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"While there are many differences between search marketing and social media, and each has its strengths, both are essential in marketing today," according to an infographic from MDG Advertising.
The trick, of course, is knowing when to use each in your marketing and how to combine their power for maximum effect.
Search is the clear winner in B2B and B2C lead generation—a mix of search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) advertising will do more for lead gen goals than social, according to MDG.
Social, however, is better suited to brand awareness—its top benefit, according to Social Media Examiner. Search can raise brand awareness, but to a lesser degree.
Search, meanwhile, claims the local visibility prize: When searching for local restaurants and businesses, people are far more likely to consult Google than to check Facebook.
Because social is built around the concept of interactivity, inherently it's what marketers turn to as their chief means of interacting with prospects and customers.
The Real Winner: A Combined Strategy
Don't think of it as search vs. social, think of it as search + social. "When paired up in a comprehensive marketing plan, the two can reinforce each other and contribute to a company's overall marketing success," concludes MDG Advertising.