Why I Focus on Social Media Marketing Over SEO

Why focus on social media marketing over SEO? You're probably surprised to hear this, after all, I'm mostly known for all things SEO. So why do I focus on social media marketing now? Because I've learned that it's one of the quickest and most effective ways to drive major traffic to any site. That doesn't mean to say that SEO doesn't work, it does, and I still love it, heck, my company relies upon it, our clients do, and SEO has created me one of the largest companies in the marketing space. Heck, it's created me one of the fastest growing companies in the United States according to Inc. Magazine as well.


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But here's an interesting stat for you, 74% of social media users actually use social media to make buying decisions. Influencers and social marketplaces are huge these days and they can quickly and effectively promote your products and services. And half of adult internet users say that when a brand incorporates their data into social ads it helps them discover products or services that directly align with what they're looking for.

In essence, companies are using those targeted ads that a lot of people say they never click on and don't work but in reality people are clicking on them. If they wouldn't, Google and Facebook wouldn't be as big of a companies as they actually are. And if you're targeting younger audiences they're all over TikTok and Instagram right now, and even Snapchat.

The amount of time that adults use social media across every platform per day is higher than ever, 95 minutes, that's more than an hour and a half, that's a ton of time, plenty of time for your ads to be seen and ultimately converted on. Instagram Story ads will bring in almost 16 billion in sales worldwide in 2022, according to HootSuite. Think about how quick and easy it is to create an Instagram Story and how inexpensive it is.

Again, love SEO, but because it takes a long time to see results, with social media you can see results instantly and you can pivot and figure out what's working and adapt that to your SEO strategy as well.

See, social is a rapidly changing environment but I can see what's working and what's not right away, and I don't have to wait for a algorithm update or I don't have to wait for someone to index my content. But at this point, you're probably wondering, Neil, social algorithms? They keep compressing my reach. And yeah, you talked about ads, so why should I love social media? Because I don't want to spend all that money on ads. Well, think of it this way. All platforms, whether they're social or search, have algorithms, it doesn't matter if it's TikTok or Google or Bing, you can't control what they do and over time they have all made it harder to get reach.

Google keeps showing more content within their search results so that way you don't have to click through over to their website. And if you're wondering what I mean just Google what the weather is today within your city and you'll see what I'm talking about, it just shows you the weather you don't have to click on weather.com or go to any site, you just see it right then and there. TikTok used to have much better reach a year ago than it does today; still a great platform, just like Google, they take up a lot of the clicks these days but it's still a great search engine but you can't do that much about it.

So instead of complaining about Google, YouTube or LinkedIn or TikTok or Instagram, as a marketer you just have to use these channels for what they are whether you like them or not. And there's a lot of platforms out there for you to use, so maximize them and get as much traffic as you can from them. And as I mentioned earlier, it's easier to see quick gains from social media over SEO.

Now to be clear, I'm not saying that you should use one channel and not the other because that's far from the truth. You need to actually take a omnichannel approach and use all the channels that your customers are on. But at least you know why I prefer social media over SEO even though I use both of them, and you should too.

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32 Responses to Why I Focus on Social Media Marketing Over SEO

  1. Rae Vonshae November 21, 2022 at 3:03 pm #

    I’m learning from the best! ♥

    • Neil Patel November 21, 2022 at 3:58 pm #

      You’re too kind 🙂 Thank you!

  2. Dominus Markham November 21, 2022 at 3:19 pm #

    Absolutely spot on, as always, people need to work many sources and especially as algorithms can drop them like a stone. Never have all your eggs in one basket. Cheers dude

    • Neil Patel November 21, 2022 at 3:59 pm #

      Well said! Cheers 🙂

  3. 0ta1000kasbokar November 21, 2022 at 3:19 pm #

    Neil, you are a master of SEO, but in this video you presented incomplete information
    For most businesses that are run by 2-3 people, it is not possible to work simultaneously and continuously on SEO and social networks.

    You were expected to announce in this video that this explanation is not true for all businesses and it is true for those who have the cost and time to operate on the website and social networks.
    And if they don’t have the time and money necessary for all of them and they are going to choose only one, definitely that one is SEO, not social networks.
    Isn’t this better?

    • Neil Patel November 21, 2022 at 4:02 pm #

      I’m not sure which part was incomplete, friend. I simply stated that although it is ideal to have an omnichannel approach, I would always prioritize social media marketing.

  4. Sherifa Nakalema November 21, 2022 at 3:26 pm #

    Great to hear that from you! I knew it already. I use social media especially going live gives you instant results.

    • Neil Patel November 21, 2022 at 3:59 pm #

      Lives are a must!

  5. Videnda Noor November 21, 2022 at 5:19 pm #

    100% agree with you. SEO is extremely expensive, and it takes ages for them to start giving results. They also have an unfair system (according to my experience)Thank God for Instagram

    • Neil Patel November 22, 2022 at 10:12 pm #

      True! I love SEO but I understand it can be tough.

  6. Manoj Agadi November 21, 2022 at 5:19 pm #

    Amazing Information Sir.

    • Neil Patel November 22, 2022 at 10:12 pm #

      So nice of you

  7. DMichelinArt November 21, 2022 at 5:55 pm #

    You’re the best, thank you, Neil!! Take care- Dannielle

    • Neil Patel November 22, 2022 at 10:12 pm #

      You’re the best!

  8. Wishvaka Ennos November 22, 2022 at 1:35 am #

    Reddit is one of the great social media. I ranked an Article within 14 hours.

    • Neil Patel November 22, 2022 at 10:07 pm #

      That’s awesome 🙂

  9. aldean fenton November 22, 2022 at 1:36 am #

    Thanks for the great tips as usual, Neil!!

    • Neil Patel November 22, 2022 at 10:08 pm #

      My pleasure!

  10. OK Boomer November 22, 2022 at 3:24 am #

    Excellent content. Thanks for sharing!

    • Neil Patel November 22, 2022 at 10:08 pm #

      Glad you enjoyed it!

  11. Dread Central November 26, 2022 at 11:44 pm #

    What happens to your link profile when Twitter goes down over night and all those backlinks and social signals to Google go away? I see very little people talking about the effect this may have on small to midsize publishers.

    • Neil Patel November 28, 2022 at 5:07 pm #

      Social links don’t carry nearly as much weight as website links. However, it still definitely can affect your site so that’s something to look out for.

  12. Fabien Wandi November 27, 2022 at 8:12 pm #

    I’m just starting my marketing career. I was going through your website to have inspiration to build mine. Indeed you are good at what you do. I learned alot.

    • Neil Patel November 28, 2022 at 5:10 pm #

      You can do it!

  13. Jeanette Q November 30, 2022 at 6:52 pm #

    Hey Neil, do you think it’s still possible to organically connect with potential customers on social media?

    • Neil Patel December 2, 2022 at 2:01 am #

      Definitely 🙂 I use it for organic!

  14. Wendy S December 2, 2022 at 6:50 pm #

    Great info Neil! I’ve been doing a deep dive into SEO, and apparently you are the King of it 🙂 Do you think this information applies to both B2B and B2C companies? Thank you!

    • Neil Patel December 2, 2022 at 7:55 pm #

      Yes it does 🙂 Thank you for the kind words!

  15. Anu Khandelwal December 11, 2022 at 10:13 am #

    Totally Agree. For small business as well as startups it becomes much more important as social media gives one an opportunity to cash on the organic reach and virality if the content is great and engaging compared to SEO which is a time consuming and an expensive approach.

    • Neil Patel December 12, 2022 at 3:54 pm #

      Don’t get me wrong, both are so important. However, social media is a great way to build your brand name and customer base.

  16. p fuhad December 20, 2022 at 8:27 am #

    In one of your short you said focus on SEO , in this video you are saying the opposite . Can you clarify

    • Neil Patel December 20, 2022 at 7:13 pm #

      You should focus on both. Omnichannel approach is key. SEO brings better results in the long-term, and social media can bring quicker wins.

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