Social Media Marketing Much More than SEO

Social media marketing, like a lot of fairly new terms, is still not fully defined. The search engine optimizers were among the first to grab onto it, seeing social media sites as easy prey for high ranking backlinks. And they can be. But then you have those who equate social media marketing with getting links on the social bookmarking sites, like Digg. And there’s no question that Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Slashdot and the like can pay huge dividends in terms of traffic. social media marketing

But the view that social media marketing is about backlinks or even about traffic is shortsighted. Lee Odden got it right when he bemoaned those who correlate SMM with “DiggBaiting”.

On the other hand, PR firms I know well are excited about social media because they can send their press releases out in new, high indexing, free sites, like OpenPress. That’s even less forward thinking.

To me, correlating social media marketing with SEO and search engine marketing is like correlating the public relations industry with media advisories, or correlating the advertising industry with a direct mail postcard. It’s one small part of a larger industry that needs to grow up and mature.

And to think you’re using it because you convert your press release into the social media press release format is even weaker.

Social media marketing is about much more. It’s about realizing that social media allows the customer to talk back. It’s about realizing that social media allows you to talk to the customer in real ways, for the first time in a long time.

That’s much harder than it sounds, so it’s going to take a while before corporations really get there. In the meantime, we can all use the tools, let’s just not define the toolbox incorrectly.

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