People’s online patterns of behavior are changing. With that said the internet marketing industry tends to have large sweeping changes whenever it really feels like it which is why it is important to embrace the changes rather than fight them. Social media came in like a bat out of hell and really confused folks all across the board. There have been many studies conducted showcasing proof that many of the fortune 500 companies are yet to even adopt SEO and social media into their daily marketing showing us all that there is still plenty of room for growth in this industry. Never mind the smaller local businesses that do not really give it a full attempt.
For any business looking to learn the online space it is important to understand that SEO & social media have a much closer marriage than ever before. This is something that is not going to veer off course anytime soon. Recently Bing & Facebook joined forces even more than they ever have before. Bing search results are displaying more Facebook material than ever before. This is a prime example of how the overlap between SEO & social media marketing is really taking shape. Whether you like it or not SEO & social media are now a marriage.
What about social media growth & ROI?
Twitter has seen growth by almost 1500% since February of 2008. Facebook is almost at 300-400% growth! So why are you not on there yet as a business? Why is every business not on these communication giants yet? I think too many businesses are caught up with the notion that their needs to be an ROI established which stops many projects before they even get started. Accountability is important but you can’t put a number on branding in this space. A prospect might see your tweet one day on Twitter and not think about you for 2 months and all of a sudden bump into one of your web pages in the search results and clearly remember who you are way back to that one specific incident on Twitter. How do you put a calculation on that?
Can’t I just purchase advertising space online?
Social media & SEO are not paid advertising. We cannot predict what type of numbers in visitors we might get or how many clicks a campaign might receive. These techniques of communication are vastly different in their own way and they have to be embraced not kicked to the curb. When you have trouble seeing outside of the box that is when it gets difficult to really realize what these efforts are all about. They create inbound marketing streams of traffic and they increase branding all at the same time while helping your website or business become visible online. They are both vastly different from anything any business has ever seen in the last fifty years.
Technology has allowed us to market ourselves in a much different light than what we might have once been used to. The days of focusing on billboards and direct marketing are over. People wake up and the first thing they do is fire up their computer to check out what is going on in the world.
Check out these amazing social media statistics from the eConsultancy blog: (This data is from a few years ago but it is still relevant to the space we are in)
- Social networks and blogs are the 4th most popular online activities online, including beating personal email. 67% of global users visit member communities and 10% of all time spent on the internet is on social media sites.
- If Facebook were a country, it would be the fourth most populated place in the world. This means it easily beats the likes of Brazil, Russia and Japan in terms of size.*
- 80% of companies use, (or are planning to use), LinkedIn as their primary tool to find employees during the course of this year. The site has just celebrated reaching its 45-millionth membership.
- Around 64% of marketers are using social media for 5 hours or more each week during campaigns, with 39% using it for 10 or more hours per week.
- It took radio 38 years to reach 50 million listeners. Terrestrial TV took 13 years to reach 50 million users. The internet took four years to reach 50 million people… In less than nine months, Facebook added 100 million users.
- Wikipedia currently has more than 13 million articles in more than 260 different languages. The site attracts over 60 million unique users a month and it’s often hotly debated that the information it contains is more reliable than any printed Encyclopaedia.
- The most recent figure of blogs being indexed by Technorati currently stands at 133 million. The same report into the Blogosphere also revealed that on average, 900,000 blog posts are created within a single 24-hour period.
- It’s been suggested that YouTube is likely to serve over 75 billion video streams to around 375 million unique visitors during this year.
- The top three people on Twitter (Ashton Kutcher, Ellen DeGeneres and Britney Spears) have more combined followers than the entire population of Austria.*
- According to Socialnomics, if you were paid $1 for every time an article was posted on Wikipedia, you would earn $156.23 per hour.
- The online bookmarking service, Delicious, has more than five million users and over 150 million unique bookmarked URLs.
- Since April this year, Twitter has been receiving around 20 million unique visitors to the site each month,according to some analytical sources.
- Formed in 2004, Flickr now hosts more than 3.6 billion user images.
- Universal McCann reports that 77% of all active internet users regularly read blogs.
If you are a business owner and manage a website and these numbers don’t make you think again about your online approach than someone just needs to come over and shake you a little bit because social media and SEO are only growing in power as time moves on. These two forces are a team that every business should be part of or run the risk of becoming invisible. Social media is not a fad it is a reality and the process of increasing your visibility online should be a focus now and not at the 11th hour.