Social Marketing Lifts Organic Conversions
I’ve been digging through MarketingSherpa’s new 2011 Search Marketing Benchmark Report: SEO Edition and finding very interesting data describing social media’s impact on SEO performance.
The most interested stat I came across noted that marketers working in social media reported an average 27% conversion rate for organic search traffic. Those not working in social media reported 17%. That is a 58.8% difference — which is huge.
What could cause this disparity?
Possible explanations are found in a second chart. Marketers were asked whether social media or SEO were effective marketing tactics for achieving a list of objectives.
More marketers said SEO, rather than social media, was a “very effective” way to:
o Increase brand or product awareness (42% vs. 37%)
o Increase website traffic (57% vs. 33%)
o Increase lead generation (35% vs. 18%)
o Increase offline sales revenue (17% vs. 10%)
o Increase online sales revenue (26% vs. 9%)
On the flipside, more marketers said social media was a “very effective” way to:
o Improve brand or product reputation (37% vs. 29%)
o Improve public relations (36% vs. 27%)
Clearly, SEO is more effective at attracting attention and ultimately converting people. However, social media is more likely to increase positive thinking around a product and brand.
This leads me to a hypothesis: marketers who engage in SEO and social media have 58.8% higher conversion rates for organic traffic because their social media work has increased trust in their brands and products.
But that might not be the whole story.
As pointed out in the benchmark report’s analysis, working in social media provides additional benefits. Social profiles and content are indexed by search engines and added to results pages. These additional results can push down a brand’s competition, increasing its organic conversion rates. Also, the social results can broaden the variety of content on a SERP and help brands appeal to more people.
The data are very interesting. If your team has well established SEO and social media strategies, take a look at your stats and look for similar trends. It just might make you smile.