So often marketing campaigns are thought of as having separate distinct parts — email, search engine marketing, social media, affiliate marketing, paid advertising, the list goes on and on. This is especially true in larger organizations with single staff members or whole teams devoted to one channel in the marketing mix.

One of our greatest challenges as marketers is finding synergies between these marketing channels. Many times, one channel can be leveraged to improve another to benefit a whole campaign. Such is the case with social media and search engine optimization.

Despite multiple differences, both channels are the same in that they can be leveraged as traffic sources to your website.

Search engine optimization is constantly changing, and the advent of social media has caused a major stir. Below are five ways to utilize social strategies to maximize search engine benefits.

Establish relationships with industry influencers through social media via LinkedIn. If you’re not using LinkedIn, you are missing out on a major way to network with market influencers. Search engine marketing is all about relationship-building. Instead of pushing out content and blindly waiting for people to cite you and link back to your website, connect with similar business owners and professionals on LinkedIn. Many times, these will lead to guest article posting opportunities, affiliate marketing opportunities or cross promotion, all of which can help boost search engine rankings.

Use Twitter to spread awesome content. Twitter is a very effective way to reach market influencers as well, but tread lightly. Too many companies use Twitter as an outlet to force-feed content to consumers. Always remember marketing is a two-way conversation. Instead, use Twitter to connect with influencers, communicate with consumers and offer helpful links to your website’s content. When used in this manner, Twitter can be a great way to spread content and ultimately gain links and increase search engine traffic.

Socialize your website. As search engines begin to integrate more factors into personalizing search results for individual users, social factors will continue to be explored. Search marketers know the major search engines are closely monitoring social signals — the extent of how they will affect rankings still is being debated. Do your company a favor, and get in the game while it’s still relatively new. Social actions such as Facebook’s likes, Twitter’s tweets and Google’s plus ones can all be tied directly to pages on your site. Invite users to share your content on their favorite social platforms. Even if it doesn’t seem to be helping your search engine rankings now, it likely will more and more in the future.

Leverage referral traffic from social media. Traffic to any website is composed of three main factors: search engine traffic, direct traffic and referral traffic.

Too often a college will depend on one source of traffic. The main problem here is that if you depend on search engines for your traffic, you will experience a significant decrease of traffic if your rankings are affected by an algorithm change or outside factor. Monitor the traffic that links you’ve posted on Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms are driving to your site. This will be one way to help combat the reliance of one single traffic source.

Use social media to complement your reputation management strategy. One major component of monitoring your company’s online reputation is monitoring Google for brand searches. What shows up on the first page when your company’s name is entered? The easiest way to monitor what is seen about your company is to control the pages in the search engine results. Be sure to register your company for the top social media platforms. Fill out the profiles completely and participate on the platform. These profiles will offer your company high-ranking search results that you have control over.