Search Engine Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing

by Keri Honea on January 10, 2012

Social Media MarketingSo you’re ready to start a PPC ad campaign. You have the budget approved, you have ad copy, and you have your landing pages optimized and ready. Question now is, which online marketing venue do you choose? Search engine marketing or social media marketing?

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. If your company is not actively using Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn–which is a big mistake, just saying–then you do not need to even consider social media marketing. Sign up for an Adwords account and set up your PPC campaigns there. Before you look at Bing’s Adcenter, read about our experiences.

Now that that elephant is out of the room, I will answer the original question with a non-definitive answer: there are great benefits for implementing both types of online marketing. In fact, I personally recommend a healthy combination of Google ads and Facebook ads.

I will never say to ditch search engine marketing in favor of social media marketing, because the fact of the matter is, it doesn’t matter how many people use Facebook on a daily basis; ten times more people use the Google search engine. Also, Facebook users don’t log onto Facebook to search for businesses and services like they do With Facebook, the ads are set according with what users like, who they know, and their demographic, but just because an ad appears on a page for someone doesn’t mean that they’re actively looking for that type of business. With Google on the other hand, if your ad appears, it’s because the search user has actively told Google that they are searching for the keywords that triggered your ad.

In other words, Facebook ad marketing lets potential customers know that hey, you exist and you offer this and that. Search engine marketing lets potential customers who are actively looking for your type of business know that hey, you offer exactly what they’re looking for.

If you have to choose one form of marketing over the other, I will always recommend search engine marketing over social media marketing just because of the greater reach and conversion potential. However, if you can squeeze out as little as $25 a month extra for your online marketing budget, then put it towards a Facebook ad marketing campaign. It doesn’t sound like a lot of money, but you can run a very successful ad campaign for that little on Facebook. Just remember that the reason why you don’t need as large of a budget is because your conversion rate will be VERY low as will your potential customer reach.

Next week, I’ll get into pros and cons of different types of social media marketing, and then I’ll give tips on setting up a successful Facebook ad campaign. Stay tuned, online marketeers!


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