ACR Analytics Blog

Why Social Media and SEO Require Patience

November 3, 2014

As fast as the rest of the internet moves, social media marketing and SEO strategy are too things that take a while to see results after implementation. Just like with almost any long-term strategy, results are usually slow-building.

It can be difficult at first to explain to management (if you are in-house marketing) or your clients (if you’re an agency) that best practice strategy, also called “white hat,” takes more time than channels like paid search advertising. Below are some of the reasons why social media and SEO require patience and a lot of finesse.

Quick Results = Shady Methods

One of the best advice marketers out there can give to companies looking for an agency or consultant to do their SEO or social media is to avoid those who promise amazingly fast results. Promises of “1,000 Twitter followers in a week” or “the #1 position on Google” within a matter of months for your target keywords are almost always utilizing “black hat” (e.g. bad practice) tactics.

Some of these may include:

  • Buying social media followers (who are fake profiles, and usually unfollow accounts after a few weeks in most cases)
  • Using bots to visit websites to mimic actual user traffic
  • Keyword stuffing or manipulating website design or content to “game” the search engine spiders

The best agencies or consultants won’t promise extraordinary results and will instead focus on providing you with a long-term strategy for steady growth that goes beyond a quick fix.

Good Content Takes Time and Planning

Because 2014 was considered the year for online content when it comes to implementing a successful search and social media strategy, getting your content in front of a larger audience is more competitive than ever. This means that is takes a lot more planning and strategy to create content that is more engaging, informative, and visually appealing than your competitor.

Back when the internet was just getting started, you were way ahead of the pack if you had a regularly updated website with more than one or two pages. Now, companies are hiring entire departments to manage their website and online presence, leading to constant push for bigger and better content.

In order to create content that makes an impact, it’s important to spend time planning out a strategy that includes not only a variety of content (such as blog posts, white papers, and webinars), but also a comprehensive online promotion and social sharing plan. This may take weeks or even a few months to plan and execute, so be patient when it comes to creating and publishing content. A steady stream of amazing content is always better over 3-4 blog posts published per week that don’t contribute much to the reader or the company’s website.

Algorithms May Vary

One of the most frustrating things for SEO professionals is that there is no telling how an updated search engine algorithm is truly going to affect a website’s traffic or rank on search result pages. There is some literature and confirmations from Google on specific algorithm updates and what they are looking for, but besides following best practices, how and why an algorithm targets a specific website may vary.

Because of this, it’s simply not feasible to be 100% prepared for any search engine (or social media) algorithm. For example, Facebook is constantly tweaking its news feed algorithm and while you can post the useful content that Facebook thinks your users will want to see, when it comes down to it, the algorithm has the final say in what is shown.

While this may make true change from implementing best practices take a little more time, it’s really the only option for social media marketers and SEOs.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

turtle-226289_640When it comes down to it, it’s much better to be the tortoise than the hare in social media and SEO. While that’s not always the best answer for executives or business owners wanting immediate results, taking shortcuts by using black hat practices can lead to website de-indexing (via a Google Penalty), virtually no visibility on Facebook, or a loss of traffic due to poor user experience.

Take the time to craft a social media, content, and SEO strategy that is comprehensive, on-going, and based on user engagement instead of quick numbers and easy sales.