SEO and Social Media Marketing Blueprint

By: Brian Horn on: November 11th, 2009 11 Comments

Now more than ever, small business marketers are charged with improving performance with fewer resources and shifting budgets from print and direct mail to online digital strategies like SEO and social media.

A small business owner can get some killer benefits from mixing SEO and social media marketing methods…from increased social network discovery through search…to getting more links for improved SEO with social media. Cool, right?

Making the most out of mixing your SEO work with social media promoting strategies can be accomplished with a plan that identifies the crowd you are after, the goals you are attempting to reach as well as a creating a replicable system.

From a selling viewpoint, you can glance at the advantages of SEO and social media in a couple of different ways.

First, kicking off a social media promoting program without optimizing content is putting the cart before the horse. Helpful social content ( blog, video, pictures, audio ) that can’t be discovered via search is a lost chance to reach a potential customer that’s actively trying to find it.

However, on the flip side, implementing SEO programs without leveraging the content distribution and linking advantages of the social web makes link building for SEO an uphill battle. The character of the social web encourages collusion : sharing, voting, commenting and linking. You can see example of this at the top of the post (Digg, Tweet, Facebook Share) and bookmarking options at the bottom of the post.

Preferred social content gets exposure, traffic and may lead to a serious number of topical inbound links. Content + Links = search site Success.

However you look at it, SEO and social media work best together so long as there’s a framework for doing so. A way to build SEO and social media programs efficiently is to follow a social media blueprint :

1.) Find the fans. Understand their behaviors, preferences, techniques of publishing, and sharing. Most firms that are concerned with the social web in the channels where their clients spend a little time have a good sense of where to begin.
2.) Outline your objectives. Objectives are usually driven by selling or sales, and SEO has always been at once responsible to serious enhancements in web sales. Social media isn’t direct promoting though , so different objectives and measurements apply.

The job of SEO in a social media effort is to at once influence discovery of social communities or content thru search.

Perform a search for Zappos on Google, as an example, and you will easily find more than shoes : Twitter, Blog ( blog ) and a YouTube ( YouTube ) channel are all on the 1st page of search results.

3.) Create a game plan. The game plan for reaching objectives in a mixed SEO and social media effort will probably target content and interaction, since it is content that folk discover and share. Whether a keyword-focused methodology for reaching goals means publishing new content or making a break for consumer-generated content, it must involve active promotion and simple sharing among members of the community.

4.) Make a tactical mix. The tactical mix for a social media selling effort relies on doing the homework of finding where the targeted audience spends their time online interacting with others and sharing content. Whatever the tactical mix is, it is an investment in time and relationships not a short term link dump to plug optimized link bait.

Lots of the content creation and promotion for a social media selling effort occurs in the tactical mix and, of course, that suggests improving content for keywords. Extend the value of your investment by involving SEO within a social media marketing effort and vice versa, small business owners and small business marketing pros can extend the value of their investment.

Well optimized social media content advertising efforts can attract new network players thru search.


Brian Horn, of HornDog Search Marketing, is recognized by many as the "Glazer-Kennedy Secret Weapon", because of his role in helping not only Dan Kennedy and Bill Glazer with search engine optimization and social media, but also many of the top Information Marketers in the world. Brian shares SEO tips for small businesses over at at his blog,

11 Responses

  1. jonas says:

    Awesome Blog! Those are great strategies I apply to my fitness blog

  2. Rob Anspach says:

    Social media marketing is different then social networking (but it is usually used in the same circles) – one is about building your marketing message where the other is building a fan base.

    The other day I had this same talk with a bank VP and he said they prohibit their employee from using social sites… and I said thats fine but you’re missing the boat on the marketing aspects of free social media… he didn’t seem to care.

    Now click on my picture and become of fan (on facebook).

  3. Charles says:

    hey Brian, great summary of social media thanks
    1.) Find the fans.
    2.) Outline your objectives.
    3.) Create a game plan.
    4.) Make a tactical mix. Whatever the tactical mix is, it is an investment in time and relationships not a short term link dump to plug optimized link bait.

  4. Great post Brian!… Now only if I can get the local businesses to understand this… They are sort of old school… They hear all of these social media buzz words and start staring at me like a deer in head lights…

  5. Rob Anspach says:

    at Patrick Consing… light a deer in head lights…

    a deer caught in headlights usually gets run over… and thats exactly whats happening to “old school” companies… they are being run over by companies who are embracing social media and harnessing its power.

    Now click on my picture and become a fan (on facebook).

  6. Brian Horn says:


    It can be a tough sale. Took me years to get some high profile marketers to adapt…and some still aren’t involved.

    Just keep at it…some day will be the right the day…and you need to be the one asking. :)

  7. Howdy,

    Your post is current and what is even more intense is the commercial intention of keywords and buying phrases. What most people do not realize is that they can spend a lot of time optimizing there blog or website for search terms which people are not parting with their credit cards.

    I have been using PPC for a long time and found it to be best and fastest way to drive traffic to a website until I started experimenting with facebook applications and other social media applications. I actually work with a team who created a facebook fan page on steroids and what is best is that it generates who traffic to your sites and increases sales all on a competition. So the key is strategy and thinking how can i use social media to get people involved with my business and give them something to share. It is then you will have great results with social media.

    Make it fun and your customers will love it.

  8. I can’t believe that I didn’t start using the various social media sites until just a few months ago. Huge mistake!

    One that about 95% of local businesses are still making.

    Heck — most of them even still have no website or a crappy one that’s just a glorified brochure.

    It’s just too darned easy to blow away the competition and make a killing — yes, even in “the recession.”

  9. Jim rowe says:

    Brian helped me become a social networker and last month it helped my restaurant get a 7,000 catering, plus we connect with our guest but more important they feel connected to us.

  10. Brian Horn says:

    You’re one of the few who “gets it” Jim. You’ve build a whole online community around your restaurant…rabid fans that love to interact with your brand. Killin’ it bro!

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