What is more effective for business promotion: SMM or SEO? We talk to a specialist to find the answer

by Conte.ai 15 min read upd on Aug 24, 2022

SEO specialist Enrique Tejedo believes that, unlike e-commerce companies, medical organisations don’t really need an Instagram account. Speaking with Conte.ai Magazine, the specialist shared the mistakes businesses make when promoting on social media and how to avoid them, as well as the most common misconceptions about search engine optimisation.

Journalism, writing, and search optimisation

Enrique Tejedo has two hobbies: literature and SEO. The first is an ordinary hobby that brings him pleasure; the second is his life’s work.

“I’m 33 now. I started writing short stories, articles, and blog posts back when I was 17,” Enrique recalls. “Later, I took literature courses to improve my writing skills. I released a book last year, and now I'm working on the second one. I enjoy sharing my ideas with readers, and I also like the aesthetics of writing.”

However, writing books doesn’t provide Enrique with a significant income because he doesn’t engage in it seriously. According to the specialist, if creativity became his primary source of income, he’d stop doing it. After all, when you make your living as a writer, you must write. It immediately takes away Enrique's desire to create; he becomes tense and stressed out and doesn’t enjoy the process anymore.

Enrique entered the field of SEO promotion by chance. He graduated with a degree in journalism and found a job in the marketing department of a large bank, where he wrote and edited texts and created content. Then he was invited to work for a marketing agency.

“Before that, I had significant theoretical knowledge of marketing but I didn’t put it into practice. The work at the agency gave me the opportunity to talk directly to customers, to learn to communicate with clients and understand their needs. The agency suggested I start doing technical SEO, and I immediately got interested. I started watching YouTube videos on the topic and took part in training courses on Master SEO and Webpositer, which helped me master the profession quickly.”

Why working for yourself is the most beneficial option

From the very start of his career, Enrique worked for someone else. The specialist liked his last place of work: he was on good terms with his boss and colleagues, he liked his schedule and had exciting tasks. But he came to the point where he wanted to find out what it was like to decide for himself what to do next. He didn’t like being tied to one place and wanted to have an opportunity to travel somewhere and work from there. The realisation that you can do this at any moment is true freedom.

“Now, I don’t depend on anyone. I might work 12 hours a day and then take a day off in the middle of the week,” Enrique describes the bonuses of freelancing. “Besides, you make more money when working for yourself. You invest time in your own projects, which is motivating in itself. And another advantage of freelancing is that there are no meetings or interactions with colleagues. You manage your time as you see fit and don’t waste it on ineffective meetings or useless talks.”

A personal brand is particularly important for a freelancer – it is a kind of promotional tool to attract clients. Enrique is just starting to work on it. The specialist became a freelancer only six months ago and hasn’t had time to look around yet. Now, he is in a funny situation: he does promotion for a living, but he doesn’t have a personal website. He does everything for his clients and doesn’t have enough time left to market himself. Now, Enrique is negotiating with a Google Ads specialist. They are planning to create a website and use it to start promoting his personal brand.

SEO issues and meeting clients’ expectations

Clients discover Enrique through word of mouth. Former colleagues direct their clients to him. The specialist attends conferences as well and makes useful contacts there. He also manages a presence on LinkedIn and Twitter and tries to post at least once a week. Twitter is a convenient platform for SEO specialists that has gathered a large professional community where new clients can be found.

“I get various enquiries, but what most clients want is to get organic traffic on their websites,” the freelancer shares. “I notice that people are only now starting to understand the importance of organic promotion and are getting interested in SEO. The main issue is that websites aren’t indexed in search engines and are made without SEO principles in mind. Because of that, it’s difficult to work with them since new tools need to be implemented on some kind of pre-existing base.”

The specialist points out that clients often want to get results immediately. They think that it’s enough to launch a campaign, and the leads will follow right away. But an SEO campaign shows results in six months at best. Sometimes you have to wait an entire year. The waiting period depends on many factors, for example, competitors. It is extremely difficult to reach the leading positions and outperform a company that has been on the market for 10 years.

Enrique Tejedo at work

The subtleties of SMM and SEO that a business should be aware of

Enrique is certain that search engine optimisation and social media marketing complement each other, but it is important to use each tool for its intended purpose and make sure they work in conjunction. Almost every business should have a website and social media accounts. But a company shouldn’t start accounts on all platforms at once; it’s better to focus on those that suit their business area.

A business should be careful when choosing a social media platform: you can make a mistake with that and lose time and money. Enrique explains this with an example. E-commerce companies should definitely promote themselves on Instagram. They need a website too, but it’s better to bet on Instagram as a marketing strategy. There are niches where Instagram isn’t that important — local businesses and medical organisations, for example. In those cases, it’s better to emphasise SEO promotion so that clients can quickly find the company’s contact details.

Instagram is the ideal space to promote stores, however. It is a platform for quick, emotional purchases. It is here that 80% of clothing stores sell their products. Twitter works well for promoting IT startups and technology companies. Facebook suits businesses whose products or services are designed for an adult audience. I also recommend that every business try promoting on YouTube. You often hear people say that it doesn’t work, but the stats tell a different story. Enter any keyword into a search engine – almost all the first links are to YouTube videos.

Unforgivable mistakes on social media

Enrique highlights the importance of businesses having a content policy to follow on social media. Companies can lose their audience if they don’t research their interests and needs.

“I might be sharing basic information now, but it’s very important. I often see bloggers and SMM specialists publishing content that absolutely doesn’t interest their audience. Content should be high quality and, most importantly, understandable. Besides, it should reflect the values and mission of the business or person who manages the account. It’s important to match your content to your ideals and beliefs; subscribers will notice and value it. This is relevant for SEO articles as well: some copywriters write texts that are simply impossible to read because of the overwhelming number of keywords placed almost haphazardly. If I go to a website and see a text like that, I just close the tab.”

To manage social media really effectively, you shouldn’t ignore the power of additional tools. Thus, the freelancer uses Semrush and Ahrefs, which help you track traffic numbers from social media and measure the effectiveness of a marketing strategy. The Audience platform helps him plan advertising campaigns. When there are idea gaps and, still, the need to publish content regularly, he works with Conte.ai - an AI-powered web service based on the synergy of artificial and human intelligence. It offers highly efficient social media management and content creation, and therefore keeps the accounts updated.

Professional crossroads

The freelancer doesn’t stand still and is constantly growing in his profession. He reads articles on the Internet and watches educational videos on YouTube. He follows opinion leaders in his field and checks out the accounts of his colleagues. He also often visits offline courses and participates in workshops. Everything is always changing quickly in the SEO field; therefore, he has to constantly learn and improve his skills to be at the heart of events.

“To be honest, I’m facing a dilemma right now. I have two paths: to create my own company or remain a freelancer. In the first case, I need to expand my range of services and find contractors. That way, I will be able to help more clients. Or I can remain a freelancer and work one-on-one with the client, provide consultations on SEO promotions, and help small businesses organically grow in search results. I don’t know yet what I’ll choose, but it will be an exciting venture.”

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