Real Marketing Estate Q&A: Do I Need Social Media if I'm Creating Regular Content on my Website?

Cole Wiebe
November 9, 2013
Read time: 3 minutes

One of the questions I get most often goes something like this, "I've read that content marketing is the new SEO. Other marketing experts say that social media is the the way to go. So which is better, or do we even need social media if we're actively creating blog content on our site?"

Content marketing vs social media

There are two primary objectives when integrating social media with content marketing.

1. A content marketing focus :: distribution

Here the focus of social is the brand website. Fresh content is published regularly, in the blog, photo galleries, in-depth articles, FAQ pages, case studies, testimonials, white papers, ebooks, infographics, videos, etc.

Social networks fill a vital role in notifying followers of the new content and by distributing links back to the content on the company website. With this approach, brands model the behavior of media publishers.

For the past 17 years we've provided internet marketing consulting and services, but prior to that we were in the magazine publishing industry. We produced the magazines and sent them to press and a distribution company took it from there, putting the issues on newsstands across North America and handling the  mail subscriptions. How successful would these publications have been, if we waited for potential subscribers to find us in the Yellow Pages? With the content marketing approach, social media represents distribution. It puts your content in front of eyeballs.

The website focus of content marketing lends itself more to creating demand for products and services, building relationships with prospects and nurturing them towards a lead conversion or purchase. The content marketing approach also can result in solid first page search engine rankings when properly executed.

2. A social media focus :: engagement

The content focus here is within the social networks themselves. The content platforms are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Vimeo, Vine, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, etc. The content must conform to the format specified by the social network and brands model their behaviour after the individuals they wish to reach within each network.

Social media is powerful in building brand awareness, increasing customer retention and improving customer satisfaction. Social channels are an open forum that provides the opportunity for developing direct conversations with customers. Product launches and news releases can spread like wild fire through social media.

Final thoughts

So which focus is better? For real estate professionals, content and social media go together like pizza and beer. The ratios may vary, month to month, but it's hard to think of one without the other.

Content is fire, social media is gasoline.
- Jay Baer

Generating a high level of visibility and traffic involves both. Social media is a powerful marketing tool, and companies have profited by using it alone, but it's always better when engagement (social) and media (content) come together. Social media creates the teaser that drives traffic to your website, where visitors can discover that you're the local expert through your content, send you an IDX viewing request, or download a white paper to enter the content funnel of your lead generation strategy.

Do you need any help with mapping out an effective content / social media strategy?


Cole Wiebe, content marketing expert, Vancouver, BC

Cole Wiebe helps brands and professionals grow their influence and value online; so they can “out content”™ their competition. Cole is a content strategist, content writer, conversion copywriter and online marketing coach.

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15 comments on “Real Marketing Estate Q&A: Do I Need Social Media if I'm Creating Regular Content on my Website?”

  1. Hey Cole,
    Could not agree more. It is ok to think that new content is enough, and perhaps it is ok with it being indexed by Google and all (you might get some good views from SEO). But in the end, you get quite a lot more amplification from Social Media and all the related channels. The stats (mine included) prove it
    have a great week
    ashley

  2. Cole- I think you need both. For my business ranking in Google is key, so content plays a big role. I am using social media to boost my rankings. I am starting to notice that more and more people are going from blog to my main website, so social media is playing a big part

    1. Hi Arleen,

      I believe that all of us would love to distill our marketing down to that one thing that we need to do to make it all work. In this case, I agree with you that 2 things, great content and social, is our lowest denominator. Thanks for commenting.

      - Cole

  3. Hey Cole

    The way I look at it is that it's not wise to rely on content alone when it comes to your marketing strategy.

    One week Google may love your content and then the next week they bring out another algorithm change and you're demoted to page 100.

    It pays to diversify and using services such as Triberr to drive traffic can be very beneficial when it comes to social media.

  4. Thanks Cole
    I agree…whenever I do a new post on my blog that is the first thing I do is post on multiple social media sites. I use a tracking plugin and find it fun and interesting to see how the amount of website viewers shoot up quickly right after I have shared my post. I have found for my own personal social media that Google+ has worked the best for me.

    1. Hi Wendy,

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. It is fun to watch the traffic come in after releasing a new post, notifying the world in social media and then completing the blog commenting list. I would agree that Google+ is the star when it comes to getting traffic after the release of fresh content.

      - Cole

  5. Hi Ashley,
    I would say that content is equally important as promoting it on social media. Rather both complement and complete each other.
    Merely writing content on a website might get you good rankings with search engines but social media has to count for something.
    Even search engines now pay attention to the social media presence of a website.
    Thanks.
    Regards,
    Vineet

    1. Hi Vineet,

      You are absolutely right. Over the past year we have seen the influence of social media in client search engine rankings, particularly where there are retweets, likes, +1s and other mentions.

      - Cole

  6. Hi Cole,

    Ahhh...the Yellow Pages.
    I have to say - those are two words I haven't given any thought to for a VERY long time 😉

    How important is social media? To me, very.
    Even if we aren't the ones who are doing the promoting for ourselves.

    The act of taking a link, complete with an image and summary, sharing it everywhere and having that prospective reader be able to read your content within minutes is pretty cool.
    And we don't have to rely on others (big media, corporations, etc) to put the word out there for us. We get to do this ourselves - on our time frame, on our terms, in our own words.

    1. Hi Dana,

      Social media posts, followed by blog commenting, always drive dependable traffic to new blog posts. And as you say, it's something we have complete control over ourselves.

      - Cole

  7. Hi Cole,

    I agree. I think that both are important and we should be using both of these two methods.

    My thinking is do not put all your eggs in the same basket. I'm constantly trying to finding more and new ways to spread myself out there. It's also so time consuming, though.

    Thanks for this interesting topic.

    1. Hi Sylviane,

      I have to agree that promoting content can be very time consuming. We used to publish to about twenty sites, but recently we're back to only a few favorite social sites.

      - Cole

  8. Hey Cole,

    The Yellow Pages! I think I remember what those are! Those big huge clunky books we use to have to look up a number in right! Man am I glad they don't make those anymore, I'm glad some things are gone. lol...

    I agree, I think we need both. In today's market you can't rely on just one form of distribution or you'll be outdone by your competition. You have to be able to get the word out about your content to as many people as you can and social media is the way to do just that.

    We can't just rely on the search engines alone picking up our content. You never know with Google when another change will come along and how that will affect us today. Social media is about sharing and word of mouth which to me is a whole lot better overall.

    Great job of explaining the importance of this. I think this will help a lot.

    ~Adrienne

    1. Hi Adrienne,

      I live in British Columbia, and they still drop those big Yellow Pages books at our door every year. I feel guilty about throwing a brand new book straight in the bin, so I keep it around for a few months before tossing it. Does anyone actually use those things any more?

      - Cole

  9. Cole!

    Your comparison between pizza & beer and a relevant content marketing strategy and social media, are definitely spot on!

    And the way you explain that social media is like the messenger that delivers the fresh content to the various subscribers/followers etc.

    And it seems pretty obvious that they're both co-dependent on one another.

    And the companies that rely heavily on one or the other and not both.

    They will definitely lose out to more the savvy marketers that leverage both!

    Great content! Thanks for sharing!

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