it’s not just about volume of traffic and coverage for SEOs, we also look to ensure that content and ideas have that hook to ensure that it encourages links.
  • SEOs look at long-term search value from social media campaigns – by ensuring that social media campaigns can deliver targeted search traffic and conversions long after a promotional campaign push.

Of course there are a lot of good counter-arguments for PR too, but for the purpose of the debate I’m just going to focus on the pros for SEO. In practice you’ll often find that the best social media strategies come via SEO and PR consulting, which supports an in-house team with social media experience – although that’s probably an argument for another day!

Would be good to hear if you have any more arguments to back up the SEO argument for social media marketing – and we obviously encourage any defense of this from the PR side as well. Would be great to see some of you at the social media week event on Monday in London too!

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