Social Media Marketing Or SEO: What Is Better?


Often, young entrepreneurs face a choice of where to start promoting their cannabis business. After all, as long as your company does not make profits, investing in advertising always seems risky. At this stage, there are two methods to utilize: SEO and SMM promotion. 

However, you might be wondering which marketing channel is the perfect fit for your business in particular. Today, it’s best not to choose at all and instead apply both methods simultaneously. Both social media promotion and search engine optimization drive traffic to your company website. These two channels only complement one another by promoting your website from different angles. 

Social Media Marketing, or SMM, improves customer’s behavioral indicators and boosts brand awareness, which in turn, affects the ranking. SEO is used when you want to increase sales and drive traffic directly from search engines as they are still the most frequently used source for customers looking for your products or services. Therefore, the best results come from using a combination of both SMM and SEO. However, due to a lack of funding, you are often forced to select only one option. Read on to go through our comparison of both promotion methods for the most effective advertising of your cannabis company.

What to use first?

SEO word is written on a notebook.
There's hardly a website that cannot be promoted through the search engines.

The first, and sometimes most decisive criteria when choosing a promotion approach, is the specificity of your business. However, in versatility, SMM is inferior to SEO. Absolutely any site can be promoted through search engines because it is the primary tool to which customers turn for information.

With SMM, things are not so simple. Social network users come to chat and have fun. In such cases, the role of SMM is to shape your public image, not to attract visitors. For example, direct advertising of cannabis products and services is not completely possible here since there are some restrictions for advertising cannabis-related goods. However, you can approach through entertaining the audience with interesting cases from practice, share useful facts, etc. SMM will help you gain the interest and loyalty of your readers, but you need SEO to get to your website rank high, as well as drive sales.

You may wonder: does this mean that SEO is better? Not at all. In contrary, it again indicates that an integrated approach is more lucrative.

When it comes to prices

A picture with people building a website.
Every new promotion requires costs despite the type of channel you choose.

The price is probably one of the most crucial aspect to keep in mind when choosing the right marketing channel for your business. Looking ahead, this is where SMM comes into play. Promotion in social networks does not require expensive website optimization services. Several content managers or copywriters who regularly publish the latest news and announcements of useful materials to your group on Facebook or page in Instagram are enough. If you wish or have the free time, you can even do it yourself. Most expenses here are consumed by paid promotions. For example: 

  • advertising posts in frequently visited or popular groups and channels
  • targeted advertising
  • influencer marketing 

All of these are excellent means of promotion.

SEO will be more difficult to get to grips with on your own. To get the slightest result, you must acquire the skills of specialists that are not only SEO staff, but also designers, programmers, and copywriters. The cost of search promotion depends on the amount of work and competition. As a general rule, it costs more than SMM.

When to expect the first results

A zoomed picture of a clock mechanism.
Every promotion campaign requires time and efforts.

SEO takes time. After optimization, you must wait while search engines index your website. This might take anywhere from 1 to 70 days. For young sites, there is the so-called “sandbox period” when search engines do not rank it high enough because of the small age of the domain. On average, to see the first tangible results, it takes about two months. After this, a gradual increase in positions begins and as a result, you gain traffic.

In social networks, everything happens much faster. Of course, your groups or pages also need some time to get promoted and select the target audience but utilizing an appropriate marketing approach takes anywhere from a few weeks to a month. You can learn about how to craft an effective advertising post within a few days. That is why if you need results immediately, then SMM has an advantage over SEO.

How much time will be required after promotion?

Search promotion requires regular refinement. It is not a one-time service that you can complete and then forget about. Search engine algorithms are constantly changing. Therefore, you need to regularly monitor this by increasing the external link mass, updating the content, and controlling the correct indexing of the added pages. All of this requires a considerable share of work time.

It is important to pay much more attention to social networks. It is advisable to update the content every day by:

  • attractive promotions
  • pics
  • reports of the latest news
  • announcing useful materials

It is also necessary to provide effective feedback – by responding to comments and messages. In essence, do anything it takes to prevent the audience from getting bored.

Furthermore, if it’s enough to do optimization no more than once a week, then it takes several hours every day to create engagement with social networks. Of course, this item is irrelevant if you have the necessary specialist on your staff, but in the end, it’s still about a small business.

Comparing the results

It’s important to understand that SEO primarily facilitates visitors, while SMM facilitates brand recognition and audience loyalty. In choosing one option alone, you are depriving yourself of many advantages.

Social networks bring customers and users from a search engine by becoming interested in content and subscribing to the newsletter to find out the latest information. However, in social media the percentage of regular readers is much higher, while search engines provide more leads.

So, where do you start?

A colorful fish and white fish are on a bright background.
Creation of a high-quality content is a primary step for both SMM and SEO.

The cornerstone of both directions of promotion is quality content. Without it, high positions are practically useless and often impossible. Without interesting material, attracting people from social media will also fail. Therefore, no matter which path you choose, you should start with high-quality content on your site.

However, as it was discussed above, you must choose what is more important for you. Having a permanent audience? Or attracting as many unique users as possible? Once you have found your answer, you can start from there.

There have been provided all of the arguments in favor of each method that you are to consider:

Benefits of Search Engine Promotion:

  • Universality (suitable for everyone)
  • Requires less of your attention
  • Leads unique users to the site

Benefits of Social Media Marketing:

  • Requires less cost
  • Faster results
  • Works primarily on the image to help gain the trust of customers


The choice of a promotion strategy on the Internet at the dawn of business foundation is based on which goals, and in what time frame, you want to achieve. It is also important to consider the nature of the product and the characteristics of the niche in which your company operates.

Once again, it is imperative to emphasize that the best results can be achieved by combining SEO and SMM. They complement each other perfectly by bringing website visitors to a group where you can subscribe, leave comments and share information with friends, as well as sending subscribers to the website page to place an order.

Although each advertising approach has its own advantages, it is worth noting that the most important thing here is content. You can optimize the website to such an extent that it will be ranking in top for all queries, but it does not guarantee that visitors will stick with you. Whether it is a website or a community on social networks, it is necessary to provide the user with access to the most useful and interesting information, which would prodive the creativity or help in solving certain issues. And then, at every possible occasion, customers will turn to you, knowing that you have what they need.

Solver Author: Solver

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