Chances are you've already invested quite a lot of time, resource, and no doubt hard cash into 'optimising' your website for all the relevant search engines, and now you have all these people telling you that 'Social Media' is the place to be found and seen, so what on earth do you do next?

Let's take a fairly simplified view of the key differences between 'searching' and discovery;

Search is awesome but only if the person carrying out that task knows what they're searching for. 

Of course 'semantic' search helps to refine that search - try searching for 'hat' and see how many terms come up for that one keyword.

So, by making sure your website and related pages are technically optimised, and its able to be indexed by our friends at Google (its their bat and ball after all) then you may well win out over your competitors based on how well you 'rank', but as with anything in business its an ongoing process.

We all know gaining #1 organic position for your keywords is the goal of every business, because coming 4th and thereafter means very few people will visit your site.

Social media (without the intrusive adverts) is really about how we naturally 'discover' things that we might not be 'searching' for, it's the stuff that 'interest us', intrigues and informs.

Its stuff that our friends and work colleagues have found of interest, and some of their interest sparks our curiosity, its just social right?

If you utilise social as a most amazing Superpower, leverage employee, and customer advocacy to a greater level than your competitors, guess what happens?

Yes, your organic ranking also improves, you magically 'own' that space, not just for keyword terms, but all those matched terms, and long tail keywords that also add up to the value recognised by the Google algorithm.

Does it need special skills, not really but you will need training.

Its called telling stories, and we can all do that can't we?

Obviously, you need to exist in social media before you can start using it as your traffic machine. Less obvious are the details of it. These are the elements that will lay the foundation of your social stronghold.

At the moment most companies activities on social media are still replicating the 'advertise and promote' thinking they were adopting pre-Covid, yet that approach is inherently flawed because the metric you are using is outdated, it just doesn't really work in the social media landscape because you think its about reach.

I'm constantly amazed at people who are talented marketeers, who when they arrive at work forget to think about why they are on social themselves (not the company), what are their habits and behaviors, and then I ask them to name the last 3 adverts they saw and did something about on social.

It's a rhetorical question of course because very few people can remember, and when pushed they tell me that adverts on social media have a habit of pissing them off because they are trying to be 'social'.

So, why do you think that everyone else is behaving differently than you?

Social media is just about that, its about being social and when we're social we don't want intrusive adverts (no matter how targeted) to interrupt what were doing, we use varying social platforms for slightly different purposes, and therefore brands need to think about how people behave on these platforms and adjust accordingly.

Social media when done within the context of a brand strategy creates conversations with people who are more inclined to 'listen' and 'engage' in those conversations if they are coming from our friends and peer groups - not the corporate bullhorn!

If brands started to create (not corporate) content, empowered by employees (who tend to have more followers than the CEO btw), engage in conversations, create conversations, and above all 'listen' you will be surprised at how your spend can go down, your sales can go up, and you can create, and join in with some very loyal communities. 

Stop measuring reach, and start creating and involving in 'engagement'.