Why You Shouldn't Trust Social Media To An SEO Consultant - Social Media Explorer
Why You Shouldn’t Trust Social Media To An SEO Consultant
Why You Shouldn’t Trust Social Media To An SEO Consultant
by
Jason Falls
Jason Falls

The more time I spend with clients analyzing their needs and making recommendations in the Internet marketing realm, the more I’m convinced that search is of utmost importance. And no, it’s not because I’m an Owyang lemming and he said so. It’s because ranking high in search is the ultimate reason I wind up giving for almost every recommendation I make. Whether it’s participating in social media, rebuilding a client’s website in a certain content management system or pushing for lighter motion techniques in lieu of the irrelevant-to-search Flash-heavy designs, I normally end up with, “and it can boost your search engine results.”

But while I consider myself to be fairly well learned in the ways of SEO (thank you to the wisdom of Aaron Wall, Lee Odden and Ryan Deshazer), the more I understand about search strategies and techniques the more I’m convinced that there exists a continental divide between the skills that make a good search engine optimization specialist and those which are the fundamental qualities of a strong social media marketing practitioner.

Though the end result of successful execution in each is similar — good SEO gets you more traffic, good SMM gets you more exposure, which actually supplements good SEO — the two practices are as fundamentally different as science and art, math and verbal.

Search engine optimization is the scientific application of keyword and link strategies to manipulate a given website’s algorithmic score as determined by a given search engine (Google, Yahoo, Live, etc.) The higher the algorithmic score in comparison to other websites ranking for the search term, the better the ranking of that website in results. SEO detractors would say that the practice is fundamentally unethical because that manipulation results in a website having a higher score than it perhaps should. But websites are no longer entities that benefit from the, “If you build it, they will come,” mentality. Telling someone about your website to drive them there would technically qualify as “manipulating” the search results if you listen to the SEO-haters.

SEO practitioners have, however, developed their own term and practice, “SMO,” or “Social Media Optimization,” which takes on the mindset that you participate in social media to drive traffic, in-bound links and other search benefits to a given website. This is essentially the same as SEO. lt is focused on manipulating the search engine result. SMO’s core objective is not about social media, but about search results.

Social media marketing, however, is the practice of engaging audiences in conversations about a given subject to foster greater volume, better sentiment or to gather intelligence from the participants about that subject. Certainly, a claim could be made that participating in social media marketing is also about manipulating something — in this case the tone of the conversation — but my point is not to say that one is better or more ethical than the other. My point is to say the two practices require extremely different skill sets.

SEO skills revolve around the mathematical manipulation of an equation. Put more keywords in the first paragraph. Add ALT and TITLE tags to images and links. While yes, the good search professional has copywriting skills, they have to only be polished enough to insert the keyword into a sentence or phrase that doesn’t read awkwardly to the search engine’s natural language processor.

SMM skills revolve around communicating with people and not just in a short fashion so the language processor doesn’t flag it as unnatural. Social media professionals must be friendly, sensitive, tactful, interesting and interested. They must have the natural charisma to inject themselves into conversations to which they were not perhaps invited, but not intrude. They must have the diplomatic ability to listen to a detractor’s concerns, acknowledge his or her frustrations and engage them in a solution-finding mission all while keeping their ego, intellect and factual knowledge in check.

While it would be incorrect and irresponsible of me to say there’s no such thing as a person with strengths on both sides of the aisle, my gut, not to mention my experience in engaging people in conversation, tells me for the most part, ne’er the twain shall meet. Still, there are hundreds of social media practitioners who claim SEO as one of their skills. There are as many, if not more, SEO specialists that say they also offer social media expertise.

But the fundamental personality and skill disparities lead me to say you shouldn’t trust social media to an SEO consultant. Their “social media” practice is probably more along the lines of SMO and is less about conversation, more about pushing inbound links. Their engagement with your audience is driven by those links and keywords and not by genuine information and opinion mining from your customers.

The issue has been debated before (see relevant links below) and this tome will certainly not put an end to the discourse. In fact, it should start a healthy discussion on the topic. While I do want your opinion in the comments, I’d like to take the opportunity to carry forward Len Kendall’s Blargument concept presented recently and ask Lee Odden of TopRankBlog.com, in particular, to respond. As one of the top search experts in the world, but also a mighty smart social media thinker, my guess is that his response will be thoroughly enjoyable.

Okay search fiends … tell me I’m wrong.

Follow Up Note (Added 3/10/09): It occurred to me after diving into the contents that the snappy headline’s insinuation, coupled with me asking Lee Odden to respond may have been misconstrued by some. Lee Odden is one person who proves the theory I’ve presented wrong. He is an SEO expert who is also a social media expert and knows better than most how they intertwine. There are a number of others out there I would consider similarly qualified – Chris Winfield and Andy Beal are two of which who have even commented here. My hope is that the discussion started leads us to a better understanding. There was no inference intended to say that you shouldn’t hire uniquely qualified people to perform both tasks. My apologies to anyone who might have read the post/headline that way.

IMAGE: Beware of Teeter-Totters” by CarolinaChronicles on Flickr.

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About the Author

Jason Falls
Jason Falls is the founder of Social Media Explorer and one of the most notable and outspoken voices in the social media marketing industry. He is a noted marketing keynote speaker, author of two books and unapologetic bourbon aficionado. He can also be found at JasonFalls.com.
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  • Thanks, Laurie. Appreciate the thoughts.

  • Well written article – but SEO copywriting is not easy peasy – it's for READERS, not just Google. Would alter this sentence, Jason: “they have to only be polished enough to insert the keyword into a sentence or phrase that doesn’t read awkwardly to the search engine’s natural language processor”…..

    In actual fact they have to be engaging copywriters and use the keywords seamlessly!
    They are very interested in conversions; at least the good ones are!

  • Well written article – but SEO copywriting is not easy peasy – it's for READERS, not just Google. Would alter this sentence, Jason: “they have to only be polished enough to insert the keyword into a sentence or phrase that doesn’t read awkwardly to the search engine’s natural language processor”…..

    In actual fact they have to be engaging copywriters and use the keywords seamlessly!
    They are very interested in conversions; at least the good ones are!

    • Thanks, Laurie. Appreciate the thoughts.

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  • It's funny I stumbled across this article. Recently I have had some really bad experiences with SEO types and so-called Internet Marketers. So far I've come to realize most of these people are all talk. They promise you this and that and hit you with a bunch of words, but in the end it's just empty blather.

    It's a shame, too. Because I was really hoping to have them help me with my new business site. I don't know squat about all this SEO business so it would have been nice if they had not turned out to be total shysters.

    • Doug, I'd be happy to recommend a couple of folks who will do you
      right, if you're interested. Sorry you had a bad experience.

      • Jason, thank you for your kind reply. Currently I am unemployed and trying to make a go of this design business in a last ditch attempt to make some income, so I don't have any extra money to pay anyone to help me.

        Thank you anyway.

  • realtorinoverlandpark

    I agree that a web site and a blog must be managed and optimized much differently from one to the other.

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  • thanks!You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog.
    Thanks though, i’m glad some people share good stuff like this! It will greatly help me in my SEO activities.

  • thanks!You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog.
    Thanks though, i’m glad some people share good stuff like this! It will greatly help me in my SEO activities.

  • thanks!You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog.
    Thanks though, i’m glad some people share good stuff like this! It will greatly help me in my SEO activities.

  • thanks!You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog.
    Thanks though, i’m glad some people share good stuff like this! It will greatly help me in my SEO activities.

  • thanks!You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog.
    Thanks though, i’m glad some people share good stuff like this! It will greatly help me in my SEO activities.

  • thanks!You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog.
    Thanks though, i’m glad some people share good stuff like this! It will greatly help me in my SEO activities.

  • great post. exactly what i have been thinking for the last 5 days, since my topical quarrel with a colleague of mine (SEO expert)

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  • I would agree to this… there are strategies that apply in making a ranking and it indeed is not a one man show as people think…

  • I would agree to this… there are strategies that apply in making a ranking and it indeed is not a one man show as people think…

  • I would agree to this… there are strategies that apply in making a ranking and it indeed is not a one man show as people think…

  • I would agree to this… there are strategies that apply in making a ranking and it indeed is not a one man show as people think…

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  • Having done SEO now for 10+ years and SMM now for over a year (actually much longer, if you count Usenet), I too think both skill sets can complement and enhance each other. You definitely have an edge in SMM if you're well-versed in SEO.

    Data points, Barbara

  • Having done SEO now for 10+ years and SMM now for over a year (actually much longer, if you count Usenet), I too think both skill sets can complement and enhance each other. You definitely have an edge in SMM if you're well-versed in SEO.

    Data points, Barbara

  • Having done SEO now for 10+ years and SMM now for over a year (actually much longer, if you count Usenet), I too think both skill sets can complement and enhance each other. You definitely have an edge in SMM if you're well-versed in SEO.

    Data points, Barbara

  • Having done SEO now for 10+ years and SMM now for over a year (actually much longer, if you count Usenet), I too think both skill sets can complement and enhance each other. You definitely have an edge in SMM if you're well-versed in SEO.

    Data points, Barbara

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  • I can see that thinking, Linda. Thanks for the analogy and the comment !

  • I can see that thinking, Linda. Thanks for the analogy and the comment !

  • I can see that thinking, Linda. Thanks for the analogy and the comment !

  • Thanks Claudio and great additional thought. Much appreciated.

  • Thanks Claudio and great additional thought. Much appreciated.

  • Thanks Claudio and great additional thought. Much appreciated.

  • Thanks Gino. It certainly does work both ways. If someone comes to me about SEO, I'm thankful that I have a staff of developers and Kat and David (both who have more SEO strengths than me) to confidently provide that service. If it were on my own, I would defer to someone with more expertise for now, in hopes of building the SEO expertise to a more confident standard. You're right that they both feed one another and there are some who have that confidence level with both and can do them well.

  • Thanks Gino. It certainly does work both ways. If someone comes to me about SEO, I'm thankful that I have a staff of developers and Kat and David (both who have more SEO strengths than me) to confidently provide that service. If it were on my own, I would defer to someone with more expertise for now, in hopes of building the SEO expertise to a more confident standard. You're right that they both feed one another and there are some who have that confidence level with both and can do them well.

  • Thanks Gino. It certainly does work both ways. If someone comes to me about SEO, I'm thankful that I have a staff of developers and Kat and David (both who have more SEO strengths than me) to confidently provide that service. If it were on my own, I would defer to someone with more expertise for now, in hopes of building the SEO expertise to a more confident standard. You're right that they both feed one another and there are some who have that confidence level with both and can do them well.

  • Fair point, Chris. Of course that plan won't always scale, but I certainly agree with the sentiment of it. Thanks for the input.

  • Fair point, Chris. Of course that plan won't always scale, but I certainly agree with the sentiment of it. Thanks for the input.

  • Fair point, Chris. Of course that plan won't always scale, but I certainly agree with the sentiment of it. Thanks for the input.

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  • The two may never overlap, but there is a link. I think the link is ever closer but never complete, rather like a Ying-yang. There will always be black and white feeding into each other, never gray.

  • The two may never overlap, but there is a link. I think the link is ever closer but never complete, rather like a Ying-yang. There will always be black and white feeding into each other, never gray.

  • The two may never overlap, but there is a link. I think the link is ever closer but never complete, rather like a Ying-yang. There will always be black and white feeding into each other, never gray.

  • The two may never overlap, but there is a link. I think the link is ever closer but never complete, rather like a Ying-yang. There will always be black and white feeding into each other, never gray.

    • I can see that thinking, Linda. Thanks for the analogy and the comment !

  • Jason:

    Good points, I remembered having a quick and brief email with Aaron on the issue just off one of his posts. I think the topic was something like “is SEO history or dead or something of the sort”…Of course its not. But as we know algorithms are changing, not only semantic search but brand is being addressed as well. This puts social media skills in the need and in the limelite. This is what I love about this industry, the fact that nothing is set, right brain and left brain collide or more like collaborate and that your campaigns can be as creative as you can get.

    Good article Bud!

  • Jason:

    Good points, I remembered having a quick and brief email with Aaron on the issue just off one of his posts. I think the topic was something like “is SEO history or dead or something of the sort”…Of course its not. But as we know algorithms are changing, not only semantic search but brand is being addressed as well. This puts social media skills in the need and in the limelite. This is what I love about this industry, the fact that nothing is set, right brain and left brain collide or more like collaborate and that your campaigns can be as creative as you can get.

    Good article Bud!

  • Jason:

    Good points, I remembered having a quick and brief email with Aaron on the issue just off one of his posts. I think the topic was something like “is SEO history or dead or something of the sort”…Of course its not. But as we know algorithms are changing, not only semantic search but brand is being addressed as well. This puts social media skills in the need and in the limelite. This is what I love about this industry, the fact that nothing is set, right brain and left brain collide or more like collaborate and that your campaigns can be as creative as you can get.

    Good article Bud!

  • Jason:

    Good points, I remembered having a quick and brief email with Aaron on the issue just off one of his posts. I think the topic was something like “is SEO history or dead or something of the sort”…Of course its not. But as we know algorithms are changing, not only semantic search but brand is being addressed as well. This puts social media skills in the need and in the limelite. This is what I love about this industry, the fact that nothing is set, right brain and left brain collide or more like collaborate and that your campaigns can be as creative as you can get.

    Good article Bud!

    • Thanks Claudio and great additional thought. Much appreciated.

  • Quite a dialogue you have here :-)

    Frankly, I find more SEO consultants get the social media space than social media consultants getting the SEO space. My opinion is that online communications, which includes social media marketing and search engine optimisation/marketing, must be approached in a cohesive, integrated approach instead of silos, in turn working together to deliver on real business outcomes, some of which are unique to each “tactic” but ultimately all deliver on one end result. The reality too is that both SEO and SM feed into each other, and therefore can and should be used together.

  • Quite a dialogue you have here :-)

    Frankly, I find more SEO consultants get the social media space than social media consultants getting the SEO space. My opinion is that online communications, which includes social media marketing and search engine optimisation/marketing, must be approached in a cohesive, integrated approach instead of silos, in turn working together to deliver on real business outcomes, some of which are unique to each “tactic” but ultimately all deliver on one end result. The reality too is that both SEO and SM feed into each other, and therefore can and should be used together.

  • Quite a dialogue you have here :-)

    Frankly, I find more SEO consultants get the social media space than social media consultants getting the SEO space. My opinion is that online communications, which includes social media marketing and search engine optimisation/marketing, must be approached in a cohesive, integrated approach instead of silos, in turn working together to deliver on real business outcomes, some of which are unique to each “tactic” but ultimately all deliver on one end result. The reality too is that both SEO and SM feed into each other, and therefore can and should be used together.

  • Quite a dialogue you have here :-)

    Frankly, I find more SEO consultants get the social media space than social media consultants getting the SEO space. My opinion is that online communications, which includes social media marketing and search engine optimisation/marketing, must be approached in a cohesive, integrated approach instead of silos, in turn working together to deliver on real business outcomes, some of which are unique to each “tactic” but ultimately all deliver on one end result. The reality too is that both SEO and SM feed into each other, and therefore can and should be used together.

    • Thanks Gino. It certainly does work both ways. If someone comes to me about SEO, I'm thankful that I have a staff of developers and Kat and David (both who have more SEO strengths than me) to confidently provide that service. If it were on my own, I would defer to someone with more expertise for now, in hopes of building the SEO expertise to a more confident standard. You're right that they both feed one another and there are some who have that confidence level with both and can do them well.

  • And this is right on the heels of International Women's Day too!

  • And this is right on the heels of International Women's Day too!

  • And this is right on the heels of International Women's Day too!

  • If your website doesn't render correctly on Firefox, you may be automatically killing your business single handed (no aid from SEOs)
    I would honestly look to get the whole site rebuilt on a much more friendly platform, and to structure it to take advantage of the original content you have produced.

    Also note, it is not just me who has problems navigating your site, but also Google – they only have 7 pages indexed.

  • If your website doesn't render correctly on Firefox, you may be automatically killing your business single handed (no aid from SEOs)
    I would honestly look to get the whole site rebuilt on a much more friendly platform, and to structure it to take advantage of the original content you have produced.

    Also note, it is not just me who has problems navigating your site, but also Google – they only have 7 pages indexed.

  • If your website doesn't render correctly on Firefox, you may be automatically killing your business single handed (no aid from SEOs)
    I would honestly look to get the whole site rebuilt on a much more friendly platform, and to structure it to take advantage of the original content you have produced.

    Also note, it is not just me who has problems navigating your site, but also Google – they only have 7 pages indexed.

  • I agree that you shouldn't leave your Social Media/Blog Marketing to a SEO specialist. Have them optimize your website and you should optimize your social media/Blog yourself. Be original!

  • I agree that you shouldn't leave your Social Media/Blog Marketing to a SEO specialist. Have them optimize your website and you should optimize your social media/Blog yourself. Be original!

  • I agree that you shouldn't leave your Social Media/Blog Marketing to a SEO specialist. Have them optimize your website and you should optimize your social media/Blog yourself. Be original!

  • I agree that you shouldn't leave your Social Media/Blog Marketing to a SEO specialist. Have them optimize your website and you should optimize your social media/Blog yourself. Be original!

    • Fair point, Chris. Of course that plan won't always scale, but I certainly agree with the sentiment of it. Thanks for the input.

  • Hey Doug. Thanks for stopping by.

    I think some SEO consultants do understand more than the acquisition realm. The good ones, who mix social media and even traditional marketing well certainly do. But I would agree there are a lot of posers out there who don't. Perhaps they are who this post is aimed at more specifically.

    Thanks for chiming in.

  • Hey Doug. Thanks for stopping by.

    I think some SEO consultants do understand more than the acquisition realm. The good ones, who mix social media and even traditional marketing well certainly do. But I would agree there are a lot of posers out there who don't. Perhaps they are who this post is aimed at more specifically.

    Thanks for chiming in.

  • Hey Doug. Thanks for stopping by.

    I think some SEO consultants do understand more than the acquisition realm. The good ones, who mix social media and even traditional marketing well certainly do. But I would agree there are a lot of posers out there who don't. Perhaps they are who this post is aimed at more specifically.

    Thanks for chiming in.

  • I would agree that we must be good at both to get noticed or employ someone that is good, but I would pause a little on the statement all SEO types lack marketing skill and integrity. While my headline may imply that, in reality the all or nothing statements are normally easily proven wrong. There are several (some who have even commented here) who are very good at both SEO and social media. Read through Lee Odden's comment above. He makes some very strong points to the notion that good SEO is about being social and applying marketing techniques and discipline.

    Thank you for the thoughts and added perspective. It's nice to see the small business owners here participating.

  • I would agree that we must be good at both to get noticed or employ someone that is good, but I would pause a little on the statement all SEO types lack marketing skill and integrity. While my headline may imply that, in reality the all or nothing statements are normally easily proven wrong. There are several (some who have even commented here) who are very good at both SEO and social media. Read through Lee Odden's comment above. He makes some very strong points to the notion that good SEO is about being social and applying marketing techniques and discipline.

    Thank you for the thoughts and added perspective. It's nice to see the small business owners here participating.

  • I would agree that we must be good at both to get noticed or employ someone that is good, but I would pause a little on the statement all SEO types lack marketing skill and integrity. While my headline may imply that, in reality the all or nothing statements are normally easily proven wrong. There are several (some who have even commented here) who are very good at both SEO and social media. Read through Lee Odden's comment above. He makes some very strong points to the notion that good SEO is about being social and applying marketing techniques and discipline.

    Thank you for the thoughts and added perspective. It's nice to see the small business owners here participating.

  • And thank you for adding so much to it, Andy. Much appreciated.

  • And thank you for adding so much to it, Andy. Much appreciated.

  • And thank you for adding so much to it, Andy. Much appreciated.

  • That's an excellent way to quantify social media marketing. It's about understanding the impact, measuring (with tools) what works, and doing more of that. Yes there are ever changing technical aspects of SEO that help sites and products get discovered and ranked, but at the end of the day it's about the user experience and increasing audience, right? Marketing is the foundation, no matter how you slice it.

  • That's an excellent way to quantify social media marketing. It's about understanding the impact, measuring (with tools) what works, and doing more of that. Yes there are ever changing technical aspects of SEO that help sites and products get discovered and ranked, but at the end of the day it's about the user experience and increasing audience, right? Marketing is the foundation, no matter how you slice it.

  • That's an excellent way to quantify social media marketing. It's about understanding the impact, measuring (with tools) what works, and doing more of that. Yes there are ever changing technical aspects of SEO that help sites and products get discovered and ranked, but at the end of the day it's about the user experience and increasing audience, right? Marketing is the foundation, no matter how you slice it.

  • I tend to agree with you, but for different reasons. Social Media can incorporate acquisition, retention and nurturing activities. SEO is really contained to an acquisition strategy. Understanding each medium, their strengths and weaknesses, as well as how to leverage each is key. I'm not sure an SEO consultant understands much outside the acquisition realm.

  • I tend to agree with you, but for different reasons. Social Media can incorporate acquisition, retention and nurturing activities. SEO is really contained to an acquisition strategy. Understanding each medium, their strengths and weaknesses, as well as how to leverage each is key. I'm not sure an SEO consultant understands much outside the acquisition realm.

  • I tend to agree with you, but for different reasons. Social Media can incorporate acquisition, retention and nurturing activities. SEO is really contained to an acquisition strategy. Understanding each medium, their strengths and weaknesses, as well as how to leverage each is key. I'm not sure an SEO consultant understands much outside the acquisition realm.

  • I tend to agree with you, but for different reasons. Social Media can incorporate acquisition, retention and nurturing activities. SEO is really contained to an acquisition strategy. Understanding each medium, their strengths and weaknesses, as well as how to leverage each is key. I'm not sure an SEO consultant understands much outside the acquisition realm.

    • Hey Doug. Thanks for stopping by.

      I think some SEO consultants do understand more than the acquisition realm. The good ones, who mix social media and even traditional marketing well certainly do. But I would agree there are a lot of posers out there who don't. Perhaps they are who this post is aimed at more specifically.

      Thanks for chiming in.

  • I think its great that you bring these points up, I do agree there is a huge difference in marketing to SEO, I have found an incredible amount of SEO “professionals” simply use my site name or my registered trade marks in order to drive their own traffic. They all lack marketing skill and integrity.
    Marketers however at least have the morals to stick with their own product lines and show the benefits of what they can actually offer. I think the way that the search engines operate has bought out the worst in SEO professionals and it has made genuine business harder to find on the net.
    It means we (small business owners) must be good at both to even get noticed. Or at least employ someone that is.

  • I think its great that you bring these points up, I do agree there is a huge difference in marketing to SEO, I have found an incredible amount of SEO “professionals” simply use my site name or my registered trade marks in order to drive their own traffic. They all lack marketing skill and integrity.
    Marketers however at least have the morals to stick with their own product lines and show the benefits of what they can actually offer. I think the way that the search engines operate has bought out the worst in SEO professionals and it has made genuine business harder to find on the net.
    It means we (small business owners) must be good at both to even get noticed. Or at least employ someone that is.

  • I think its great that you bring these points up, I do agree there is a huge difference in marketing to SEO, I have found an incredible amount of SEO “professionals” simply use my site name or my registered trade marks in order to drive their own traffic. They all lack marketing skill and integrity.
    Marketers however at least have the morals to stick with their own product lines and show the benefits of what they can actually offer. I think the way that the search engines operate has bought out the worst in SEO professionals and it has made genuine business harder to find on the net.
    It means we (small business owners) must be good at both to even get noticed. Or at least employ someone that is.

  • I think its great that you bring these points up, I do agree there is a huge difference in marketing to SEO, I have found an incredible amount of SEO “professionals” simply use my site name or my registered trade marks in order to drive their own traffic. They all lack marketing skill and integrity.
    Marketers however at least have the morals to stick with their own product lines and show the benefits of what they can actually offer. I think the way that the search engines operate has bought out the worst in SEO professionals and it has made genuine business harder to find on the net.
    It means we (small business owners) must be good at both to even get noticed. Or at least employ someone that is.

    • I would agree that we must be good at both to get noticed or employ someone that is good, but I would pause a little on the statement all SEO types lack marketing skill and integrity. While my headline may imply that, in reality the all or nothing statements are normally easily proven wrong. There are several (some who have even commented here) who are very good at both SEO and social media. Read through Lee Odden's comment above. He makes some very strong points to the notion that good SEO is about being social and applying marketing techniques and discipline.

      Thank you for the thoughts and added perspective. It's nice to see the small business owners here participating.

    • If your website doesn't render correctly on Firefox, you may be automatically killing your business single handed (no aid from SEOs)
      I would honestly look to get the whole site rebuilt on a much more friendly platform, and to structure it to take advantage of the original content you have produced.

      Also note, it is not just me who has problems navigating your site, but also Google – they only have 7 pages indexed.

  • I would hazzard a guess that a majority of social media marketers (avoiding the term experts) have no idea about soft measures, though probably not those on the pinnacle, or from a true marketing or PR background.

    The difference between most social media marketing, and traditional marketing/PR is than in SM there is often some kind of affirmative action that can potentially be measured. e.g. a click, a visit etc

    However it is important not to just track the number of clicks, but also the action that is taken on a site.

    So I would expect Social Media Marketers to be actively looking to measure everything that they possibly can which can be measured.

    However it seems to be people I would look on as SEOs creating even the basic tools to do this.
    E.g. http://yoast.com/twitter-analytics/

    Joost isn't the only one to have done something similar, but I would expect the driving force to be from SMM experts not people with SEO backgrounds, if your hypothesis is correct.

    Many of the SMM experts I highly respect are because of their conversation, but that in many ways boils down to them being great communicators and networkers.

    It is actually funny about my background – I have localized more computer games and edutainment titles, placed more full page ads & negotiated/signed off more licensing deals than I have written SEO articles.
    People can flip skillsets – in many ways I am more social media than seo, dofollow was all about encouraging more conversation by adding a little incentive.

    It may be true that an SEO will take the path of least resistance, or because many were early adopters of social media, they chose the path that they could offer measurable results from.

    Here are a couple of tweets for inspiration
    http://twitter.com/avinashkaushik/statuses/1071
    http://twitter.com/justincutroni/status/1021625321

    Also of note, Avinash is doing ok for followers, Justin has very few, but there are more Social Media Marketing “experts” on Twitter than Avinash has followers.

    Whilst social media marketers talk about soft measurements, they are not going to strive for hard data.

    Thanks for creating a great discussion.

  • I would hazzard a guess that a majority of social media marketers (avoiding the term experts) have no idea about soft measures, though probably not those on the pinnacle, or from a true marketing or PR background.

    The difference between most social media marketing, and traditional marketing/PR is than in SM there is often some kind of affirmative action that can potentially be measured. e.g. a click, a visit etc

    However it is important not to just track the number of clicks, but also the action that is taken on a site.

    So I would expect Social Media Marketers to be actively looking to measure everything that they possibly can which can be measured.

    However it seems to be people I would look on as SEOs creating even the basic tools to do this.
    E.g. http://yoast.com/twitter-analytics/

    Joost isn't the only one to have done something similar, but I would expect the driving force to be from SMM experts not people with SEO backgrounds, if your hypothesis is correct.

    Many of the SMM experts I highly respect are because of their conversation, but that in many ways boils down to them being great communicators and networkers.

    It is actually funny about my background – I have localized more computer games and edutainment titles, placed more full page ads & negotiated/signed off more licensing deals than I have written SEO articles.
    People can flip skillsets – in many ways I am more social media than seo, dofollow was all about encouraging more conversation by adding a little incentive.

    It may be true that an SEO will take the path of least resistance, or because many were early adopters of social media, they chose the path that they could offer measurable results from.

    Here are a couple of tweets for inspiration
    http://twitter.com/avinashkaushik/statuses/1071
    http://twitter.com/justincutroni/status/1021625321

    Also of note, Avinash is doing ok for followers, Justin has very few, but there are more Social Media Marketing “experts” on Twitter than Avinash has followers.

    Whilst social media marketers talk about soft measurements, they are not going to strive for hard data.

    Thanks for creating a great discussion.

  • I would hazzard a guess that a majority of social media marketers (avoiding the term experts) have no idea about soft measures, though probably not those on the pinnacle, or from a true marketing or PR background.

    The difference between most social media marketing, and traditional marketing/PR is than in SM there is often some kind of affirmative action that can potentially be measured. e.g. a click, a visit etc

    However it is important not to just track the number of clicks, but also the action that is taken on a site.

    So I would expect Social Media Marketers to be actively looking to measure everything that they possibly can which can be measured.

    However it seems to be people I would look on as SEOs creating even the basic tools to do this.
    E.g. http://yoast.com/twitter-analytics/

    Joost isn't the only one to have done something similar, but I would expect the driving force to be from SMM experts not people with SEO backgrounds, if your hypothesis is correct.

    Many of the SMM experts I highly respect are because of their conversation, but that in many ways boils down to them being great communicators and networkers.

    It is actually funny about my background – I have localized more computer games and edutainment titles, placed more full page ads & negotiated/signed off more licensing deals than I have written SEO articles.
    People can flip skillsets – in many ways I am more social media than seo, dofollow was all about encouraging more conversation by adding a little incentive.

    It may be true that an SEO will take the path of least resistance, or because many were early adopters of social media, they chose the path that they could offer measurable results from.

    Here are a couple of tweets for inspiration
    http://twitter.com/avinashkaushik/statuses/1071
    http://twitter.com/justincutroni/status/1021625321

    Also of note, Avinash is doing ok for followers, Justin has very few, but there are more Social Media Marketing “experts” on Twitter than Avinash has followers.

    Whilst social media marketers talk about soft measurements, they are not going to strive for hard data.

    Thanks for creating a great discussion.

  • Thanks for stopping by, Andy. Honored to have you here.

    The takeaway I get from your thoughts are that SEO is a more mature field, which is true. But I also get a sense that there is a leaning from you that SEO folks are more qualified and even in some cases the thought leaders in the social media space. I can certainly agree that some are and some have been the pioneers in social media, but I would push back a bit to say that social media marketers, who are admittedly less experienced doing SMM in years compared to many seasoned SEO vets doing SEO, are still not always primarily focused on driving traffic or measuring success in the hard line, definitive ways. Keep in mind PR and marketing metrics have long been known as “soft” measures (ad equivalency, share of voice, Q-scores, etc.). While SEO is more definitive in its measures of success, that doesn't mean social media folks are less effective or prepared. The two often have very different goals and measures.

    Certainly, your background is more rooted in SEO, though you are one of the minority who are also skilled social media experts. I wouldn't be surprised if you had a leaning that might indicate SEO is more polished, important, etc., (not trying to put words in your mouth, just my takeaway). But would you recognize that social media goals (mining consumer insight, performing customer service functions, engaging audiences in conversations, producing content, etc.) are not as well measured because of the nature of the task, not the lack of tools at hand?

    Honored again you are here. Thanks for the input.

  • Thanks for stopping by, Andy. Honored to have you here.

    The takeaway I get from your thoughts are that SEO is a more mature field, which is true. But I also get a sense that there is a leaning from you that SEO folks are more qualified and even in some cases the thought leaders in the social media space. I can certainly agree that some are and some have been the pioneers in social media, but I would push back a bit to say that social media marketers, who are admittedly less experienced doing SMM in years compared to many seasoned SEO vets doing SEO, are still not always primarily focused on driving traffic or measuring success in the hard line, definitive ways. Keep in mind PR and marketing metrics have long been known as “soft” measures (ad equivalency, share of voice, Q-scores, etc.). While SEO is more definitive in its measures of success, that doesn't mean social media folks are less effective or prepared. The two often have very different goals and measures.

    Certainly, your background is more rooted in SEO, though you are one of the minority who are also skilled social media experts. I wouldn't be surprised if you had a leaning that might indicate SEO is more polished, important, etc., (not trying to put words in your mouth, just my takeaway). But would you recognize that social media goals (mining consumer insight, performing customer service functions, engaging audiences in conversations, producing content, etc.) are not as well measured because of the nature of the task, not the lack of tools at hand?

    Honored again you are here. Thanks for the input.

  • Thanks for stopping by, Andy. Honored to have you here.

    The takeaway I get from your thoughts are that SEO is a more mature field, which is true. But I also get a sense that there is a leaning from you that SEO folks are more qualified and even in some cases the thought leaders in the social media space. I can certainly agree that some are and some have been the pioneers in social media, but I would push back a bit to say that social media marketers, who are admittedly less experienced doing SMM in years compared to many seasoned SEO vets doing SEO, are still not always primarily focused on driving traffic or measuring success in the hard line, definitive ways. Keep in mind PR and marketing metrics have long been known as “soft” measures (ad equivalency, share of voice, Q-scores, etc.). While SEO is more definitive in its measures of success, that doesn't mean social media folks are less effective or prepared. The two often have very different goals and measures.

    Certainly, your background is more rooted in SEO, though you are one of the minority who are also skilled social media experts. I wouldn't be surprised if you had a leaning that might indicate SEO is more polished, important, etc., (not trying to put words in your mouth, just my takeaway). But would you recognize that social media goals (mining consumer insight, performing customer service functions, engaging audiences in conversations, producing content, etc.) are not as well measured because of the nature of the task, not the lack of tools at hand?

    Honored again you are here. Thanks for the input.

  • And the two strengths together make your shop a force. Thanks, Paul.

  • And the two strengths together make your shop a force. Thanks, Paul.

  • And the two strengths together make your shop a force. Thanks, Paul.

  • This is the way I currently look at it, and it is mainly from lack of tools.

    If someone “Majors” in SEO and SEM, “Minors” in SMM, they probably have a fairly well rounded skillset, either themselves or with their team, covering things like landing page optimization, conversion rate optimization, analytics etc.

    If someone “Majors” in SMM in many cases they have been doing this a lot less time, and they haven't got the tools to really measure success, or to control their traffic funnel.

    Many of the tools that are used to measure SMM, or tutorials on using existing tools are coming from people with SEO backgrounds, or strong marketing backgrounds in companies like Paypal.

  • This is the way I currently look at it, and it is mainly from lack of tools.

    If someone “Majors” in SEO and SEM, “Minors” in SMM, they probably have a fairly well rounded skillset, either themselves or with their team, covering things like landing page optimization, conversion rate optimization, analytics etc.

    If someone “Majors” in SMM in many cases they have been doing this a lot less time, and they haven't got the tools to really measure success, or to control their traffic funnel.

    Many of the tools that are used to measure SMM, or tutorials on using existing tools are coming from people with SEO backgrounds, or strong marketing backgrounds in companies like Paypal.

  • This is the way I currently look at it, and it is mainly from lack of tools.

    If someone “Majors” in SEO and SEM, “Minors” in SMM, they probably have a fairly well rounded skillset, either themselves or with their team, covering things like landing page optimization, conversion rate optimization, analytics etc.

    If someone “Majors” in SMM in many cases they have been doing this a lot less time, and they haven't got the tools to really measure success, or to control their traffic funnel.

    Many of the tools that are used to measure SMM, or tutorials on using existing tools are coming from people with SEO backgrounds, or strong marketing backgrounds in companies like Paypal.

  • This is the way I currently look at it, and it is mainly from lack of tools.

    If someone “Majors” in SEO and SEM, “Minors” in SMM, they probably have a fairly well rounded skillset, either themselves or with their team, covering things like landing page optimization, conversion rate optimization, analytics etc.

    If someone “Majors” in SMM in many cases they have been doing this a lot less time, and they haven't got the tools to really measure success, or to control their traffic funnel.

    Many of the tools that are used to measure SMM, or tutorials on using existing tools are coming from people with SEO backgrounds, or strong marketing backgrounds in companies like Paypal.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Andy. Honored to have you here.

      The takeaway I get from your thoughts are that SEO is a more mature field, which is true. But I also get a sense that there is a leaning from you that SEO folks are more qualified and even in some cases the thought leaders in the social media space. I can certainly agree that some are and some have been the pioneers in social media, but I would push back a bit to say that social media marketers, who are admittedly less experienced doing SMM in years compared to many seasoned SEO vets doing SEO, are still not always primarily focused on driving traffic or measuring success in the hard line, definitive ways. Keep in mind PR and marketing metrics have long been known as “soft” measures (ad equivalency, share of voice, Q-scores, etc.). While SEO is more definitive in its measures of success, that doesn't mean social media folks are less effective or prepared. The two often have very different goals and measures.

      Certainly, your background is more rooted in SEO, though you are one of the minority who are also skilled social media experts. I wouldn't be surprised if you had a leaning that might indicate SEO is more polished, important, etc., (not trying to put words in your mouth, just my takeaway). But would you recognize that social media goals (mining consumer insight, performing customer service functions, engaging audiences in conversations, producing content, etc.) are not as well measured because of the nature of the task, not the lack of tools at hand?

      Honored again you are here. Thanks for the input.

      • I would hazzard a guess that a majority of social media marketers (avoiding the term experts) have no idea about soft measures, though probably not those on the pinnacle, or from a true marketing or PR background.

        The difference between most social media marketing, and traditional marketing/PR is than in SM there is often some kind of affirmative action that can potentially be measured. e.g. a click, a visit etc

        However it is important not to just track the number of clicks, but also the action that is taken on a site.

        So I would expect Social Media Marketers to be actively looking to measure everything that they possibly can which can be measured.

        However it seems to be people I would look on as SEOs creating even the basic tools to do this.
        E.g. http://yoast.com/twitter-analytics/

        Joost isn't the only one to have done something similar, but I would expect the driving force to be from SMM experts not people with SEO backgrounds, if your hypothesis is correct.

        Many of the SMM experts I highly respect are because of their conversation, but that in many ways boils down to them being great communicators and networkers.

        It is actually funny about my background – I have localized more computer games and edutainment titles, placed more full page ads & negotiated/signed off more licensing deals than I have written SEO articles.
        People can flip skillsets – in many ways I am more social media than seo, dofollow was all about encouraging more conversation by adding a little incentive.

        It may be true that an SEO will take the path of least resistance, or because many were early adopters of social media, they chose the path that they could offer measurable results from.

        Here are a couple of tweets for inspiration
        http://twitter.com/avinashkaushik/statuses/1071
        http://twitter.com/justincutroni/status/1021625321

        Also of note, Avinash is doing ok for followers, Justin has very few, but there are more Social Media Marketing “experts” on Twitter than Avinash has followers.

        Whilst social media marketers talk about soft measurements, they are not going to strive for hard data.

        Thanks for creating a great discussion.

        • And thank you for adding so much to it, Andy. Much appreciated.

    • That's an excellent way to quantify social media marketing. It's about understanding the impact, measuring (with tools) what works, and doing more of that. Yes there are ever changing technical aspects of SEO that help sites and products get discovered and ranked, but at the end of the day it's about the user experience and increasing audience, right? Marketing is the foundation, no matter how you slice it.

  • pchaney

    Good analysis, Jason. Two different skills sets and mindsets for the most part, not to say there aren't some, like Lee Odden, who can't cross the chasm quite well. That's why I'm excited that our little shop at Bizzuka has both represented in myself (@pchaney) and my associate Brian (@bbille). He handles the SEO/analytics and I get to do the content and community.

  • pchaney

    Good analysis, Jason. Two different skills sets and mindsets for the most part, not to say there aren't some, like Lee Odden, who can't cross the chasm quite well. That's why I'm excited that our little shop at Bizzuka has both represented in myself (@pchaney) and my associate Brian (@bbille). He handles the SEO/analytics and I get to do the content and community.

  • pchaney

    Good analysis, Jason. Two different skills sets and mindsets for the most part, not to say there aren't some, like Lee Odden, who can't cross the chasm quite well. That's why I'm excited that our little shop at Bizzuka has both represented in myself (@pchaney) and my associate Brian (@bbille). He handles the SEO/analytics and I get to do the content and community.

  • pchaney

    Good analysis, Jason. Two different skills sets and mindsets for the most part, not to say there aren't some, like Lee Odden, who can't cross the chasm quite well. That's why I'm excited that our little shop at Bizzuka has both represented in myself (@pchaney) and my associate Brian (@bbille). He handles the SEO/analytics and I get to do the content and community.

    • And the two strengths together make your shop a force. Thanks, Paul.

  • Absolutely. Couldn't agree more Jennifer. Thank you for the big picture perspective.

  • Absolutely. Couldn't agree more Jennifer. Thank you for the big picture perspective.

  • Absolutely. Couldn't agree more Jennifer. Thank you for the big picture perspective.

  • Wholeheartedly agree, Craig. Understanding the differences and learning both skills makes both the SEO and social media practitioners better. Well said.

  • Wholeheartedly agree, Craig. Understanding the differences and learning both skills makes both the SEO and social media practitioners better. Well said.

  • Wholeheartedly agree, Craig. Understanding the differences and learning both skills makes both the SEO and social media practitioners better. Well said.

  • And that, my friend, is why I specifically asked for you to respond. Bravo.

  • And that, my friend, is why I specifically asked for you to respond. Bravo.

  • And that, my friend, is why I specifically asked for you to respond. Bravo.

  • Thank you Susan, for all of it.

  • Thank you Susan, for all of it.

  • Thank you Susan, for all of it.

  • Bottom line — best consultants of any kind are the ones that understand and live your business strategy and overall marketing goals. The goal of social marketing AND search marketing should be CONVERSION (however measured) — not just traffic, or random conversations…. BOTH need to add value. And good search marketing is only good if the website you are sending traffic to adds value to the conversation…..

  • Bottom line — best consultants of any kind are the ones that understand and live your business strategy and overall marketing goals. The goal of social marketing AND search marketing should be CONVERSION (however measured) — not just traffic, or random conversations…. BOTH need to add value. And good search marketing is only good if the website you are sending traffic to adds value to the conversation…..

  • Bottom line — best consultants of any kind are the ones that understand and live your business strategy and overall marketing goals. The goal of social marketing AND search marketing should be CONVERSION (however measured) — not just traffic, or random conversations…. BOTH need to add value. And good search marketing is only good if the website you are sending traffic to adds value to the conversation…..

  • Bottom line — best consultants of any kind are the ones that understand and live your business strategy and overall marketing goals. The goal of social marketing AND search marketing should be CONVERSION (however measured) — not just traffic, or random conversations…. BOTH need to add value. And good search marketing is only good if the website you are sending traffic to adds value to the conversation…..

    • Absolutely. Couldn't agree more Jennifer. Thank you for the big picture perspective.

  • Pingback: SmartBlog On Social Media » Blog Archive » Today’s bonus tracks()

  • I agree with your stance that they are similar and maybe indirectly can lead to the same goal, but their functions and actions involved are very different. At the same time, I feel it is easier for an SEO expert to learn SMO, than vice versa.

  • I agree with your stance that they are similar and maybe indirectly can lead to the same goal, but their functions and actions involved are very different. At the same time, I feel it is easier for an SEO expert to learn SMO, than vice versa.

  • I agree with your stance that they are similar and maybe indirectly can lead to the same goal, but their functions and actions involved are very different. At the same time, I feel it is easier for an SEO expert to learn SMO, than vice versa.

  • I agree with your stance that they are similar and maybe indirectly can lead to the same goal, but their functions and actions involved are very different. At the same time, I feel it is easier for an SEO expert to learn SMO, than vice versa.

    • Wholeheartedly agree, Craig. Understanding the differences and learning both skills makes both the SEO and social media practitioners better. Well said.

  • Obviously this post is designed to generate discussion and perhaps, links. Suggesting readers to not trust a type of consultant as a way to attract attention is an interesting thing and will certainly be memorable for many.

    But I was given advance notice of the post, so I'll bite.

    I agree that many SEO practitioners and Public Relations practitioners approach social media participation differently. I should know, as the owner of a public relations firm and a SEO agency for the past 8 years. Over that time I've been fortunate to work with and educate SEO professionals about the community building aspects of social media and PR professionals about the SEO and marketing value of social web participation through speaking at PRSA (a client), Search Engine Strategies and DMA events.

    However, I'd hate to think Jason, that your perception that, “SEO skills revolve around the mathematical manipulation of an equation” is as a result of any information from me, because the incompleteness of that observation is not only deficient, but irresponsible.

    SEO is art and science. It's marketing and PR. SEO helps search engines do the job they fail to do themselves.

    Certainly, one part of SEO deals with code and server side issues, (ie the science) but the biggest part of SEO is content keyword alignment with target audiences and the creative promotion/marketing/distribution of that content (ie the art) to drive traffic and links. Links affect search rankings as you've said, which can drive even more traffic from an audience that is looking.

    Sure, some SEOs find loopholes and opportunities that create advantage. Client demands drive those efforts just like client needs drive public relations practitioners to “spin” stories. A few misguided apples do not spoil the whole lot.

    One the whole, SEO practitioners are marketing professionals tasked with representing client interests in the search engines. Accurate representation is best because it fundamentally leads to more sales and better retention.

    RE: “While it would be incorrect and irresponsible of me to say there’s no such thing as a person with strengths on both sides of the aisle” ha, yes indeed it is.

    Companies should hire SEO consultants for SEO and PR firms for PR. Should those engagements involve social media, clients should be well informed and expectations should be managed properly.

    Characterizing the distinct flavor of social media participation by SEOs for marketing and link building as directly comparable to the influence, brand and community building goals for many PR efforts with the social web simply illustrates a shallow understanding. In other words, social media for SEO and social media for PR are different things, and if your post provides anything of use, that distinction may be it.

  • Obviously this post is designed to generate discussion and perhaps, links. Suggesting readers to not trust a type of consultant as a way to attract attention is an interesting thing and will certainly be memorable for many.

    But I was given advance notice of the post, so I'll bite.

    I agree that many SEO practitioners and Public Relations practitioners approach social media participation differently. I should know, as the owner of a public relations firm and a SEO agency for the past 8 years. Over that time I've been fortunate to work with and educate SEO professionals about the community building aspects of social media and PR professionals about the SEO and marketing value of social web participation through speaking at PRSA (a client), Search Engine Strategies and DMA events.

    However, I'd hate to think Jason, that your perception that, “SEO skills revolve around the mathematical manipulation of an equation” is as a result of any information from me, because the incompleteness of that observation is not only deficient, but irresponsible.

    SEO is art and science. It's marketing and PR. SEO helps search engines do the job they fail to do themselves.

    Certainly, one part of SEO deals with code and server side issues, (ie the science) but the biggest part of SEO is content keyword alignment with target audiences and the creative promotion/marketing/distribution of that content (ie the art) to drive traffic and links. Links affect search rankings as you've said, which can drive even more traffic from an audience that is looking.

    Sure, some SEOs find loopholes and opportunities that create advantage. Client demands drive those efforts just like client needs drive public relations practitioners to “spin” stories. A few misguided apples do not spoil the whole lot.

    One the whole, SEO practitioners are marketing professionals tasked with representing client interests in the search engines. Accurate representation is best because it fundamentally leads to more sales and better retention.

    RE: “While it would be incorrect and irresponsible of me to say there’s no such thing as a person with strengths on both sides of the aisle” ha, yes indeed it is.

    Companies should hire SEO consultants for SEO and PR firms for PR. Should those engagements involve social media, clients should be well informed and expectations should be managed properly.

    Characterizing the distinct flavor of social media participation by SEOs for marketing and link building as directly comparable to the influence, brand and community building goals for many PR efforts with the social web simply illustrates a shallow understanding. In other words, social media for SEO and social media for PR are different things, and if your post provides anything of use, that distinction may be it.

  • Obviously this post is designed to generate discussion and perhaps, links. Suggesting readers to not trust a type of consultant as a way to attract attention is an interesting thing and will certainly be memorable for many.

    But I was given advance notice of the post, so I'll bite.

    I agree that many SEO practitioners and Public Relations practitioners approach social media participation differently. I should know, as the owner of a public relations firm and a SEO agency for the past 8 years. Over that time I've been fortunate to work with and educate SEO professionals about the community building aspects of social media and PR professionals about the SEO and marketing value of social web participation through speaking at PRSA (a client), Search Engine Strategies and DMA events.

    However, I'd hate to think Jason, that your perception that, “SEO skills revolve around the mathematical manipulation of an equation” is as a result of any information from me, because the incompleteness of that observation is not only deficient, but irresponsible.

    SEO is art and science. It's marketing and PR. SEO helps search engines do the job they fail to do themselves.

    Certainly, one part of SEO deals with code and server side issues, (ie the science) but the biggest part of SEO is content keyword alignment with target audiences and the creative promotion/marketing/distribution of that content (ie the art) to drive traffic and links. Links affect search rankings as you've said, which can drive even more traffic from an audience that is looking.

    Sure, some SEOs find loopholes and opportunities that create advantage. Client demands drive those efforts just like client needs drive public relations practitioners to “spin” stories. A few misguided apples do not spoil the whole lot.

    One the whole, SEO practitioners are marketing professionals tasked with representing client interests in the search engines. Accurate representation is best because it fundamentally leads to more sales and better retention.

    RE: “While it would be incorrect and irresponsible of me to say there’s no such thing as a person with strengths on both sides of the aisle” ha, yes indeed it is.

    Companies should hire SEO consultants for SEO and PR firms for PR. Should those engagements involve social media, clients should be well informed and expectations should be managed properly.

    Characterizing the distinct flavor of social media participation by SEOs for marketing and link building as directly comparable to the influence, brand and community building goals for many PR efforts with the social web simply illustrates a shallow understanding. In other words, social media for SEO and social media for PR are different things, and if your post provides anything of use, that distinction may be it.

  • Lee Odden

    Obviously this post is designed to generate discussion and perhaps, links. Suggesting readers to not trust a type of consultant as a way to attract attention is an interesting thing and will certainly be memorable for many.

    But I was given advance notice of the post, so I'll bite.

    I agree that many SEO practitioners and Public Relations practitioners approach social media participation differently. I should know, as the owner of a public relations firm and a SEO agency for the past 8 years. Over that time I've been fortunate to work with and educate SEO professionals about the community building aspects of social media and PR professionals about the SEO and marketing value of social web participation through speaking at PRSA (a client), Search Engine Strategies and DMA events.

    However, I'd hate to think Jason, that your perception that, “SEO skills revolve around the mathematical manipulation of an equation” is as a result of any information from me, because the incompleteness of that observation is not only deficient, but irresponsible.

    SEO is art and science. It's marketing and PR. SEO helps search engines do the job they fail to do themselves.

    Certainly, one part of SEO deals with code and server side issues, (ie the science) but the biggest part of SEO is content keyword alignment with target audiences and the creative promotion/marketing/distribution of that content (ie the art) to drive traffic and links. Links affect search rankings as you've said, which can drive even more traffic from an audience that is looking.

    Sure, some SEOs find loopholes and opportunities that create advantage. Client demands drive those efforts just like client needs drive public relations practitioners to “spin” stories. A few misguided apples do not spoil the whole lot.

    One the whole, SEO practitioners are marketing professionals tasked with representing client interests in the search engines. Accurate representation is best because it fundamentally leads to more sales and better retention.

    RE: “While it would be incorrect and irresponsible of me to say there’s no such thing as a person with strengths on both sides of the aisle” ha, yes indeed it is.

    Companies should hire SEO consultants for SEO and PR firms for PR. Should those engagements involve social media, clients should be well informed and expectations should be managed properly.

    Characterizing the distinct flavor of social media participation by SEOs for marketing and link building as directly comparable to the influence, brand and community building goals for many PR efforts with the social web simply illustrates a shallow understanding. In other words, social media for SEO and social media for PR are different things, and if your post provides anything of use, that distinction may be it.

    • And that, my friend, is why I specifically asked for you to respond. Bravo.

  • Jason,

    Fournd your blog on Tamar's tweet. Insightful, thought-provoking as I've been aware of SEO and have an SEO person do his “thang” for me. Your blog was so impactful I sent it to National Speakers Assn to be “retweeted”.
    Thanks for giving me food for thought. BTW, I'm a Jeremiah Owyang follower and fan, too.

    Best, Susan RoAne

  • Jason,

    Fournd your blog on Tamar's tweet. Insightful, thought-provoking as I've been aware of SEO and have an SEO person do his “thang” for me. Your blog was so impactful I sent it to National Speakers Assn to be “retweeted”.
    Thanks for giving me food for thought. BTW, I'm a Jeremiah Owyang follower and fan, too.

    Best, Susan RoAne

  • Jason,

    Fournd your blog on Tamar's tweet. Insightful, thought-provoking as I've been aware of SEO and have an SEO person do his “thang” for me. Your blog was so impactful I sent it to National Speakers Assn to be “retweeted”.
    Thanks for giving me food for thought. BTW, I'm a Jeremiah Owyang follower and fan, too.

    Best, Susan RoAne

  • Jason,

    Fournd your blog on Tamar's tweet. Insightful, thought-provoking as I've been aware of SEO and have an SEO person do his “thang” for me. Your blog was so impactful I sent it to National Speakers Assn to be “retweeted”.
    Thanks for giving me food for thought. BTW, I'm a Jeremiah Owyang follower and fan, too.

    Best, Susan RoAne

  • Thank you Ed. You're right and I agree – there are some folks and departments, firms, etc., that offer both and offer the well. Thanks for your perspective on the conversation.

  • Thank you Ed. You're right and I agree – there are some folks and departments, firms, etc., that offer both and offer the well. Thanks for your perspective on the conversation.

  • Thank you Ed. You're right and I agree – there are some folks and departments, firms, etc., that offer both and offer the well. Thanks for your perspective on the conversation.

  • Excellent thoughts, John. Except for the best SMM people are women part. Heh. (Had to throw that in there because I figured Kat would comment on it.)

  • Excellent thoughts, John. Except for the best SMM people are women part. Heh. (Had to throw that in there because I figured Kat would comment on it.)

  • Excellent thoughts, John. Except for the best SMM people are women part. Heh. (Had to throw that in there because I figured Kat would comment on it.)

  • First, I sense a bit of anger in your response. I hope that a read through the comments will ease your frustration. Sorry if I've offended.

    Second, I'm surprised that an SEO consultant (or SEO-leaning person … I'm judging from your website) is so thrown by a link bait headline. If you read the entirety of the piece, you know that's the attention-getter to bring folks into the discussion.

    And finally, you made my point by your argument. I could have written the headline to be, “Why You Shouldn't Trust SEO To A Social Media Consultant,” and not changed a word. The article is still on point and relevant. But I'm a social media consultant, so I wrote it the other way.

    Again, sorry if it threw you, but those who read my blog regularly will tell you, I'm not an all or nothing guy and only hope to fan the flames of discussion. Those who read and participate will be better prepared to either perform or hire social media and SEO consultants (or those who can do both well) down the road.

    Thanks for participating in the discourse.

  • First, I sense a bit of anger in your response. I hope that a read through the comments will ease your frustration. Sorry if I've offended.

    Second, I'm surprised that an SEO consultant (or SEO-leaning person … I'm judging from your website) is so thrown by a link bait headline. If you read the entirety of the piece, you know that's the attention-getter to bring folks into the discussion.

    And finally, you made my point by your argument. I could have written the headline to be, “Why You Shouldn't Trust SEO To A Social Media Consultant,” and not changed a word. The article is still on point and relevant. But I'm a social media consultant, so I wrote it the other way.

    Again, sorry if it threw you, but those who read my blog regularly will tell you, I'm not an all or nothing guy and only hope to fan the flames of discussion. Those who read and participate will be better prepared to either perform or hire social media and SEO consultants (or those who can do both well) down the road.

    Thanks for participating in the discourse.

  • First, I sense a bit of anger in your response. I hope that a read through the comments will ease your frustration. Sorry if I've offended.

    Second, I'm surprised that an SEO consultant (or SEO-leaning person … I'm judging from your website) is so thrown by a link bait headline. If you read the entirety of the piece, you know that's the attention-getter to bring folks into the discussion.

    And finally, you made my point by your argument. I could have written the headline to be, “Why You Shouldn't Trust SEO To A Social Media Consultant,” and not changed a word. The article is still on point and relevant. But I'm a social media consultant, so I wrote it the other way.

    Again, sorry if it threw you, but those who read my blog regularly will tell you, I'm not an all or nothing guy and only hope to fan the flames of discussion. Those who read and participate will be better prepared to either perform or hire social media and SEO consultants (or those who can do both well) down the road.

    Thanks for participating in the discourse.

  • Excellent argument, David, and one that I don't disagree with. As I've alluded before, there are fantastic SEO specialists who do social media well. And you're right on … they are probably excellent SEO folks because of the strategic thinking and more than analytical approach they must have. Thank you for the thoughts!

  • Excellent argument, David, and one that I don't disagree with. As I've alluded before, there are fantastic SEO specialists who do social media well. And you're right on … they are probably excellent SEO folks because of the strategic thinking and more than analytical approach they must have. Thank you for the thoughts!

  • Excellent argument, David, and one that I don't disagree with. As I've alluded before, there are fantastic SEO specialists who do social media well. And you're right on … they are probably excellent SEO folks because of the strategic thinking and more than analytical approach they must have. Thank you for the thoughts!

  • Ah, but we do agree, Barry. And you're spot-on that time is the real issue. I'm sure we could all walk that balancing line between doing both SEO and SMM well if we all had the time. Still, it's great for all to know we all don't have time and we should be aware of the differences. Thanks for the perspective.

  • Ah, but we do agree, Barry. And you're spot-on that time is the real issue. I'm sure we could all walk that balancing line between doing both SEO and SMM well if we all had the time. Still, it's great for all to know we all don't have time and we should be aware of the differences. Thanks for the perspective.

  • Ah, but we do agree, Barry. And you're spot-on that time is the real issue. I'm sure we could all walk that balancing line between doing both SEO and SMM well if we all had the time. Still, it's great for all to know we all don't have time and we should be aware of the differences. Thanks for the perspective.

  • Just got about halfway through these comments, when I first opened this page there were about 4 comments and now . . . ! I knew it would start a healthy debate, will return to the comments to read them all after this.

    I agree with you in principle, but also agree with some of the comments you're receiving.

    The skills required for good SEO work are generally quite technical, well for good SEO work anyway. Requiring alterations of everything from friendly URL's, automated title generation, careful sitemap generation, considering dynamic population of data on page and much, much more. To complete some of these tasks or even just to advise on some of them requires a good degree of technical “know how”.

    The skills required for SMM are generally conversational and engagement skills, or soft skills. These aren't technical requirements, but they are skills that not everyone has and there's no way to fit a square peg in a round hole when it comes to soft skills. There's nothing worse than watching your technical guys trying to dig their way out of a conversation with a client.

    Generally they don't mix with the same individual, but there are some rare exceptions to this rule.

    But companies are evolving to be able to sell both of these offerings by ensuring they have the appropraite staff to do so. So you can now find companies that can offer expert advice on Social Media and SEM/SEO, but very rarely is this advice coming from the same person, even if you always talk to the same person on the phone.

    Good debate Jason and thanks for sharing.

  • Just got about halfway through these comments, when I first opened this page there were about 4 comments and now . . . ! I knew it would start a healthy debate, will return to the comments to read them all after this.

    I agree with you in principle, but also agree with some of the comments you're receiving.

    The skills required for good SEO work are generally quite technical, well for good SEO work anyway. Requiring alterations of everything from friendly URL's, automated title generation, careful sitemap generation, considering dynamic population of data on page and much, much more. To complete some of these tasks or even just to advise on some of them requires a good degree of technical “know how”.

    The skills required for SMM are generally conversational and engagement skills, or soft skills. These aren't technical requirements, but they are skills that not everyone has and there's no way to fit a square peg in a round hole when it comes to soft skills. There's nothing worse than watching your technical guys trying to dig their way out of a conversation with a client.

    Generally they don't mix with the same individual, but there are some rare exceptions to this rule.

    But companies are evolving to be able to sell both of these offerings by ensuring they have the appropraite staff to do so. So you can now find companies that can offer expert advice on Social Media and SEM/SEO, but very rarely is this advice coming from the same person, even if you always talk to the same person on the phone.

    Good debate Jason and thanks for sharing.

  • Just got about halfway through these comments, when I first opened this page there were about 4 comments and now . . . ! I knew it would start a healthy debate, will return to the comments to read them all after this.

    I agree with you in principle, but also agree with some of the comments you're receiving.

    The skills required for good SEO work are generally quite technical, well for good SEO work anyway. Requiring alterations of everything from friendly URL's, automated title generation, careful sitemap generation, considering dynamic population of data on page and much, much more. To complete some of these tasks or even just to advise on some of them requires a good degree of technical “know how”.

    The skills required for SMM are generally conversational and engagement skills, or soft skills. These aren't technical requirements, but they are skills that not everyone has and there's no way to fit a square peg in a round hole when it comes to soft skills. There's nothing worse than watching your technical guys trying to dig their way out of a conversation with a client.

    Generally they don't mix with the same individual, but there are some rare exceptions to this rule.

    But companies are evolving to be able to sell both of these offerings by ensuring they have the appropraite staff to do so. So you can now find companies that can offer expert advice on Social Media and SEM/SEO, but very rarely is this advice coming from the same person, even if you always talk to the same person on the phone.

    Good debate Jason and thanks for sharing.

  • Just got about halfway through these comments, when I first opened this page there were about 4 comments and now . . . ! I knew it would start a healthy debate, will return to the comments to read them all after this.

    I agree with you in principle, but also agree with some of the comments you're receiving.

    The skills required for good SEO work are generally quite technical, well for good SEO work anyway. Requiring alterations of everything from friendly URL's, automated title generation, careful sitemap generation, considering dynamic population of data on page and much, much more. To complete some of these tasks or even just to advise on some of them requires a good degree of technical “know how”.

    The skills required for SMM are generally conversational and engagement skills, or soft skills. These aren't technical requirements, but they are skills that not everyone has and there's no way to fit a square peg in a round hole when it comes to soft skills. There's nothing worse than watching your technical guys trying to dig their way out of a conversation with a client.

    Generally they don't mix with the same individual, but there are some rare exceptions to this rule.

    But companies are evolving to be able to sell both of these offerings by ensuring they have the appropraite staff to do so. So you can now find companies that can offer expert advice on Social Media and SEM/SEO, but very rarely is this advice coming from the same person, even if you always talk to the same person on the phone.

    Good debate Jason and thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you Ed. You're right and I agree – there are some folks and departments, firms, etc., that offer both and offer the well. Thanks for your perspective on the conversation.

  • KatFrench

    That's what you keep me around for, isn't it boss? Just keeping things interesting.

  • KatFrench

    That's what you keep me around for, isn't it boss? Just keeping things interesting.

  • KatFrench

    That's what you keep me around for, isn't it boss? Just keeping things interesting.

  • KatFrench

    “Finally, I feel that best SMM people are women.”

    I like this guy. ;)

  • KatFrench

    “Finally, I feel that best SMM people are women.”

    I like this guy. ;)

  • KatFrench

    “Finally, I feel that best SMM people are women.”

    I like this guy. ;)

  • Heh. Thanks Kare. And there are perfectly capable, talented people out there who can and do do both well. My hope is that they don't feel like this was aimed at them and opens a more healthy discussion of the differences. Thanks for chiming in. Got a chuckle out of that one.

  • Heh. Thanks Kare. And there are perfectly capable, talented people out there who can and do do both well. My hope is that they don't feel like this was aimed at them and opens a more healthy discussion of the differences. Thanks for chiming in. Got a chuckle out of that one.

  • Heh. Thanks Kare. And there are perfectly capable, talented people out there who can and do do both well. My hope is that they don't feel like this was aimed at them and opens a more healthy discussion of the differences. Thanks for chiming in. Got a chuckle out of that one.

  • Thanks for the perspective. I agree with you, in fact I think your point illustrates what social media marketing really is about. It's not traffic-oriented. It's about connection and conversation. The traffic stuff is what the SEO folks are best at, which is the basis of my main point – these two practices are different. Thank you for helping clarify that and for stopping by.

  • Thanks for the perspective. I agree with you, in fact I think your point illustrates what social media marketing really is about. It's not traffic-oriented. It's about connection and conversation. The traffic stuff is what the SEO folks are best at, which is the basis of my main point – these two practices are different. Thank you for helping clarify that and for stopping by.

  • Thanks for the perspective. I agree with you, in fact I think your point illustrates what social media marketing really is about. It's not traffic-oriented. It's about connection and conversation. The traffic stuff is what the SEO folks are best at, which is the basis of my main point – these two practices are different. Thank you for helping clarify that and for stopping by.

  • Looks like you may have just read the headline. Heh. (Little link bait strategy … you SEO guys have rubbed of on me.)

    Certainly I agree. I would trust Lee, you and a number of others with both. As I've illustrated in the comments it's not an all or nothing proposition for me. And I've learned enough about SEO to know the headline blanket statement lures the visits and the links. I have you to thank for that knowledge, partially.

    Thanks for stopping by. Good to see you here again.

  • Looks like you may have just read the headline. Heh. (Little link bait strategy … you SEO guys have rubbed of on me.)

    Certainly I agree. I would trust Lee, you and a number of others with both. As I've illustrated in the comments it's not an all or nothing proposition for me. And I've learned enough about SEO to know the headline blanket statement lures the visits and the links. I have you to thank for that knowledge, partially.

    Thanks for stopping by. Good to see you here again.

  • Looks like you may have just read the headline. Heh. (Little link bait strategy … you SEO guys have rubbed of on me.)

    Certainly I agree. I would trust Lee, you and a number of others with both. As I've illustrated in the comments it's not an all or nothing proposition for me. And I've learned enough about SEO to know the headline blanket statement lures the visits and the links. I have you to thank for that knowledge, partially.

    Thanks for stopping by. Good to see you here again.

  • Agreed, Danielle. Success in the online world requires both in a complimentary mix. It's just good to force the discussion once in while to make sure we're all thinking clearly. Thanks for your input.

  • Agreed, Danielle. Success in the online world requires both in a complimentary mix. It's just good to force the discussion once in while to make sure we're all thinking clearly. Thanks for your input.

  • Agreed, Danielle. Success in the online world requires both in a complimentary mix. It's just good to force the discussion once in while to make sure we're all thinking clearly. Thanks for your input.

  • Excellent perspective, Dave. Thanks for that. I knew you could be that deep on a Monday. Heh.

  • Excellent perspective, Dave. Thanks for that. I knew you could be that deep on a Monday. Heh.

  • Excellent perspective, Dave. Thanks for that. I knew you could be that deep on a Monday. Heh.

  • I demand link whoring, Lisa! Especially when it adds to the conversation. I don't care if Google discounts them, etc. I want my readers to know what you're talking about. Link away!

    Thanks for your thoughts. Good to know from your first point that I'm not totally out of line. And We're certainly on the same page. I would never apply all or nothing thinking to the equation, even if my pithy headlines might construe that. Heh.

    Hope to see you again soon. Been a while.

  • I demand link whoring, Lisa! Especially when it adds to the conversation. I don't care if Google discounts them, etc. I want my readers to know what you're talking about. Link away!

    Thanks for your thoughts. Good to know from your first point that I'm not totally out of line. And We're certainly on the same page. I would never apply all or nothing thinking to the equation, even if my pithy headlines might construe that. Heh.

    Hope to see you again soon. Been a while.

  • I demand link whoring, Lisa! Especially when it adds to the conversation. I don't care if Google discounts them, etc. I want my readers to know what you're talking about. Link away!

    Thanks for your thoughts. Good to know from your first point that I'm not totally out of line. And We're certainly on the same page. I would never apply all or nothing thinking to the equation, even if my pithy headlines might construe that. Heh.

    Hope to see you again soon. Been a while.

  • KatFrench

    Lisa,

    You should definitely link whore. Or hey, I could link pimp for you. It's relevant to the conversation.

    (I'm guessing you meant this post. Correct me if I'm wrong.)

  • KatFrench

    Lisa,

    You should definitely link whore. Or hey, I could link pimp for you. It's relevant to the conversation.

    (I'm guessing you meant this post. Correct me if I'm wrong.)

  • KatFrench

    Lisa,

    You should definitely link whore. Or hey, I could link pimp for you. It's relevant to the conversation.

    (I'm guessing you meant this post. Correct me if I'm wrong.)

  • See everyone. I even get disagreement and push back from my own folks. Great points, Kat. As always you bring a perspective to the argument that I don't.

  • See everyone. I even get disagreement and push back from my own folks. Great points, Kat. As always you bring a perspective to the argument that I don't.

  • See everyone. I even get disagreement and push back from my own folks. Great points, Kat. As always you bring a perspective to the argument that I don't.

  • Thanks for the nice discussion and a few reminders on the disciplines of both skills. These are different mind sets. I do both personally and I mentally do a change over from what I do in SEO to what I'll do on Twitter or my blog.

    As we are living in an age now where self-promotion falls flat and permission based marketing is king, the SEO technician has to be just as concerned about conversion ratios as he or she is about traffic. If the site itself is set up to be informative and have significant link bait, then the seeds are planted nicely for merging it with social interaction and reaction.

    An SEO tech what has no vision for conversion will not do well in the social media realm. Oil and water. For the many that can combine those skills, it's an open game.

    Finally, I feel that best SMM people are women. They tend to 'engage in relationships' a bit more naturally than men. As a man, I can do that but it's more force feeding than natural. I'm learning though.

  • Thanks for the nice discussion and a few reminders on the disciplines of both skills. These are different mind sets. I do both personally and I mentally do a change over from what I do in SEO to what I'll do on Twitter or my blog.

    As we are living in an age now where self-promotion falls flat and permission based marketing is king, the SEO technician has to be just as concerned about conversion ratios as he or she is about traffic. If the site itself is set up to be informative and have significant link bait, then the seeds are planted nicely for merging it with social interaction and reaction.

    An SEO tech what has no vision for conversion will not do well in the social media realm. Oil and water. For the many that can combine those skills, it's an open game.

    Finally, I feel that best SMM people are women. They tend to 'engage in relationships' a bit more naturally than men. As a man, I can do that but it's more force feeding than natural. I'm learning though.

  • Thanks for the nice discussion and a few reminders on the disciplines of both skills. These are different mind sets. I do both personally and I mentally do a change over from what I do in SEO to what I'll do on Twitter or my blog.

    As we are living in an age now where self-promotion falls flat and permission based marketing is king, the SEO technician has to be just as concerned about conversion ratios as he or she is about traffic. If the site itself is set up to be informative and have significant link bait, then the seeds are planted nicely for merging it with social interaction and reaction.

    An SEO tech what has no vision for conversion will not do well in the social media realm. Oil and water. For the many that can combine those skills, it's an open game.

    Finally, I feel that best SMM people are women. They tend to 'engage in relationships' a bit more naturally than men. As a man, I can do that but it's more force feeding than natural. I'm learning though.

  • Thanks for the nice discussion and a few reminders on the disciplines of both skills. These are different mind sets. I do both personally and I mentally do a change over from what I do in SEO to what I'll do on Twitter or my blog.

    As we are living in an age now where self-promotion falls flat and permission based marketing is king, the SEO technician has to be just as concerned about conversion ratios as he or she is about traffic. If the site itself is set up to be informative and have significant link bait, then the seeds are planted nicely for merging it with social interaction and reaction.

    An SEO tech what has no vision for conversion will not do well in the social media realm. Oil and water. For the many that can combine those skills, it's an open game.

    Finally, I feel that best SMM people are women. They tend to 'engage in relationships' a bit more naturally than men. As a man, I can do that but it's more force feeding than natural. I'm learning though.

    • KatFrench

      “Finally, I feel that best SMM people are women.”

      I like this guy. ;)

    • Excellent thoughts, John. Except for the best SMM people are women part. Heh. (Had to throw that in there because I figured Kat would comment on it.)

    • And this is right on the heels of International Women's Day too!

  • I can't believe that in this day and age people are still writing headlines like this.

    “Why You Shouldn't Trust SEO to Social Media Consultants”

    Browsing this Blog with images off is a prime example of why you shouldn't trust SEO to SMCs, how's that for a comeback?

    I've been researching the Social Media Networks for over 6 months now. I'm here to tell you that many of the Social Media Marketers don't get SEO just as many of the SEOs don't get Social Media. So, does that mean that general statements like “Why you shouldn't trust Social Media to SEO Consultants” are warranted?

    Bottom line? You shouldn't trust anything to anyone who doesn't know what they are doing. And you know what? Our communities are filled with those types of people. Always makes for great link bait doesn't it?

  • I can't believe that in this day and age people are still writing headlines like this.

    “Why You Shouldn't Trust SEO to Social Media Consultants”

    Browsing this Blog with images off is a prime example of why you shouldn't trust SEO to SMCs, how's that for a comeback?

    I've been researching the Social Media Networks for over 6 months now. I'm here to tell you that many of the Social Media Marketers don't get SEO just as many of the SEOs don't get Social Media. So, does that mean that general statements like “Why you shouldn't trust Social Media to SEO Consultants” are warranted?

    Bottom line? You shouldn't trust anything to anyone who doesn't know what they are doing. And you know what? Our communities are filled with those types of people. Always makes for great link bait doesn't it?

  • I can't believe that in this day and age people are still writing headlines like this.

    “Why You Shouldn't Trust SEO to Social Media Consultants”

    Browsing this Blog with images off is a prime example of why you shouldn't trust SEO to SMCs, how's that for a comeback?

    I've been researching the Social Media Networks for over 6 months now. I'm here to tell you that many of the Social Media Marketers don't get SEO just as many of the SEOs don't get Social Media. So, does that mean that general statements like “Why you shouldn't trust Social Media to SEO Consultants” are warranted?

    Bottom line? You shouldn't trust anything to anyone who doesn't know what they are doing. And you know what? Our communities are filled with those types of people. Always makes for great link bait doesn't it?

  • I can't believe that in this day and age people are still writing headlines like this.

    “Why You Shouldn't Trust SEO to Social Media Consultants”

    Browsing this Blog with images off is a prime example of why you shouldn't trust SEO to SMCs, how's that for a comeback?

    I've been researching the Social Media Networks for over 6 months now. I'm here to tell you that many of the Social Media Marketers don't get SEO just as many of the SEOs don't get Social Media. So, does that mean that general statements like “Why you shouldn't trust Social Media to SEO Consultants” are warranted?

    Bottom line? You shouldn't trust anything to anyone who doesn't know what they are doing. And you know what? Our communities are filled with those types of people. Always makes for great link bait doesn't it?

    • First, I sense a bit of anger in your response. I hope that a read through the comments will ease your frustration. Sorry if I've offended.

      Second, I'm surprised that an SEO consultant (or SEO-leaning person … I'm judging from your website) is so thrown by a link bait headline. If you read the entirety of the piece, you know that's the attention-getter to bring folks into the discussion.

      And finally, you made my point by your argument. I could have written the headline to be, “Why You Shouldn't Trust SEO To A Social Media Consultant,” and not changed a word. The article is still on point and relevant. But I'm a social media consultant, so I wrote it the other way.

      Again, sorry if it threw you, but those who read my blog regularly will tell you, I'm not an all or nothing guy and only hope to fan the flames of discussion. Those who read and participate will be better prepared to either perform or hire social media and SEO consultants (or those who can do both well) down the road.

      Thanks for participating in the discourse.

  • Jason, I am going to have to disagree with you, at least in part. While there certainly is a certain mathematical element to SEO, what makes the difference between an average and a great SEO are exactly the skills that make the difference between an average and a great social media marketer.

    A great SEO thinks strategically, looking at “what's next” with the search engines; watching where the crowds are going and going easy on techniques that soon will have to be neutered by the search engines; building relationships that lead to joint linking, link exchanges, help with bookmarking — and social media is one of the best tools for SEO from that perspective. I should note that, as important as coding and writing is to SEO, the bulk of the work involved is in link-building. Some of that is inevitably boring and routine, but the most effective link-building is through viral and social networking efforts.

    On the other hand, social media marketing can mean a number of things. It might be best to keep SEO and social media marketing separate, given that it's hard to cover so many bases all at once (Who can keep us with even just all the social bookmarking changes?) On the other hand, the skillsets are not all that different and depending on what one is trying to accomplish with social media marketing, the two might be very much one project.

    So the two are different to a degree, but there really is a huge, gray area of overlap.

  • Jason, I am going to have to disagree with you, at least in part. While there certainly is a certain mathematical element to SEO, what makes the difference between an average and a great SEO are exactly the skills that make the difference between an average and a great social media marketer.

    A great SEO thinks strategically, looking at “what's next” with the search engines; watching where the crowds are going and going easy on techniques that soon will have to be neutered by the search engines; building relationships that lead to joint linking, link exchanges, help with bookmarking — and social media is one of the best tools for SEO from that perspective. I should note that, as important as coding and writing is to SEO, the bulk of the work involved is in link-building. Some of that is inevitably boring and routine, but the most effective link-building is through viral and social networking efforts.

    On the other hand, social media marketing can mean a number of things. It might be best to keep SEO and social media marketing separate, given that it's hard to cover so many bases all at once (Who can keep us with even just all the social bookmarking changes?) On the other hand, the skillsets are not all that different and depending on what one is trying to accomplish with social media marketing, the two might be very much one project.

    So the two are different to a degree, but there really is a huge, gray area of overlap.

  • Jason, I am going to have to disagree with you, at least in part. While there certainly is a certain mathematical element to SEO, what makes the difference between an average and a great SEO are exactly the skills that make the difference between an average and a great social media marketer.

    A great SEO thinks strategically, looking at “what's next” with the search engines; watching where the crowds are going and going easy on techniques that soon will have to be neutered by the search engines; building relationships that lead to joint linking, link exchanges, help with bookmarking — and social media is one of the best tools for SEO from that perspective. I should note that, as important as coding and writing is to SEO, the bulk of the work involved is in link-building. Some of that is inevitably boring and routine, but the most effective link-building is through viral and social networking efforts.

    On the other hand, social media marketing can mean a number of things. It might be best to keep SEO and social media marketing separate, given that it's hard to cover so many bases all at once (Who can keep us with even just all the social bookmarking changes?) On the other hand, the skillsets are not all that different and depending on what one is trying to accomplish with social media marketing, the two might be very much one project.

    So the two are different to a degree, but there really is a huge, gray area of overlap.

  • Jason, I am going to have to disagree with you, at least in part. While there certainly is a certain mathematical element to SEO, what makes the difference between an average and a great SEO are exactly the skills that make the difference between an average and a great social media marketer.

    A great SEO thinks strategically, looking at “what's next” with the search engines; watching where the crowds are going and going easy on techniques that soon will have to be neutered by the search engines; building relationships that lead to joint linking, link exchanges, help with bookmarking — and social media is one of the best tools for SEO from that perspective. I should note that, as important as coding and writing is to SEO, the bulk of the work involved is in link-building. Some of that is inevitably boring and routine, but the most effective link-building is through viral and social networking efforts.

    On the other hand, social media marketing can mean a number of things. It might be best to keep SEO and social media marketing separate, given that it's hard to cover so many bases all at once (Who can keep us with even just all the social bookmarking changes?) On the other hand, the skillsets are not all that different and depending on what one is trying to accomplish with social media marketing, the two might be very much one project.

    So the two are different to a degree, but there really is a huge, gray area of overlap.

    • Excellent argument, David, and one that I don't disagree with. As I've alluded before, there are fantastic SEO specialists who do social media well. And you're right on … they are probably excellent SEO folks because of the strategic thinking and more than analytical approach they must have. Thank you for the thoughts!

  • Barry Welford

    On balance I disagree. Everyone of us is an individual and, if we have the time, we can probably bring a different perspective to any particular topic.

    Time is the key here. We do not have enough of it. So how do we apply our time. That is influenced by what we like to do as well. As has been mentioned, you can also involve other members of your team. However in a given situation the needs of the job should influence how you apply your time for maximum effect. SEO normally gives some quick payoffs. SMM requires more persistent efforts. Let ROI determine the balance of efforts.

  • Barry Welford

    On balance I disagree. Everyone of us is an individual and, if we have the time, we can probably bring a different perspective to any particular topic.

    Time is the key here. We do not have enough of it. So how do we apply our time. That is influenced by what we like to do as well. As has been mentioned, you can also involve other members of your team. However in a given situation the needs of the job should influence how you apply your time for maximum effect. SEO normally gives some quick payoffs. SMM requires more persistent efforts. Let ROI determine the balance of efforts.

  • Barry Welford

    On balance I disagree. Everyone of us is an individual and, if we have the time, we can probably bring a different perspective to any particular topic.

    Time is the key here. We do not have enough of it. So how do we apply our time. That is influenced by what we like to do as well. As has been mentioned, you can also involve other members of your team. However in a given situation the needs of the job should influence how you apply your time for maximum effect. SEO normally gives some quick payoffs. SMM requires more persistent efforts. Let ROI determine the balance of efforts.

  • Barry Welford

    On balance I disagree. Everyone of us is an individual and, if we have the time, we can probably bring a different perspective to any particular topic.

    Time is the key here. We do not have enough of it. So how do we apply our time. That is influenced by what we like to do as well. As has been mentioned, you can also involve other members of your team. However in a given situation the needs of the job should influence how you apply your time for maximum effect. SEO normally gives some quick payoffs. SMM requires more persistent efforts. Let ROI determine the balance of efforts.

    • Ah, but we do agree, Barry. And you're spot-on that time is the real issue. I'm sure we could all walk that balancing line between doing both SEO and SMM well if we all had the time. Still, it's great for all to know we all don't have time and we should be aware of the differences. Thanks for the perspective.

  • I feel scizophrenic enough to do both. And so do I.

    BUT: It does take a whole different mindset to do the dialogue part of social media

  • I feel scizophrenic enough to do both. And so do I.

    BUT: It does take a whole different mindset to do the dialogue part of social media

  • I feel scizophrenic enough to do both. And so do I.

    BUT: It does take a whole different mindset to do the dialogue part of social media

  • I feel scizophrenic enough to do both. And so do I.

    BUT: It does take a whole different mindset to do the dialogue part of social media

    • Heh. Thanks Kare. And there are perfectly capable, talented people out there who can and do do both well. My hope is that they don't feel like this was aimed at them and opens a more healthy discussion of the differences. Thanks for chiming in. Got a chuckle out of that one.

  • Blanket statements like this are dangerous Jason.

    Case in point, I would certainly trust any social media project with Lee Odden (one of the SEO experts you noted above) and many of my other colleagues who have a deep understanding of both disciplines….

  • Blanket statements like this are dangerous Jason.

    Case in point, I would certainly trust any social media project with Lee Odden (one of the SEO experts you noted above) and many of my other colleagues who have a deep understanding of both disciplines….

  • Blanket statements like this are dangerous Jason.

    Case in point, I would certainly trust any social media project with Lee Odden (one of the SEO experts you noted above) and many of my other colleagues who have a deep understanding of both disciplines….

  • Blanket statements like this are dangerous Jason.

    Case in point, I would certainly trust any social media project with Lee Odden (one of the SEO experts you noted above) and many of my other colleagues who have a deep understanding of both disciplines….

    • Looks like you may have just read the headline. Heh. (Little link bait strategy … you SEO guys have rubbed of on me.)

      Certainly I agree. I would trust Lee, you and a number of others with both. As I've illustrated in the comments it's not an all or nothing proposition for me. And I've learned enough about SEO to know the headline blanket statement lures the visits and the links. I have you to thank for that knowledge, partially.

      Thanks for stopping by. Good to see you here again.

  • apowerpoint

    There's a presumption in all of this about directing traffic to a website. Certainly true of search; but it may not always be true of social media. If we look forward we might see a world where specific, individual sites become less relevant in the social-web, semantic-web, or whatever we call the next generation. Content distribution, including the ability to transact, is moving away from sites to where the people congregate; just look at the descriptions of social media news rooms. This 'fish where the fish are' suggests that participating might be different than capturing attention or redirection. I think people's intentions may play a role in this – if I'm looking for something, I search; if I don't know what I'm looking for or simply want to participate I socialize. The objective of both is to help me find interesting bits, wherever they might be.

  • apowerpoint

    There's a presumption in all of this about directing traffic to a website. Certainly true of search; but it may not always be true of social media. If we look forward we might see a world where specific, individual sites become less relevant in the social-web, semantic-web, or whatever we call the next generation. Content distribution, including the ability to transact, is moving away from sites to where the people congregate; just look at the descriptions of social media news rooms. This 'fish where the fish are' suggests that participating might be different than capturing attention or redirection. I think people's intentions may play a role in this – if I'm looking for something, I search; if I don't know what I'm looking for or simply want to participate I socialize. The objective of both is to help me find interesting bits, wherever they might be.

  • apowerpoint

    There's a presumption in all of this about directing traffic to a website. Certainly true of search; but it may not always be true of social media. If we look forward we might see a world where specific, individual sites become less relevant in the social-web, semantic-web, or whatever we call the next generation. Content distribution, including the ability to transact, is moving away from sites to where the people congregate; just look at the descriptions of social media news rooms. This 'fish where the fish are' suggests that participating might be different than capturing attention or redirection. I think people's intentions may play a role in this – if I'm looking for something, I search; if I don't know what I'm looking for or simply want to participate I socialize. The objective of both is to help me find interesting bits, wherever they might be.

  • apowerpoint

    There's a presumption in all of this about directing traffic to a website. Certainly true of search; but it may not always be true of social media. If we look forward we might see a world where specific, individual sites become less relevant in the social-web, semantic-web, or whatever we call the next generation. Content distribution, including the ability to transact, is moving away from sites to where the people congregate; just look at the descriptions of social media news rooms. This 'fish where the fish are' suggests that participating might be different than capturing attention or redirection. I think people's intentions may play a role in this – if I'm looking for something, I search; if I don't know what I'm looking for or simply want to participate I socialize. The objective of both is to help me find interesting bits, wherever they might be.

    • Thanks for the perspective. I agree with you, in fact I think your point illustrates what social media marketing really is about. It's not traffic-oriented. It's about connection and conversation. The traffic stuff is what the SEO folks are best at, which is the basis of my main point – these two practices are different. Thank you for helping clarify that and for stopping by.

  • Danielle Campos

    I agree with you on the fact that the skill set and even the type of people doing SEO and SMM are distinctly different, but often it could be a business or organization's search for a good SEO that will lead to also optimizing their social media. This is along the same lines as what Ric said, but for example, with the company that I work for, our technical guru works very closely to our Social Media developer to create an overall plan that will essentially optimize the client more thoroughly. I personally think that the realm of what social media encompasses is too much for one person to handle ALONG with SEO, and so the partnership of the two minds is very important. But, just because you go to an SEO to get optimized does not mean that a SMM is not also in the works, as a client you just need to know what questions to ask and conversations to have to create a plan before the work begins.

  • Danielle Campos

    I agree with you on the fact that the skill set and even the type of people doing SEO and SMM are distinctly different, but often it could be a business or organization's search for a good SEO that will lead to also optimizing their social media. This is along the same lines as what Ric said, but for example, with the company that I work for, our technical guru works very closely to our Social Media developer to create an overall plan that will essentially optimize the client more thoroughly. I personally think that the realm of what social media encompasses is too much for one person to handle ALONG with SEO, and so the partnership of the two minds is very important. But, just because you go to an SEO to get optimized does not mean that a SMM is not also in the works, as a client you just need to know what questions to ask and conversations to have to create a plan before the work begins.

  • Danielle Campos

    I agree with you on the fact that the skill set and even the type of people doing SEO and SMM are distinctly different, but often it could be a business or organization's search for a good SEO that will lead to also optimizing their social media. This is along the same lines as what Ric said, but for example, with the company that I work for, our technical guru works very closely to our Social Media developer to create an overall plan that will essentially optimize the client more thoroughly. I personally think that the realm of what social media encompasses is too much for one person to handle ALONG with SEO, and so the partnership of the two minds is very important. But, just because you go to an SEO to get optimized does not mean that a SMM is not also in the works, as a client you just need to know what questions to ask and conversations to have to create a plan before the work begins.

  • Danielle Campos

    I agree with you on the fact that the skill set and even the type of people doing SEO and SMM are distinctly different, but often it could be a business or organization's search for a good SEO that will lead to also optimizing their social media. This is along the same lines as what Ric said, but for example, with the company that I work for, our technical guru works very closely to our Social Media developer to create an overall plan that will essentially optimize the client more thoroughly. I personally think that the realm of what social media encompasses is too much for one person to handle ALONG with SEO, and so the partnership of the two minds is very important. But, just because you go to an SEO to get optimized does not mean that a SMM is not also in the works, as a client you just need to know what questions to ask and conversations to have to create a plan before the work begins.

    • Agreed, Danielle. Success in the online world requires both in a complimentary mix. It's just good to force the discussion once in while to make sure we're all thinking clearly. Thanks for your input.

  • DaveMurr

    I've always considered Social Media and SEO like Yin and Yang. Complimentary opposites of the Internet. Both SM and SEO need each other and can not function effectively in complete isolation. Huh.. that was pretty deep for a Monday morning!

  • DaveMurr

    I've always considered Social Media and SEO like Yin and Yang. Complimentary opposites of the Internet. Both SM and SEO need each other and can not function effectively in complete isolation. Huh.. that was pretty deep for a Monday morning!

  • I've always considered Social Media and SEO like Yin and Yang. Complimentary opposites of the Internet. Both SM and SEO need each other and can not function effectively in complete isolation. Huh.. that was pretty deep for a Monday morning!

  • I've always considered Social Media and SEO like Yin and Yang. Complimentary opposites of the Internet. Both SM and SEO need each other and can not function effectively in complete isolation. Huh.. that was pretty deep for a Monday morning!

    • Excellent perspective, Dave. Thanks for that. I knew you could be that deep on a Monday. Heh.

  • Not good.:)

    Cooking and baking, then. Never known someone who enjoyed both equally well, and we're all better at the things we enjoy.

  • Not good.:)

    Cooking and baking, then. Never known someone who enjoyed both equally well, and we're all better at the things we enjoy.

  • Not good.:)

    Cooking and baking, then. Never known someone who enjoyed both equally well, and we're all better at the things we enjoy.

  • Agree and disagree. :)

    Agreed that SEO and social media are two entirely different beasts and that most SEOs get it entirely wrong. They approach social media from the aspect of getting links. And in doing that, they set themselves up to fail. They create fake relationships. They don't listen. There's no community. There's no engagement. And, of course, the content they share and support sucks.

    But that's not to say that all SEOs are like that. You have to do your homework. I wrote a post on Outspoken Media last week (I won't link whore you ;) ) about the very same topic and about how SEOs need to stop looking at social media for the links and understand what it's really about. I think there are some SEOs who get it, but you need to seek them out and learn to pick away the bullshit.

    You should trust social media to an SEO company. But you can trust it to an Internet marketing company. There is a difference.

  • Agree and disagree. :)

    Agreed that SEO and social media are two entirely different beasts and that most SEOs get it entirely wrong. They approach social media from the aspect of getting links. And in doing that, they set themselves up to fail. They create fake relationships. They don't listen. There's no community. There's no engagement. And, of course, the content they share and support sucks.

    But that's not to say that all SEOs are like that. You have to do your homework. I wrote a post on Outspoken Media last week (I won't link whore you ;) ) about the very same topic and about how SEOs need to stop looking at social media for the links and understand what it's really about. I think there are some SEOs who get it, but you need to seek them out and learn to pick away the bullshit.

    You should trust social media to an SEO company. But you can trust it to an Internet marketing company. There is a difference.

  • Agree and disagree. :)

    Agreed that SEO and social media are two entirely different beasts and that most SEOs get it entirely wrong. They approach social media from the aspect of getting links. And in doing that, they set themselves up to fail. They create fake relationships. They don't listen. There's no community. There's no engagement. And, of course, the content they share and support sucks.

    But that's not to say that all SEOs are like that. You have to do your homework. I wrote a post on Outspoken Media last week (I won't link whore you ;) ) about the very same topic and about how SEOs need to stop looking at social media for the links and understand what it's really about. I think there are some SEOs who get it, but you need to seek them out and learn to pick away the bullshit.

    You should trust social media to an SEO company. But you can trust it to an Internet marketing company. There is a difference.

  • Agree and disagree. :)

    Agreed that SEO and social media are two entirely different beasts and that most SEOs get it entirely wrong. They approach social media from the aspect of getting links. And in doing that, they set themselves up to fail. They create fake relationships. They don't listen. There's no community. There's no engagement. And, of course, the content they share and support sucks.

    But that's not to say that all SEOs are like that. You have to do your homework. I wrote a post on Outspoken Media last week (I won't link whore you ;) ) about the very same topic and about how SEOs need to stop looking at social media for the links and understand what it's really about. I think there are some SEOs who get it, but you need to seek them out and learn to pick away the bullshit.

    You should trust social media to an SEO company. But you can trust it to an Internet marketing company. There is a difference.

    • KatFrench

      Lisa,

      You should definitely link whore. Or hey, I could link pimp for you. It's relevant to the conversation.

      (I'm guessing you meant this post. Correct me if I'm wrong.)

    • I demand link whoring, Lisa! Especially when it adds to the conversation. I don't care if Google discounts them, etc. I want my readers to know what you're talking about. Link away!

      Thanks for your thoughts. Good to know from your first point that I'm not totally out of line. And We're certainly on the same page. I would never apply all or nothing thinking to the equation, even if my pithy headlines might construe that. Heh.

      Hope to see you again soon. Been a while.

  • KatFrench

    Oh my stars and garters.

    I hardly know where to begin, here. First of all, I will agree that there are two different “schools” of social media work out there, one which emerged from PR and traditional marcomm, and one that emerged from SEO and internet marketing. Labeling one “SMM” and one “SMO” works okay for me. And I think both schools can agree that what they do is fundamentally different than the third school, which is what I like to call “social media advertising” widgets, apps, Facebook ads, etc. which are basically traditional advertising displayed on social sites, where the goal is engagement but probably not conversation.

    I think we run into the “Inconceivable!” problem a lot in all this: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    And if we, the practioners and professionals, have a difficult time describing the nuances and differences clearly, what are the odds that the clients can do so at this point? Some clients, in my experience, want what Jason's calling SMO when they ask for “social media” and some want SMM. Most aren't 100% clear what they want. I don't think you can just say “Don't trust social media to SEO specialists” when much of the time, SMO is actually what the client wants and is ready to sign off on.

    I do take exception to the statement that SEO copywriters are only concerned with writing well enough to keyword-stuff effectively and get a pass from the algo's natural language filters. I know a lot of really exceptional SEO copywriters, and they are, without question, exceptional COPYWRITERS. They just have the additional skill of being able to optimize that copy for search. Are there SEO copywriters who are shooting for the level you describe? Absolutely, just like there are really bad PR hacks and awful direct marketing copywriters out there who manage to find work.

    Yes, there are SEOs who are basically just interested in gaming the algorithm. But the best-in-class search specialists are also experts in usability, and in driving action through copy, design and structure. And sometimes, that desired action is conversation.

    There are plenty of community-focused sites out there centered around the topic of SEO. It stands to reason there are plenty of people who've acquired community-management, along with the other “people skills” you've described as hallmarks of a social media specialist, within the SEO community.

    My most honest reaction is that “social media” is not a specialty. If a client says “I want social media” that could mean anything from “I want my website on the front page of Digg.” to “We need an online community manager.” When a client is choosing a vendor, they should be looking at what specific goals they want to achieve, and whether this vendor has a track record of delivering on those goals.

    Anything else is inconceivable.

  • KatFrench

    Oh my stars and garters.

    I hardly know where to begin, here. First of all, I will agree that there are two different “schools” of social media work out there, one which emerged from PR and traditional marcomm, and one that emerged from SEO and internet marketing. Labeling one “SMM” and one “SMO” works okay for me. And I think both schools can agree that what they do is fundamentally different than the third school, which is what I like to call “social media advertising” widgets, apps, Facebook ads, etc. which are basically traditional advertising displayed on social sites, where the goal is engagement but probably not conversation.

    I think we run into the “Inconceivable!” problem a lot in all this: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    And if we, the practioners and professionals, have a difficult time describing the nuances and differences clearly, what are the odds that the clients can do so at this point? Some clients, in my experience, want what Jason's calling SMO when they ask for “social media” and some want SMM. Most aren't 100% clear what they want. I don't think you can just say “Don't trust social media to SEO specialists” when much of the time, SMO is actually what the client wants and is ready to sign off on.

    I do take exception to the statement that SEO copywriters are only concerned with writing well enough to keyword-stuff effectively and get a pass from the algo's natural language filters. I know a lot of really exceptional SEO copywriters, and they are, without question, exceptional COPYWRITERS. They just have the additional skill of being able to optimize that copy for search. Are there SEO copywriters who are shooting for the level you describe? Absolutely, just like there are really bad PR hacks and awful direct marketing copywriters out there who manage to find work.

    Yes, there are SEOs who are basically just interested in gaming the algorithm. But the best-in-class search specialists are also experts in usability, and in driving action through copy, design and structure. And sometimes, that desired action is conversation.

    There are plenty of community-focused sites out there centered around the topic of SEO. It stands to reason there are plenty of people who've acquired community-management, along with the other “people skills” you've described as hallmarks of a social media specialist, within the SEO community.

    My most honest reaction is that “social media” is not a specialty. If a client says “I want social media” that could mean anything from “I want my website on the front page of Digg.” to “We need an online community manager.” When a client is choosing a vendor, they should be looking at what specific goals they want to achieve, and whether this vendor has a track record of delivering on those goals.

    Anything else is inconceivable.

  • KatFrench

    Oh my stars and garters.

    I hardly know where to begin, here. First of all, I will agree that there are two different “schools” of social media work out there, one which emerged from PR and traditional marcomm, and one that emerged from SEO and internet marketing. Labeling one “SMM” and one “SMO” works okay for me. And I think both schools can agree that what they do is fundamentally different than the third school, which is what I like to call “social media advertising” widgets, apps, Facebook ads, etc. which are basically traditional advertising displayed on social sites, where the goal is engagement but probably not conversation.

    I think we run into the “Inconceivable!” problem a lot in all this: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    And if we, the practioners and professionals, have a difficult time describing the nuances and differences clearly, what are the odds that the clients can do so at this point? Some clients, in my experience, want what Jason's calling SMO when they ask for “social media” and some want SMM. Most aren't 100% clear what they want. I don't think you can just say “Don't trust social media to SEO specialists” when much of the time, SMO is actually what the client wants and is ready to sign off on.

    I do take exception to the statement that SEO copywriters are only concerned with writing well enough to keyword-stuff effectively and get a pass from the algo's natural language filters. I know a lot of really exceptional SEO copywriters, and they are, without question, exceptional COPYWRITERS. They just have the additional skill of being able to optimize that copy for search. Are there SEO copywriters who are shooting for the level you describe? Absolutely, just like there are really bad PR hacks and awful direct marketing copywriters out there who manage to find work.

    Yes, there are SEOs who are basically just interested in gaming the algorithm. But the best-in-class search specialists are also experts in usability, and in driving action through copy, design and structure. And sometimes, that desired action is conversation.

    There are plenty of community-focused sites out there centered around the topic of SEO. It stands to reason there are plenty of people who've acquired community-management, along with the other “people skills” you've described as hallmarks of a social media specialist, within the SEO community.

    My most honest reaction is that “social media” is not a specialty. If a client says “I want social media” that could mean anything from “I want my website on the front page of Digg.” to “We need an online community manager.” When a client is choosing a vendor, they should be looking at what specific goals they want to achieve, and whether this vendor has a track record of delivering on those goals.

    Anything else is inconceivable.

  • KatFrench

    Oh my stars and garters.

    I hardly know where to begin, here. First of all, I will agree that there are two different “schools” of social media work out there, one which emerged from PR and traditional marcomm, and one that emerged from SEO and internet marketing. Labeling one “SMM” and one “SMO” works okay for me. And I think both schools can agree that what they do is fundamentally different than the third school, which is what I like to call “social media advertising” widgets, apps, Facebook ads, etc. which are basically traditional advertising displayed on social sites, where the goal is engagement but probably not conversation.

    I think we run into the “Inconceivable!” problem a lot in all this: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    And if we, the practioners and professionals, have a difficult time describing the nuances and differences clearly, what are the odds that the clients can do so at this point? Some clients, in my experience, want what Jason's calling SMO when they ask for “social media” and some want SMM. Most aren't 100% clear what they want. I don't think you can just say “Don't trust social media to SEO specialists” when much of the time, SMO is actually what the client wants and is ready to sign off on.

    I do take exception to the statement that SEO copywriters are only concerned with writing well enough to keyword-stuff effectively and get a pass from the algo's natural language filters. I know a lot of really exceptional SEO copywriters, and they are, without question, exceptional COPYWRITERS. They just have the additional skill of being able to optimize that copy for search. Are there SEO copywriters who are shooting for the level you describe? Absolutely, just like there are really bad PR hacks and awful direct marketing copywriters out there who manage to find work.

    Yes, there are SEOs who are basically just interested in gaming the algorithm. But the best-in-class search specialists are also experts in usability, and in driving action through copy, design and structure. And sometimes, that desired action is conversation.

    There are plenty of community-focused sites out there centered around the topic of SEO. It stands to reason there are plenty of people who've acquired community-management, along with the other “people skills” you've described as hallmarks of a social media specialist, within the SEO community.

    My most honest reaction is that “social media” is not a specialty. If a client says “I want social media” that could mean anything from “I want my website on the front page of Digg.” to “We need an online community manager.” When a client is choosing a vendor, they should be looking at what specific goals they want to achieve, and whether this vendor has a track record of delivering on those goals.

    Anything else is inconceivable.

    • See everyone. I even get disagreement and push back from my own folks. Great points, Kat. As always you bring a perspective to the argument that I don't.

      • KatFrench

        That's what you keep me around for, isn't it boss? Just keeping things interesting.

  • Amen to that, Marc. I wish I had the SEO chops to be that combination. While I'm not bad, I normally defer to Kat or David who have more SEO experience than me. But hopefully we can all strive to that best combination through this discussion. Thanks for the thoughts.

  • Amen to that, Marc. I wish I had the SEO chops to be that combination. While I'm not bad, I normally defer to Kat or David who have more SEO experience than me. But hopefully we can all strive to that best combination through this discussion. Thanks for the thoughts.

  • Amen to that, Marc. I wish I had the SEO chops to be that combination. While I'm not bad, I normally defer to Kat or David who have more SEO experience than me. But hopefully we can all strive to that best combination through this discussion. Thanks for the thoughts.

  • Bravo Greg. Great metaphor for the discussion for the ad industry folks. Well said.

  • Bravo Greg. Great metaphor for the discussion for the ad industry folks. Well said.

  • Bravo Greg. Great metaphor for the discussion for the ad industry folks. Well said.

  • Touche' Mr. A. I agree that traditional PR folks don't have the right approach for social media marketing, but they are certainly closer to it in skills and training than SEO folks. You're right that a lot of social media wouldn't have happened to date had it not been for SEO practitioners. Thank you for pointing that out and chiming in.

  • Touche' Mr. A. I agree that traditional PR folks don't have the right approach for social media marketing, but they are certainly closer to it in skills and training than SEO folks. You're right that a lot of social media wouldn't have happened to date had it not been for SEO practitioners. Thank you for pointing that out and chiming in.

  • Touche' Mr. A. I agree that traditional PR folks don't have the right approach for social media marketing, but they are certainly closer to it in skills and training than SEO folks. You're right that a lot of social media wouldn't have happened to date had it not been for SEO practitioners. Thank you for pointing that out and chiming in.

  • Thank you, Walter. I'm glad the discussion can help folks like you know the differences and see what others think about it. My hope is that this discussion allows SEO and SMM folks to better understand each and each other so we can all make better websites and web programs for folks out there. Thanks for chiming in and for including me in your featured bloggers! Very nice honor.

  • Thank you, Walter. I'm glad the discussion can help folks like you know the differences and see what others think about it. My hope is that this discussion allows SEO and SMM folks to better understand each and each other so we can all make better websites and web programs for folks out there. Thanks for chiming in and for including me in your featured bloggers! Very nice honor.

  • Thank you, Walter. I'm glad the discussion can help folks like you know the differences and see what others think about it. My hope is that this discussion allows SEO and SMM folks to better understand each and each other so we can all make better websites and web programs for folks out there. Thanks for chiming in and for including me in your featured bloggers! Very nice honor.

  • Great … now I've got Gary Coleman on the brain. Heh. Thanks for stopping by Mike.

  • Great … now I've got Gary Coleman on the brain. Heh. Thanks for stopping by Mike.

  • Great … now I've got Gary Coleman on the brain. Heh. Thanks for stopping by Mike.

  • Great points, Scott. And you know you are one of the SEO folks out there doing both that I think the world of. Since I'm not an SEO expert, by any stretch, I greatly appreciate your thoughts here. And you know better than most that the two are intertwined in ways a thought-provoking blog post isn't going to surface.

    Thanks for you input, friend.

  • Great points, Scott. And you know you are one of the SEO folks out there doing both that I think the world of. Since I'm not an SEO expert, by any stretch, I greatly appreciate your thoughts here. And you know better than most that the two are intertwined in ways a thought-provoking blog post isn't going to surface.

    Thanks for you input, friend.

  • Great points, Scott. And you know you are one of the SEO folks out there doing both that I think the world of. Since I'm not an SEO expert, by any stretch, I greatly appreciate your thoughts here. And you know better than most that the two are intertwined in ways a thought-provoking blog post isn't going to surface.

    Thanks for you input, friend.

  • Thank you for stopping by, Amy.

  • Thank you for stopping by, Amy.

  • Thank you for stopping by, Amy.

  • I see you're point Edward, but I think the optimizers have goals that are very different (in general terms) than those marketing through social media. It's conversation and customer relations (marketing) versus SERPS (optimizers). The skills, intentions and therefore, decisions made are different.

    Thanks for the push back, though. I'm digging the discussion.

  • I see you're point Edward, but I think the optimizers have goals that are very different (in general terms) than those marketing through social media. It's conversation and customer relations (marketing) versus SERPS (optimizers). The skills, intentions and therefore, decisions made are different.

    Thanks for the push back, though. I'm digging the discussion.

  • I see you're point Edward, but I think the optimizers have goals that are very different (in general terms) than those marketing through social media. It's conversation and customer relations (marketing) versus SERPS (optimizers). The skills, intentions and therefore, decisions made are different.

    Thanks for the push back, though. I'm digging the discussion.

  • I wouldn't trust search to a social media consultant and I wouldn't trust social media to a search consultant but, to find someone who has deep experience in both is big. They may be be like oil and vinegar but together they make a lethal combination. Or maybe a black and tan is a better analogy…

  • I wouldn't trust search to a social media consultant and I wouldn't trust social media to a search consultant but, to find someone who has deep experience in both is big. They may be be like oil and vinegar but together they make a lethal combination. Or maybe a black and tan is a better analogy…

  • I wouldn't trust search to a social media consultant and I wouldn't trust social media to a search consultant but, to find someone who has deep experience in both is big. They may be be like oil and vinegar but together they make a lethal combination. Or maybe a black and tan is a better analogy…

  • I wouldn't trust search to a social media consultant and I wouldn't trust social media to a search consultant but, to find someone who has deep experience in both is big. They may be be like oil and vinegar but together they make a lethal combination. Or maybe a black and tan is a better analogy…

    • Amen to that, Marc. I wish I had the SEO chops to be that combination. While I'm not bad, I normally defer to Kat or David who have more SEO experience than me. But hopefully we can all strive to that best combination through this discussion. Thanks for the thoughts.

  • Good one, Stephan. Thanks for the comment. There's obviously a difference between the attention-getting headline and what works in reality. I have a ton of respect for a lot of SEO experts out there who do both. (I sure hope I don't piss them off with this.) But it's fair to know as an employee and a manager (and someone who has to sell the skills to clients) that the skill sets are inherently different.

    Thanks again for the thoughts.

  • Good one, Stephan. Thanks for the comment. There's obviously a difference between the attention-getting headline and what works in reality. I have a ton of respect for a lot of SEO experts out there who do both. (I sure hope I don't piss them off with this.) But it's fair to know as an employee and a manager (and someone who has to sell the skills to clients) that the skill sets are inherently different.

    Thanks again for the thoughts.

  • Good one, Stephan. Thanks for the comment. There's obviously a difference between the attention-getting headline and what works in reality. I have a ton of respect for a lot of SEO experts out there who do both. (I sure hope I don't piss them off with this.) But it's fair to know as an employee and a manager (and someone who has to sell the skills to clients) that the skill sets are inherently different.

    Thanks again for the thoughts.

  • The old school analogy I would use is the science of media planning and the art of creative development. Certainly there are practitioners with skills in both camps, but at the end of the day the best work and the best results come from focused professionals who decide that they are either a scientist or an artist. For great results that optimize the impact of SEO and SM we need to construct teams that bring the artists and scientists together and make it clear that they need each other for a chance at great results.

  • The old school analogy I would use is the science of media planning and the art of creative development. Certainly there are practitioners with skills in both camps, but at the end of the day the best work and the best results come from focused professionals who decide that they are either a scientist or an artist. For great results that optimize the impact of SEO and SM we need to construct teams that bring the artists and scientists together and make it clear that they need each other for a chance at great results.

  • The old school analogy I would use is the science of media planning and the art of creative development. Certainly there are practitioners with skills in both camps, but at the end of the day the best work and the best results come from focused professionals who decide that they are either a scientist or an artist. For great results that optimize the impact of SEO and SM we need to construct teams that bring the artists and scientists together and make it clear that they need each other for a chance at great results.

  • The old school analogy I would use is the science of media planning and the art of creative development. Certainly there are practitioners with skills in both camps, but at the end of the day the best work and the best results come from focused professionals who decide that they are either a scientist or an artist. For great results that optimize the impact of SEO and SM we need to construct teams that bring the artists and scientists together and make it clear that they need each other for a chance at great results.

    • Bravo Greg. Great metaphor for the discussion for the ad industry folks. Well said.

  • Whilst I agree with you on a number of points. SEO practitioners have made great in roads to the social marketing world and have blazed the trail in many respects. You could of course replace the “seo” part with “pr” and a similar thing would apply.

  • Whilst I agree with you on a number of points. SEO practitioners have made great in roads to the social marketing world and have blazed the trail in many respects. You could of course replace the “seo” part with “pr” and a similar thing would apply.

  • Whilst I agree with you on a number of points. SEO practitioners have made great in roads to the social marketing world and have blazed the trail in many respects. You could of course replace the “seo” part with “pr” and a similar thing would apply.

  • Whilst I agree with you on a number of points. SEO practitioners have made great in roads to the social marketing world and have blazed the trail in many respects. You could of course replace the “seo” part with “pr” and a similar thing would apply.

    • Touche' Mr. A. I agree that traditional PR folks don't have the right approach for social media marketing, but they are certainly closer to it in skills and training than SEO folks. You're right that a lot of social media wouldn't have happened to date had it not been for SEO practitioners. Thank you for pointing that out and chiming in.

  • Thanks Ric. Certainly an integrated shop with a full staff, each person bringing different strengths to the table is ideal. (My staff is that way. We have social media and SEO strengths as a whole.) And I certainly agree that some people have the ability to shift gears and work differently on different project. Nothing in my assertions are absolute in all cases. But the general differences between the two disciplines is A) Worth noting for those new to the social web or Internet marketing world and B) Worth the discussion so we can all have a better understanding of our work world in general.

    Thanks so much for the input. I don't disagree with you at all – SEO and SMM should work together.

  • Thanks Ric. Certainly an integrated shop with a full staff, each person bringing different strengths to the table is ideal. (My staff is that way. We have social media and SEO strengths as a whole.) And I certainly agree that some people have the ability to shift gears and work differently on different project. Nothing in my assertions are absolute in all cases. But the general differences between the two disciplines is A) Worth noting for those new to the social web or Internet marketing world and B) Worth the discussion so we can all have a better understanding of our work world in general.

    Thanks so much for the input. I don't disagree with you at all – SEO and SMM should work together.

  • Thanks Ric. Certainly an integrated shop with a full staff, each person bringing different strengths to the table is ideal. (My staff is that way. We have social media and SEO strengths as a whole.) And I certainly agree that some people have the ability to shift gears and work differently on different project. Nothing in my assertions are absolute in all cases. But the general differences between the two disciplines is A) Worth noting for those new to the social web or Internet marketing world and B) Worth the discussion so we can all have a better understanding of our work world in general.

    Thanks so much for the input. I don't disagree with you at all – SEO and SMM should work together.

  • As a writer who is just recently embracing the learning curves of SEO and SMM, I find the subjects fascinating. My talent is in creating original content. But of what worth is the content if no one ever sees it? So, having identified the essential keywords that will resonate with search engines, I don't find it a problem to include them in headlines and first paragraphs. Although, truthfully, I haven't observed their SEO impact as of yet. But I do appreciate the SEO and SMM links you provide as they will aid my education and perhaps make me a more effective writer and help me find marketing success at the same time. (By the way, Jason, you're one of the featured bloggers in our main feed roll on the site I blog for, The Social Media Buying Guide. We appreciate your insightful posts.)

  • As a writer who is just recently embracing the learning curves of SEO and SMM, I find the subjects fascinating. My talent is in creating original content. But of what worth is the content if no one ever sees it? So, having identified the essential keywords that will resonate with search engines, I don't find it a problem to include them in headlines and first paragraphs. Although, truthfully, I haven't observed their SEO impact as of yet. But I do appreciate the SEO and SMM links you provide as they will aid my education and perhaps make me a more effective writer and help me find marketing success at the same time. (By the way, Jason, you're one of the featured bloggers in our main feed roll on the site I blog for, The Social Media Buying Guide. We appreciate your insightful posts.)

  • As a writer who is just recently embracing the learning curves of SEO and SMM, I find the subjects fascinating. My talent is in creating original content. But of what worth is the content if no one ever sees it? So, having identified the essential keywords that will resonate with search engines, I don't find it a problem to include them in headlines and first paragraphs. Although, truthfully, I haven't observed their SEO impact as of yet. But I do appreciate the SEO and SMM links you provide as they will aid my education and perhaps make me a more effective writer and help me find marketing success at the same time. (By the way, Jason, you're one of the featured bloggers in our main feed roll on the site I blog for, The Social Media Buying Guide. We appreciate your insightful posts.)

  • As a writer who is just recently embracing the learning curves of SEO and SMM, I find the subjects fascinating. My talent is in creating original content. But of what worth is the content if no one ever sees it? So, having identified the essential keywords that will resonate with search engines, I don't find it a problem to include them in headlines and first paragraphs. Although, truthfully, I haven't observed their SEO impact as of yet. But I do appreciate the SEO and SMM links you provide as they will aid my education and perhaps make me a more effective writer and help me find marketing success at the same time. (By the way, Jason, you're one of the featured bloggers in our main feed roll on the site I blog for, The Social Media Buying Guide. We appreciate your insightful posts.)

    • Thank you, Walter. I'm glad the discussion can help folks like you know the differences and see what others think about it. My hope is that this discussion allows SEO and SMM folks to better understand each and each other so we can all make better websites and web programs for folks out there. Thanks for chiming in and for including me in your featured bloggers! Very nice honor.

  • Yes, yes, and yes. Different strokes, different folks.

  • Yes, yes, and yes. Different strokes, different folks.

  • Yes, yes, and yes. Different strokes, different folks.

  • Yes, yes, and yes. Different strokes, different folks.

    • Great … now I've got Gary Coleman on the brain. Heh. Thanks for stopping by Mike.

      • Not good.:)

        Cooking and baking, then. Never known someone who enjoyed both equally well, and we're all better at the things we enjoy.

  • scottclark

    I think if you compared SEO, SMO, and SMM 5 years ago this might be a bit more true. I don't think most SEOs are still doing the same thing they did even 2 years ago.

    Those of us who want to survive as SEOs/SMOs are aware that conversations are the wind beneath the wings of good rankings as the web and Google become more social. I think this is one reason SEO is getting so much harder. You have to run a project where the net output is high quality conversations foremost. We have to get our clients to dig deep and engage, rather than just let us tweak their tags.

    Sadly, many clients are also thinking 5 years ago when I talk to them. Many are not even aware of personalized search or searchwiki. There is a feeling that we should have some mad-scientist approach that nudges them to the top after a concoction of chemicals are poured together.

    When I tell them – Ok, let's find your customers and see what they're talking about” there is an assumption that I'm doing keyword research. Nope. We're going to have a nice conversation – where they are – and on their terms. “But I thought we were going to do SEO?”… I anxiously await the a-ha moment so we can get moving.

  • scottclark

    I think if you compared SEO, SMO, and SMM 5 years ago this might be a bit more true. I don't think most SEOs are still doing the same thing they did even 2 years ago.

    Those of us who want to survive as SEOs/SMOs are aware that conversations are the wind beneath the wings of good rankings as the web and Google become more social. I think this is one reason SEO is getting so much harder. You have to run a project where the net output is high quality conversations foremost. We have to get our clients to dig deep and engage, rather than just let us tweak their tags.

    Sadly, many clients are also thinking 5 years ago when I talk to them. Many are not even aware of personalized search or searchwiki. There is a feeling that we should have some mad-scientist approach that nudges them to the top after a concoction of chemicals are poured together.

    When I tell them – Ok, let's find your customers and see what they're talking about” there is an assumption that I'm doing keyword research. Nope. We're going to have a nice conversation – where they are – and on their terms. “But I thought we were going to do SEO?”… I anxiously await the a-ha moment so we can get moving.

  • scottclark

    I think if you compared SEO, SMO, and SMM 5 years ago this might be a bit more true. I don't think most SEOs are still doing the same thing they did even 2 years ago.

    Those of us who want to survive as SEOs/SMOs are aware that conversations are the wind beneath the wings of good rankings as the web and Google become more social. I think this is one reason SEO is getting so much harder. You have to run a project where the net output is high quality conversations foremost. We have to get our clients to dig deep and engage, rather than just let us tweak their tags.

    Sadly, many clients are also thinking 5 years ago when I talk to them. Many are not even aware of personalized search or searchwiki. There is a feeling that we should have some mad-scientist approach that nudges them to the top after a concoction of chemicals are poured together.

    When I tell them – Ok, let's find your customers and see what they're talking about” there is an assumption that I'm doing keyword research. Nope. We're going to have a nice conversation – where they are – and on their terms. “But I thought we were going to do SEO?”… I anxiously await the a-ha moment so we can get moving.

  • scottclark

    I think if you compared SEO, SMO, and SMM 5 years ago this might be a bit more true. I don't think most SEOs are still doing the same thing they did even 2 years ago.

    Those of us who want to survive as SEOs/SMOs are aware that conversations are the wind beneath the wings of good rankings as the web and Google become more social. I think this is one reason SEO is getting so much harder. You have to run a project where the net output is high quality conversations foremost. We have to get our clients to dig deep and engage, rather than just let us tweak their tags.

    Sadly, many clients are also thinking 5 years ago when I talk to them. Many are not even aware of personalized search or searchwiki. There is a feeling that we should have some mad-scientist approach that nudges them to the top after a concoction of chemicals are poured together.

    When I tell them – Ok, let's find your customers and see what they're talking about” there is an assumption that I'm doing keyword research. Nope. We're going to have a nice conversation – where they are – and on their terms. “But I thought we were going to do SEO?”… I anxiously await the a-ha moment so we can get moving.

    • Great points, Scott. And you know you are one of the SEO folks out there doing both that I think the world of. Since I'm not an SEO expert, by any stretch, I greatly appreciate your thoughts here. And you know better than most that the two are intertwined in ways a thought-provoking blog post isn't going to surface.

      Thanks for you input, friend.

  • Amy

    Very informative, thanks for all the info

  • Amy

    Very informative, thanks for all the info

  • Amy

    Very informative, thanks for all the info

  • Amy

    Very informative, thanks for all the info

  • “Social media professionals must be friendly, sensitive, tactful, interesting and interested. They must have the natural charisma to inject themselves into conversations to which they were not perhaps invited, but not intrude. They must have the diplomatic ability to listen to a detractor’s concerns, acknowledge his or her frustrations and engage them in a solution-finding mission all while keeping their ego, intellect and factual knowledge in check.”

    – Your description of a social media professional is all very good Jason.

    Therefore, would it not be the natural thing to accept that SMOs and SMMs are similar in their interactions and do not differentiate that much when they go about increasing a particular website's ranking and exposure respectively? To me, it seems the relation is as much symbiotic as it is vital to a website's promotion efforts.

    – Edward

  • “Social media professionals must be friendly, sensitive, tactful, interesting and interested. They must have the natural charisma to inject themselves into conversations to which they were not perhaps invited, but not intrude. They must have the diplomatic ability to listen to a detractor’s concerns, acknowledge his or her frustrations and engage them in a solution-finding mission all while keeping their ego, intellect and factual knowledge in check.”

    – Your description of a social media professional is all very good Jason.

    Therefore, would it not be the natural thing to accept that SMOs and SMMs are similar in their interactions and do not differentiate that much when they go about increasing a particular website's ranking and exposure respectively? To me, it seems the relation is as much symbiotic as it is vital to a website's promotion efforts.

    – Edward

  • “Social media professionals must be friendly, sensitive, tactful, interesting and interested. They must have the natural charisma to inject themselves into conversations to which they were not perhaps invited, but not intrude. They must have the diplomatic ability to listen to a detractor’s concerns, acknowledge his or her frustrations and engage them in a solution-finding mission all while keeping their ego, intellect and factual knowledge in check.”

    – Your description of a social media professional is all very good Jason.

    Therefore, would it not be the natural thing to accept that SMOs and SMMs are similar in their interactions and do not differentiate that much when they go about increasing a particular website's ranking and exposure respectively? To me, it seems the relation is as much symbiotic as it is vital to a website's promotion efforts.

    – Edward

  • “Social media professionals must be friendly, sensitive, tactful, interesting and interested. They must have the natural charisma to inject themselves into conversations to which they were not perhaps invited, but not intrude. They must have the diplomatic ability to listen to a detractor’s concerns, acknowledge his or her frustrations and engage them in a solution-finding mission all while keeping their ego, intellect and factual knowledge in check.”

    – Your description of a social media professional is all very good Jason.

    Therefore, would it not be the natural thing to accept that SMOs and SMMs are similar in their interactions and do not differentiate that much when they go about increasing a particular website's ranking and exposure respectively? To me, it seems the relation is as much symbiotic as it is vital to a website's promotion efforts.

    – Edward

    • I see you're point Edward, but I think the optimizers have goals that are very different (in general terms) than those marketing through social media. It's conversation and customer relations (marketing) versus SERPS (optimizers). The skills, intentions and therefore, decisions made are different.

      Thanks for the push back, though. I'm digging the discussion.

  • I don't think the two skills are mutually exclusive. When I do SEO, I don't have a computer write my copy and I don't write “only be polished enough to insert the keyword into a sentence or phrase that doesn’t read awkwardly to the search engine’s natural language processor.”
    Cooking is a science if we want to state in truthfully. But it's the art of making that science natural that makes one cook better than another.
    Assuming SEO's are just robots that use algorithms to write is a wrong opinion. And SEO's that do have the wrong idea of their own profession. Or they can't walk and chew gum at the same time.
    It's sort of like saying a biologist is could never be good at sex.

  • I don't think the two skills are mutually exclusive. When I do SEO, I don't have a computer write my copy and I don't write “only be polished enough to insert the keyword into a sentence or phrase that doesn’t read awkwardly to the search engine’s natural language processor.”
    Cooking is a science if we want to state in truthfully. But it's the art of making that science natural that makes one cook better than another.
    Assuming SEO's are just robots that use algorithms to write is a wrong opinion. And SEO's that do have the wrong idea of their own profession. Or they can't walk and chew gum at the same time.
    It's sort of like saying a biologist is could never be good at sex.

  • I don't think the two skills are mutually exclusive. When I do SEO, I don't have a computer write my copy and I don't write “only be polished enough to insert the keyword into a sentence or phrase that doesn’t read awkwardly to the search engine’s natural language processor.”
    Cooking is a science if we want to state in truthfully. But it's the art of making that science natural that makes one cook better than another.
    Assuming SEO's are just robots that use algorithms to write is a wrong opinion. And SEO's that do have the wrong idea of their own profession. Or they can't walk and chew gum at the same time.
    It's sort of like saying a biologist is could never be good at sex.

  • I don't think the two skills are mutually exclusive. When I do SEO, I don't have a computer write my copy and I don't write “only be polished enough to insert the keyword into a sentence or phrase that doesn’t read awkwardly to the search engine’s natural language processor.”
    Cooking is a science if we want to state in truthfully. But it's the art of making that science natural that makes one cook better than another.
    Assuming SEO's are just robots that use algorithms to write is a wrong opinion. And SEO's that do have the wrong idea of their own profession. Or they can't walk and chew gum at the same time.
    It's sort of like saying a biologist is could never be good at sex.

    • Good one, Stephan. Thanks for the comment. There's obviously a difference between the attention-getting headline and what works in reality. I have a ton of respect for a lot of SEO experts out there who do both. (I sure hope I don't piss them off with this.) But it's fair to know as an employee and a manager (and someone who has to sell the skills to clients) that the skill sets are inherently different.

      Thanks again for the thoughts.

  • I wouldn't say you're 'wrong' – but certainly mistaken.

    Have you considered 'teamwork'? In our shop, we have people with different skills – and I would maintain that this is the optimal situation. Good social media is build ON a sound SEO strategy. They work TOGETHER. If you do not have a good key-phrase strategy in place, much of your SMM will not fulfill its potential.

    Perhaps your assertion, “you shouldn’t trust social media to an SEO consultant” is referring to a single lone consultant – but even there, I'm sure the disparate skills required for both SMM and SEO are not mutually exclusive.

    Ideally, SEO and SMM should work together.

  • I wouldn't say you're 'wrong' – but certainly mistaken.

    Have you considered 'teamwork'? In our shop, we have people with different skills – and I would maintain that this is the optimal situation. Good social media is build ON a sound SEO strategy. They work TOGETHER. If you do not have a good key-phrase strategy in place, much of your SMM will not fulfill its potential.

    Perhaps your assertion, “you shouldn’t trust social media to an SEO consultant” is referring to a single lone consultant – but even there, I'm sure the disparate skills required for both SMM and SEO are not mutually exclusive.

    Ideally, SEO and SMM should work together.

  • I wouldn't say you're 'wrong' – but certainly mistaken.

    Have you considered 'teamwork'? In our shop, we have people with different skills – and I would maintain that this is the optimal situation. Good social media is build ON a sound SEO strategy. They work TOGETHER. If you do not have a good key-phrase strategy in place, much of your SMM will not fulfill its potential.

    Perhaps your assertion, “you shouldn’t trust social media to an SEO consultant” is referring to a single lone consultant – but even there, I'm sure the disparate skills required for both SMM and SEO are not mutually exclusive.

    Ideally, SEO and SMM should work together.

  • I wouldn't say you're 'wrong' – but certainly mistaken.

    Have you considered 'teamwork'? In our shop, we have people with different skills – and I would maintain that this is the optimal situation. Good social media is build ON a sound SEO strategy. They work TOGETHER. If you do not have a good key-phrase strategy in place, much of your SMM will not fulfill its potential.

    Perhaps your assertion, “you shouldn’t trust social media to an SEO consultant” is referring to a single lone consultant – but even there, I'm sure the disparate skills required for both SMM and SEO are not mutually exclusive.

    Ideally, SEO and SMM should work together.

    • Thanks Ric. Certainly an integrated shop with a full staff, each person bringing different strengths to the table is ideal. (My staff is that way. We have social media and SEO strengths as a whole.) And I certainly agree that some people have the ability to shift gears and work differently on different project. Nothing in my assertions are absolute in all cases. But the general differences between the two disciplines is A) Worth noting for those new to the social web or Internet marketing world and B) Worth the discussion so we can all have a better understanding of our work world in general.

      Thanks so much for the input. I don't disagree with you at all – SEO and SMM should work together.