Search Engine Optimization or Social Media for Small Business? We Have a Winner!

AllBusiness.com November 11, 2011 - The debate rages on. No, not Pawn Stars vs. Storage Wars. Search engine optimization vs. social media. Which is better for small-business marketing?

Search Enging Optimization Outweighing Social Media

The results are in and Internet marketers everywhere
are saying that small business marketing dollars are
better spent on SEO rather than Social Media.

A new survey of online marketers has an answer: SEO. Marketers polled in Webmarketing123’s 2011 State of Digital Marketing Report said SEO is their most effective source of B2C and B2B leads, topping social media and pay-per-click advertising.

Fifty-three percent said SEO generates the most leads, 28 percent said PPC, and just 19 percent said social media. So, yeah, we know it’s fun to fool around at Facebook and tell yourself you’re doing vital sales groundwork, but it’s more profitable to invest your time in SEO.

Social media marketing still matters. Of course, everyone knows social media is important. Of the marketers queried by Webmarketing123, 60 percent said they’ll boost their budget for social media marketing next year. Here are 26 reasons why, from a blog called Social Media Examiner.

See more social media stats and facts.

Most of the reasons are less than compelling. They boil down to: “Hey, lots of people are using social media so your business should also!” The hard numbers are at the bottom of the page. Fifty percent of small businesses surveyed by Crowdspring said they’ve used social networks to connect with new customers. (Only 28 percent of large companies and 36 percent of medium-size companies said the same.) More numbers:

  • 51 percent of Facebook users and 64 percent of Twitter users said they’re more likely to buy stuff from brands they fan or follow.
  • 69 percent of small businesses have received customer recommendations from fans on Facebook, 52 percent from connections at LinkedIn, 44 percent from followers on Twitter.
  • 59 percent of small businesses attracted traffic to their website via Facebook, 55 percent via LinkedIn, 35 percent via Twitter.
  • 42 percent of small businesses have drawn sales leads through Facebook, 36 percent through LinkedIn, 16 percent through Twitter.

See? Social media is much more than a way for Ashton Kutcher to make himself look like a jackwagon.

(George Clooney has a good stance on Twitter. Asked by Time.com if he uses it: “No, because I drink in the evening and I don’t want anything that I write at midnight to end my career.”)

America to small business: “Save us.” Small-business owners like to blame politicians for the dismal employment picture. Who doesn’t? But a new Gallup Poll suggests owners should take a look in the mirror.

Whether it’s realistic or not, Americans are counting on small-business owners to turn this ship around. Asked how much they trust the ideas and opinions of various people to create jobs, 79 percent said they trust small-business owners “a great deal or a moderate amount” and 74 percent said the same of local business leaders. (What’s a “local business leader”? We don’t know. But it sounds good.)

President Obama checked in around the middle of the pack, with a 52 percent trust number. Republicans in Congress were down at the bottom, with 43 percent, just above Federal Reserve Chairman Ben “the Beard” Bernanke, with 40 percent.

See More:
SEO Still Beats Social Media for Small-Biz Marketing
SEO Beats PPC & Social Media For Generating Leads, New Industry Report Says
Social Media and SEO: 5 Essential Steps to Success

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