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SEO VS Social Media Marketing

Updated on 22 February 2021
Digital Marketing
6 min read 10 views
Updated on 22 February 2021

It’s been quite a long time now that marketers are involved in a long time debate about which marketing strategy (SEO or social media marketing) they should adopt to get the highest returns. They are both inbound channels but very different from each other. However, when it comes to increasing traffic to your website there are a variety of ways but these two remain the center of focus for everyone. To fulfill this purpose some companies often hire SEO experts while others decide to hire a social media manager to increase traffic on social media sites.

However, the Ongoing debate on SEO vs social media marketing raises a lot of doubts among marketers. Some of them are: Is web-based media or SEO the most ideal approach to boost your digital marketing? Are the two instruments important for online achievement or is Social media the new SEO?  

To find the solution for all such questions you need to understand the meaning and the differences between the two. Only then you will be able to find out which is the best approach to attract visitors to your content.


What is SEO?

SEO stands for “search engine optimization”. It is the practice of expanding both the quality and amount of site traffic through non-paid also known as organic search results. In more simple terms SEO is all about ranking on search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask, AOL, Blekko. This needs a basic understanding of the present trend such as what people are searching for online or the type of content they want to consume. 

What is Social media Marketing?

Social media marketing is all about building relationships, connecting to the people on social media platforms to raise brand awareness and attract traffic. Marketers usually engage with their audience on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Which is Better?

Now you have the basic understanding of both the terms but you must be confused about SEO or social media marketing which is the better option. So, to reach the conclusion we have to go one level further and you'll see that the audience, the activities and the results are totally different in both the types of marketing.

How about taking a close look at the significant differences between SEO and social media marketing. This will help you choose the best option for you and also help you decide the type of content to be posted on each channel.

Here's the breakdown of the distinctions (and similarities) between online media and SEO.

1. Content

Content is the king in both SEO and social media marketing. Read below to learn how content affects each of the marketing channels.

Content that is suitable for SEO or web marketing is the one that has some sought of information for your targeted audience and is based on research. Content that works best or attracts more traffic on web marketing provides in-depth definitions and answers the most asked questions of the users. Examples of these are how-to articles.

What is SEO friendly Content

Whenever you are writing content for such articles remember that readers want to find all the information they are looking for in one place. They just want to get the answer to their query without visiting multiple links. As we said content is the king so if your content is uninformative they might leave your site. Always keep in mind that long-form content that is formed properly and is keyword optimized tends to get more success in search results. So, you need to put efforts to place the keywords in your article because the keyword would be your targeted search term for which your article will be ranked. This will drag more traffic to your page because when people search for these phrases in search engines they find a page of your website.

Social Media Marketing

tips to write seo friendly content

Content that works on social media is completely different from the one that works on the web. For instance, content that focuses on social media marketing is on the bit emotional side. People on social media search for entertaining and engaging content and nothing could be more engaging than being able to relate to something emotionally. This is the reason why emotional content trends on social media. 

The major difference between SEO content and social media content is the content that works on social media are short formed, does not contain a lot of information, have emotional headlines and most effective ones are the one that has visuals.For example- On instagram marketers can raise brand awareness through video message on post, story, as well as on reels.

2. Audience

Realizing your crowd is essential to both your SEO and online media promoting systems. Read on to learn how focusing on the audience while writing and marketing content will help you to drag more traffic. After reading the points mentioned below you will be able to differentiate between website traffic vs social media

In web marketing, it is difficult to apprehend your audience. Although You know a great deal about their opinion, however you do not know about what their identity is or you do not know them directly. They just searched. They're looking for something. That is the reason guests from search are bound to be prepared to purchase, yet not more averse to share and cooperate. These guests enter with a particular reason, need, or question. They have a strong intent. To make good content for SEO purposes you need to create fictitious customers or to imagine the needs of customers to increase traffic.

The major advantage of social media marketing is you do not need to put much effort into the audience research part or make any fictitious stories as you know the audience directly. Hence it allows you to target your audience easily. Most of the social media platforms have built-in options for marketing based on the targeted audience. These sites also give insights about what kind of audience visit each platform, this will help you know directly who they are and help to draft content accordingly.

3. Success Rate

Measurement of success rate is different in both social media and SEO marketing. Read below to learn more about differences in success rate which can help you determine which marketing strategy is best to use.

Accomplishment for SEO is a slow yet compensating measure. It requires some investment — likely a couple of months, yet conceivably years — to acquire enough credibility to rank well for serious competitive keywords. Also, search engines take some time to find your content. Although SEO takes a little more time conversions drawn through are more if compared to social media marketing. SEO is the best strategy to generate visitors and rank for the targeted keywords. Another benefit of SEO is - it is easy to track traffic and visibility.

Success is not the long term measure when we talk about social media marketing because here you know your targeted audience. Thus it is a great way to build brand awareness and to interact with your audience directly. When people share your brand or promote it, it creates a mini viral event that can give your brand a boost. However, the major drawback can be your content gets outdated pretty sooner than SEO because social media content gets posted after every few minutes. You need to make an ongoing effort to update the content frequently or daily. If you want to have a successful social media marketing campaign.


The major difference between the two is SEO is focused on optimizing a website to bring traffic from organic search results. On the other hand, the motive of SEM is to get traffic from both organic and paid search. So, in short, SEM means SEO+ PPC ( pay per click). Google AdS is the search provider most regularly used for this strategy. 

With this strategy, brands conduct keyword research and start campaigns that target the best keyword for their business, products and services. When users search for those targeted keywords they see the custom promotions at the top and bottom of the page of SERPs. The brand will be charged each time a user clicks on those ads. This is the reason why SEM is known as an umbrella term because it includes both paid and organic strategies. 


It's difficult to state whether SEO or social media is better — every methodology has its advantages and disadvantages. The most ideal approach to be successful with your content is to use both together. Use social media marketing to generate engagement and traffic to your web content on the other hand use SEO to optimize your content for search engines. 

Now you will be able to choose among the hotly debated topics that is SEO vs Instagram. Instagram is one of the most used social media platforms thus marketers are focusing on Instagram marketing more to create brand awareness among people but again to be completely dependent on social media will be the wrong technique. You should focus on both to generate more traffic.

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