So Search or Social?

what drives your client's business?

What do you do when you have a client that is persistent in how they want you to spend their money and run their creative? Where to promote and how to drive traffic to their business? But yet, they had kind of hired you for that very reason…

Do you do what they want without any opinion? After all, if you are doing what they want you to can’t you do anything wrong… right? But what if you don’t think they are 100% right? None of that sounds like the glamours side of agency life. Having to explain to your client why they’re wrong and that this is your job. Yikes!

So we took some time to think about issues clients might come to you with, maybe areas they already have strong opinions in but have yet to work with you on. When thinking about those things we can see how a conversation about search or social could come about. Maybe it’s convincing them why they it’s necessary for their business? Or that they need to pursue both in their marketing strategy, not just one or the other.

Below we have broken down what is means to be social media and search engine optimized and the benefits of working on them! It’s information you will want to share with clients who might seem biased towards one or the other or need help understanding why you need to spend time on both. Doesn’t Google just magically work? When you can show your clients just how large of an impact both, search and social can have they will want you to spend your time (and their money) making them better! And most importantly, trust you to do it. 

Search Vs Social

The best way to think about search or social it to think about how you use them! There doesn’t have the be this big mystery behind if social or search will work for your business you know it will because you are using both in your everyday life. Where things take a turn for the bad is when people don’t understand how social and search work and how your business can do things to optimize for both.


Whenever you need to find the answer for something what do you do? Now when you were little that might have meant asking Dad but now that means using a search engine like Google, Duck Duck Go, Bing or Yahoo to find the answer to your questions. And if you think about your own searching habits, could you see your own customers doing the same things to find out about your business?

People are using Google because they are researching something. It has been proven time and time again that people do a lot of research before making a purchase decision. Whether they are comparing product reviews, prices or asking a neighbor, not many purchases are impulse buys anymore. That is why you want to come up in the top results on a Google search in your field. The odds of getting discovered and becoming a part of that research are higher when people can easily find you.

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So what matters to search? Keywords! You have to know what people looking for your product or service are going to type into the search engine. You have to know and understand how people are searching. What words they use and what the expect to find.

Luckily there are a lot of free tools out there to make this easier to do. One of them being Google AdWords Keyword Tool. Google lets you know how likely a word is to be searched and how many other businesses are hoping their website shows up for that keyword too. This is why Google Adwords gives you the option to pay to rank higher. As you begin to do your research on keywords you will find all your competitors want to come up in the same search results as you and Google knows it can make money off of that. These are called PPC, pay per click ad,  they are usually the top 1-4 search results that have the word “ad” next to them. 

Nowadays making it into the top three spots without paying is a lot less likely to happen. Thanks to Googles algorithm, PPC ads and everything else businesses are doing to ensure their content shows up when certain words are typed into a search engine. This is why as an agency you are going to want to push your clients to put spend behind their SEO strategy.


Who isn’t using social? Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat or Instagram, there are people in your client’s audience who are using social and logging in daily if not hourly on these sites. Remember how we said people use their neighbors to do product research? Well, social is a way for people to get their peers praise and opinions for recent purchases or suggestions on what to do next. It may not be an expert opinion but it is most likely someone they connect with and who’s opinion they care about, most likely someone they are friends with on social media. 


Since Google is a search engine and most of the time an answer to a question can be found by giving them a businesses contact information or from content a business is producing- they have to favor businesses in their search results. But what you have to remember about social media is that people are not using social to shop. They are using it to connect with friends and family and these social sites understand that and therefore favor users friends and family posts and updates showing up in their user’s feeds over your businesses. 

That is why, just like with SEO, you can create ads on social. The most popular use of ad spend by businesses is on Facebook and those are called CPC, cost per click, ads. You can write a whole book on CPC ads so I will just stick to the basics. But instead of bidding on keywords like you do on Google, you pay to promote content, so your audience sees it. Whether that is your businesses actual Facebook Business Profile, to sign up for or download your lead magnet, a blog post, a re-targeted ad based on what they saw (or put in their shopping car) while on your website or just your website. You can drive social media users to do a lot of different things because businesses use social for different reasons. The main difference here is you pay to pick who views these ads, your audience. On Google, anyone who searches that keyword is going to come up (I mean you wouldn’t really want to limit your audience anyways). While with social you have a bit more control. Do you want to target an ad based on interests, pages they liked, demographics, your email list or website visitors? Your audience can be as specific as you can make it which can be a very good thing when you are learning your buyer’s journey and where their social platform habits fit within the sales funnel. Similar ads can be created on other social networks as well but Facebook is going to have the largest network with the most data available for marketers.

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What’s Next?

No matter what you decide to do, and hopefully you choose to work on both, you are going to need to spend time creating engaging content so consumers want to interact with your brand when they find out about it from a search result or a social post.

1. Build Trust & Work On Your Reputation:

While a potential buyer might ask Google for a local plumber they might turn to Facebook and Twitter to look for customer reviews, to see just how active they are on social sites or to get their peers opinions and recommendations. Social plays a large role in building trust between potential buyers and business. 

2. Make It Easy For Your Consumers To Find You:

When you create a blog post you are going to want to take time creating a title, adding keywords and actually writing a helpful content so it’s easy (and likely) that Google will pull it for search results performed by one of your potential buyers. But this also means promoting the blog’s post on social media to help increase traffic, clicks, views and social shares. It’s important to be present in the places your consumers already hang out, which is on social sites and this too can help with your rankings on Google.

3. Remember, Social Matters To Google:

Your social pages are also ranked sites on Google. SEO is about making sure people can easily access your website in as many places as possible. The more times it’s found across the web the easier it is for Google to find it and suggest it in results. Social media profiles for businesses can actually be some of the top results for brands. If Google is saying your social page matters then you should too.

4. Social Media Platforms Are Search Engines Too:

People can find out about your brand and just as easily about your competitors by searching on social. The ability to find out about things through hashtags and endlessly scrolling can lead people down a rabbit hole but sometimes you want to be the reward at the end. Social makes it easy for companies to join these conversations happening online and pop-up in unexpected places. 

Wrap It Up

So maybe it’s not so much social beating search or having to choose one over the other. I think successful marketers are ensuring their clients are creating a mix in their marketing strategy and most importantly testing different elements of both, social and search.

The most important takeaway is that social can help search and search can help social! Whether your potential buyers are using social to confirm search results or increase search ranking. You will see that the more time, and maybe even money you put into one, will also positively impact the other when done right.

But don’t stop here when it comes to SEO! There is, even more, you can learn when you download your FREE e-book, What Does It Mean To Be Search Engine Optimized In 2017, here.  

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