The rise of social business has paved the way for small and medium business to initiate custom online marketing strategies. Facebook has become a marketplace where businesses have been able to connect easily to customers. Obviously, the best thing about using social media platforms is that it is free! Whether you're a big company or a start-up, you can leverage social media platforms as very practical and effective Social media marketing has overwhelmed the Web alright. And with Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms gaining momentum, we're left to ask: Is hiring an SEO firm still relevant?

A year ago, Facebook entered a deal with Microsoft-owned search engine Bing that it will produce results on the search engine ranking pages based on the Facebook “Likes” from the social network. It’s a counter punch with Google's move to include Twitter content and updates in its SERPs. SEO pundits have been pondering it these moves will affect current SEO strategies. With Google eliminating content farms coupled with the sporadic user growth of Facebook and Twitter, social media content will gradually overwhelm the search engines.

SEO enhances Social Marketing

However, SEO and SEM are still alive and kicking. Google adwords have rebounded last year. Reports say that revenues from Internet advertising have increased. According to a report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, online ad revenue jumped 15% to $26 billion in 2010. That’s a sharp reversal from a 3.4% decline during the recession of the previous year. Search advertising overwhelmed the rest by 46%. Display advertising attained 38% of the market.

Here are some significant figures from the Interactive Advertising Bureau report:

  • Classified advertising accounted for 10% of revenues for 2010 or $2.6 billion, which was up 15% from 2009′s $2.3 billion.
  • Lead-generation revenues were down 8% to $1.3 billion.
  • Email marketing revenues fell 33%, to $195 million. That’s just 1% of the market.
  • Mobile advertising, which hadn’t previously been included in the IAB’s report, is now estimated to account for between $550 million and $650 million.

With this in tow, SEM is still the old reliable when it comes to maximizing a business online. Recently, Google launched its newest product called “+1” to make a great impression in social business. Google is still one of the biggest brands in the planet. We live in a world of search and it has yet to be proven if Facebook is a reliable approach to gather feasible data.  SEO firms are eventually embracing the age of Social Marketing. They're not going away anytime soon. From the looks of it, SEO firms are evolving into full-service digital marketing agencies. A digital marketing agency will enhance not only SEO campaigns, but social media outreach for clients as well. And as the Internet continues to evolve, SEO firms will continue to be relevant in this age of social business.