Integrating Search And Social Media

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The simultaneous rise of search and social media has created a confusing technology landscape for many firms. For some brands, user-generated content poses a threat to valued brand equity...

The simultaneous rise of search and social media has created a confusing technology landscape for many firms. For some brands, user-generated content poses a threat to valued brand equity...

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  • 1. INTEGRATING SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA An overview of current trends, and considerations S ep tem b er 1 5, 2 0 08 for brands, retailers and publishers W ritten b y: Rob Garner S t r a t e g y Di re c t o r, i Cr o s s i n g Gabe Dennison P ro d u c t Ma rk e t i n g M a n a g e r, P l u c k
  • 2. Integrating Search and Social Media Integrating Search and Social Media AN OVERVIEW OF CURRE NT TRENDS, AND CONSI DERATIONS FOR BRANDS, RETAILER S AND PUBLISHERS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY T he s im ul ta n eo us r is e of s e ar c h a nd s oc i a l m ed i a h as c r e at e d a c o nf us in g t ec h n o lo g y l an ds c ap e f or m a n y f ir m s . For s om e br an ds , us er - ge n er at ed c on te nt p os es a t hre at t o v a lu e d br an d e qu i t y. Re ta i l er s ar e of t en u n s ure of h o w bes t t o pr om ote t h ei r pr od uc ts wi t h s earc h a n d th e n e w, s oc ia l W eb, wh i le d is ru pt i v e c o nt en t s yn d i c a t i on m od e ls l ea v e m a n y o l d m edi a f i rm s gas p in g f o r a ir . Mos t c om pa n ies ha v e s ear c h s tr at e g ies in p l ac e , a nd m an y ar e us i ng , or tr yi n g t o f i gur e ou t ho w t o us e s oc i a l n et w or k s to c on n ec t wi th t h e ir c us t om ers , b ut f e w ar e t ak in g th e in te gr a te d ap pr o ac h d em an d ed b y t h e c ur r e n t W eb la n d s c ap e . T he s olut ion f or m ar k et er s i s to m a r r y t he ir s oc i al m edi a an d s e a rch st r at eg ie s . B ou n d to g et h er, s oc i a l m edi a a n d s e arc h c a n pro v i d e br an ds , r et a i le r s a n d m ed i a f irm s wi t h a c o hes i v e, ho l is t ic d ig i ta l m ark eti ng t o o lk it th at r es p ec ts c or p or at e br an d i ng , m ax im i ze s s a l es a nd wor d of m out h m ark et i ng ef f ec ts , an d thr i v es am on gs t d is r u p ti v e t ec h n o lo g ies . INTRODUCTION: SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA Co ns id er i ng t h e r a te o f c ha n ge in s oc i a l m e d i a an d s e arc h, f i gur i n g o ut j us t ex ac t l y wh a t i s at s t ak e c an be tr ic k y f or e n ter pr is es . W hile t he de ta i ls of th e s e ar c h /s oc i a l m ed i a re la t io ns h ip ar e c er t ai n l y tec h nic a l, t h e g en e ra l i de a is n ’t . Pe o p le ar e s p e nd i ng m uc h m ore t im e o n t he W eb. T he y ar e c re at i n g an d c on tr ib u t in g us ef u l c o nt e nt l ik e n e ve r bef ore , c o ver i n g b ot h p op u la r c o nc ep ts a nd id e as , an d un pr e dic t ab l e a nd o r i g i na l s u bj ec ts t ha t m ark et ers c a nn o t a nt ic ip a t e. T h e y ar e us in g l an g ua g e th at br a n ds do no t us e, ye t th e y ar e a r ef l ec ti o n of t h e br an d , an d ar e dr i v i ng t h e bra n d c o n vers a ti o n. T he y a r e r at i ng , r ec om m end in g , r e v ie wi n g a n d c om m ent i ng on c o n t en t – en h anc i n g th at c on t en t wi t h ad d it i o na l s oc i a l c o nt ex t. Mos t im por t an t l y, p e op l e ar e i nt erac t i ng o n l in e l ik e ne v er b ef or e. Page 1
  • 3. Integrating Search and Social Media In c om b in at i o n, t h is s c en ar i o c r e at es t wo m a i n c h al l e ng es . F irs t , it c rea t es a l ar ger an d r ap i d l y- gro wi n g u n i v er s e of c on te n t wi t hi n wh ic h t o s e arc h. I n t h is l ar ge r s ea rc h u n i v ers e, s earc h a n d d is c o v er y t ec h n o lo g ies ar e c ha l l e ng e d to s urf ac e r e le v a nt c o n te nt no t j us t b y c on t ex t ua l r el e v anc e – t he G oo g l e m od e l – b ut b y s oc i a l r e l e va nc e as we l l . T od a y’ s us er s ha v e q u es t i ons t h at ar e m os t l y s oc i a l: W ho e ls e is b u yi n g t he p ro d uc ts t h at I b u y? W hic h of m y f r ie n ds r e ad t h is s am e ar t ic le t o da y? Af t er ― d is c o ver y‖ was p i o ne er e d b y Am a zo n.c o m in th e f orm of s oc i a l r ec o m m enda t io ns , ne w d is c o ver y a p p l ic a t io ns h a v e th e p ot e nt i a l to s u rf ac e s oc ia l l y re l e va n t c on t e nt a n d pr od uc ts wi t h i nc re as i ng s op h is t ic at i on . T his br i ngs s oc i a l m ed i a an d s e ar c h c l os e r t og e th er t ha n e v er b ef o re. In c om bi na t io n, a us er ’s ac t i v it i es , s oc i a l c o nn ec ti o ns , a n d th e i r ac t i vi t ies c an c r ea te a n e w m eas ur e of r e le v a nc y f or s ear c h . T his ― s oc i al gr a p h‖ wi l l p o wer re l e va nc y i n t h e n e w s oc i a l W eb. As us er - ge n er a t ed b l o gs , p h ot os , v id e os a nd o th er f orm ats gr o w t o c om pr is e a n i nc r e as i n g perc e nt a ge of o v er a ll I nt er ne t c o nt e nt, t h e n ee d t o i nd ex t ha t c o nt en t a ls o i nc re as es . T oda y’ s us ers c o ns id e r us er - ge n er at ed c on t en t t o be us ef u l a n d r e l e va nt , a nd t h e y ex pec t G o og l e – a nd in t er n a l s it e s e ar c h v e nd ors o n l ar ge - s c a l e s i tes – t o i de nt if y a nd p res e nt i t. Ho we v er , d oi n g s o c a n b e d if f ic u l t d ue t o t he f orm at, s u bj ec t i v e m e as ur es of r e l e va nc y, a nd qu a l it y s t a nd ar ds f or m uc h us er - g en er at e d c on t en t. Als o , wh i l e r i c h In t ern et t ec hn o l og i es s uc h as F l as h an d Aj a x c a n e nh a nc e t h e us e r ex p er ie nc e i n a v ar i e t y of s oc i a l m ed i a s et t in gs , t h e y c a n a ls o c a us e c r a wl i ng an d i n dex i n g is s ues f or s e ar c h e ng i nes . B ui l d in g s oc ia l m ed ia c o n te nt i n a s e ar c h - e n gi n e f r ie nd l y f orm at is c r it ic a l t o b ei n g f o u nd in s earc h r es u l ts . A l l o wi ng c o n t en t t o be s har e d wi l l e m po wer s oc i a l n et wo rk s t o ex t e nd t h e l if e a n d r eac h of th a t c on t en t. Ma rk eters s ho u l d a ls o no t e th at ad v ert is i n g i n ves tm ents ha v e b e en h is tor ic a l l y f oc us ed o n ― bu y- a b le ‖ m ed i a, s uc h as T V i n ve nt or y, r a d i o a irt im e, a nd di g it a l f orm ats l ik e k e ywo r d a ds an d d is p la y a ds . T h e n ot a bl e of f l i ne ex c e pt i o n is P R, wh er e at te n ti on is e arn e d or , at wor s t, en g i ne er ed . A c om m on t hr e a d th a t b in ds n at ur a l s ear c h v is ib i l it y a n d s oc i a l m ed ia v is i b i l it y is t h at t h e y are bo th ― ea rn e d‖ m ed i a. S E O is b as e d o n s i te - s i de op t im i zat i o n, b ut a ls o o n l i nk eq u it y, or ― au t hor i t y‖ . Soc i a l e q u it y i s a ls o ― ear n ed at te nt i on ,‖ a n d ne i th er is bu y- a b le . W hile en t erpr is es c a n a d ver t is e wi t hi n s oc i a l n et wo rk s , th e re a l o pp or tu n i t y – g ett i n g ta lk e d ab o ut an d e n ga g in g in va l u a b le d i a lo g u e wi t h c ons um ers – r eq u ir es a d if f ere n t s tra t eg y t h an tr a d it i on a l a p pr o ac hes t o a d ver t is i n g a nd m ed ia . Page 2
  • 4. Integrating Search and Social Media THE CHANGING SEARCH ENGINE LANDSCAPE T he m at ura t i on of s e ar c h tec h no l o gi es h as c ha n ge d h o w pe o p le ac c es s i nf orm at io n . T h e In ter n et is th e gr e at es t r ep os it or y of i nf orm a ti o n i n th e h is tor y of t he wor l d, a n d i nc r eas i ng l y - s op h is t ic at e d s e ar c h t ec h n o lo g ies en a b le us ers to na v i g at e thr o ug h th e p et a b yt es of da t a to f in d th e i nf orm at i on t h e y ar e l ook i n g f or wi th a f e w na tur a l l a ng u ag e k e ywo r ds . W hile m an y of t h e pr in c i pl es of n at ur al s earc h e ng i ne op t im i zat i o n ha v e rem a in e d c o ns t a nt f or t h e l as t 1 0 ye a r s , t he bas ic c or n ers t o nes of li nk d e v el o pm ent an d s ta t ic o n - p a ge t ex t doc um en t o pt im i za ti o n ar e i n t he m ids t of a gre a t s h if t, i n t erm s of t he ne w a ppr o ac h an d s tra te g y re q u ir e d t o m a in ta i n r a nk in gs a n d tr af f ic f l o w f rom t he s ea rc h e ng i n e r es u l ts p ag es . Digital asset optimization, and other new developments. W ith U n i vers a l S e ar c h , G o og l e h as m o ve d b e yo n d th e ra nk i ng of W eb pa g es an d t ex t doc um en ts to inc l u de ot h er d ig i ta l as s e ts , s uc h as v i de o, im ag es an d o th er s tr uc t ur e d d at a. As a res u lt , o pt im i zi n g t hes e as s ets f or n at ur a l s earc h is no w m or e c rit ic a l th a n e v er, es p ec i al l y wh e n de p lo ye d wi th i n r ic h I nt er ne t t ec h no l og i es . P ers o n a li za t i o n, c o n te nt de v e l opm en t, c on te n t pr om ot i o n, e n ga g em ent , r es earc h , an d a n al yt i c s are a ls o ra is i ng t he bar f or n a tur a l s e a r c h op t im i zat i o n. Increased query volume and diversity. W ith t he inc r e as ed m ai ns tr eam a d op t io n of s earc h , th er e ar e n o w m ore k e ywo rd qu er i es en t ere d e v er y d a y th a n a m ar k et er c o u ld p o s s i bl y p re d ic t t o o pt im i ze f or . Ac c or d in g t o G o og l e, a n ywh er e f r o m 20 to 2 5 p er c en t of a ll qu er i es on a g i ve n da y h a v e n e ve r be e n 1 s earc h e d f or b ef or e , c r ea t in g a s ig n if ic a nt c ha l l en g e f o r bra n d m ar k eters t o m ee t th e c on t en t d em ands of t h e ir tar g et a u d ie nc e. Increased organic competition on a cluttered results page. W hile t he po p ul ar i t y of s e ar c h has c r ea t ed n e w o p po rt un i t ies f or m ark et ers , it h as b ec om e i nc re as i ng l y- d if f ic u l t t o d is t i ng u is h th e br a n d v o ic e wi th i n a c l u tt er ed s earc h res u lts p a g e. For a n y s e arc h, m ar k e ter s m u s t c om pet e wi t h d o ze ns of ot h er s i te s a l l v yi n g f or t h e at t e nt i on of t h e us ers , ac r os s m u lt i pl e d i g it a l as s et t ypes . W hile c om pan i es ne e d to op t im i ze t he ir o wn W eb s it es t o r eac h t h e ir t ar g e t m ar k ets , t h e m os t s uc c es s f u l m ark e ters wi l l b e th os e th a t a ls o e x t en d t he ir c o n t en t a nd v oic e ac r os s m ult ip l e t hir d - p art y W eb s it es a nd s earc h p lac em en ts . 1 S ear ch E n gin e Wat ch h t tp : //b log . s ear ch en g in e wat ch . co m /b l og /0 70 5 21 -1 0 01 56 Page 3
  • 5. Integrating Search and Social Media Brand term protection and reputation management in search and social channels. Fur th er c om pl ic at i n g t he is s u e of i nt e gra t in g s e arc h an d s oc i a l m e d ia is th e r is e o f s e arc h en g i nes as a v eh ic l e f or br an d r e p ut at i o n bu i ld i n g. S EO - f oc us ed p ub l ic re l at i o ns ( S EO - P R) has tr a d it i on a l l y r e qu ir ed a gr e a t c om m and o f na t ura l s e arc h o pt im i za t i on s k i lls t o pr o tec t a bra n d ’s k e ywo r d s p ac e. T od a y, br a n d - c it e d c on t en t a pp e ar in g i n s earc h res u lts c om es n ot j us t f rom a c om pa n y’ s o wn W eb pr op er t y, or e ve n f rom on e m ed ia s it e . I t is n o w m ore l ik el y to c om e f r om a m ul t it u de of s i t es an d s oc i a l m edi a c h an n els wh er e a br a nd c on v ers at i o n is oc c ur ri n g. T h is tr en d un d er s c or es t h e im per at i v e f or bra n ds to be ac t i v e n ot o n l y i n n at u ra l s earc h , bu t t o a ls o ha v e a c om m and f or em erg in g s oc i a l m ed i a o ut l ets wh ere a u d ie nc es c on gr e ga te . Natural search influence shifting from the technical, to the non -technical user. Na tur a l s e arc h en g i ne op t im i zat i o n h as ar gu a b l y a l wa ys h ad a ―s oc i a l‖ e lem en t, in t h e s e n s e th at pe o pl e wer e s ti l l c on tr ol l i n g th e c o nt e nt , l ink s an d t ec h n ic a l s i te s tr uc t ur es t ha t te n d ed to inf lu e nc e r ank i ngs an d tr af f ic . Un t il r ec e nt l y, t h is i nf l u enc e wa s h e ld b y th e W eb’s m os t tec h n ic a l l y- inc l i ne d us er s . Soc i a l n et work s rep res e nt a p o wer s hif t f rom t he t ec hn ic a l, t o th e n on - t ec h n ic al , e v e r yd a y I n ter n et us er in term s of th e ir a b i li t y t o i nf l ue nc e r e l e va nc y to war d o n e as s et o v er a n ot her . THE RISE OF SOCIAL MEDIA T he f orm at a n d f u nc t io n of s oc i a l i nt er ac t i o n s h a v e r e ve a l ed t h at s oc ia l m ed ia , l ik e th e In ter n et in g e n er a l , is an e vo l ut i on ar y m o v e m ent th at bec om es m ore s o ph is t ic a te d wit h e ac h pas s i n g da y. T h e d im ens i o ns of r ec e nt c ha n ge r ef l ec t t hr ee g e ne r a l th em es : th e r is e of s oc ia l n et wo rk in g, t h e pr o l if er a ti o n of s oc i a l t oo ls , a nd t h e em erg en c e of an o p en s oc i a l arc h i tec t ure t h at s e ts c on t en t a nd c o n nec t i o ns f re e . Social networks and destinations. T he i nf l ue nc e a nd s uc c es s ac hi e v ed b y M yS pac e , F ac eb o ok , L i nk e dI n, Ye l p, W ik ipe d ia , a nd th e c o un t les s ot he r s o c i al ne t wor k s a n d des t i na t io ns t ha t h a ve r is e n i n th e n e w wa v e of In ter n et g ro wt h is s u b s ta nt i a l, r ef le c t ed b y m as s iv e ye a r - o ver - ye a r gr o wt h i n m em bers hi p, he a v y a tt e nt i on f r om r et a i l an d br a nd m ark et ers , a n d l ar ge - s c a l e a c qu is i ti o ns b y m a ins tr eam m edi a c om pa ni es . Al r ea d y, th e m aj or s oc i a l n et wo rk s ’ i nt ern a l s e a rc h a pp l ic at i ons are s om e of t h e m os t wi d e l y us e d s e ar c h f u nc t i ons in us e t o da y. W hile m an y of th es e n et work s s pe nt th e ir e ar l y ye a r s obs c ur e d t o ex t er n al s earc h e ng i nes s uc h as G o og l e , de v e lo p i ng in i t ia ti v es b y F ac eb o ok a nd ot he r s wi l l br eak d o wn t h o s e wa l ls – a n d wi l l m ak e m ains tre am s e arc h m ore s oc i a l as a r es u l t. Page 4
  • 6. Integrating Search and Social Media Social media tools. T he pr ol if e ra t io n of s o c i al t o o ls has po we re d t he m os t s i gn if ic a n t c ha n ge in on l i ne be h a vi ors : th e c o ntr i b ut i on of c o n te nt b y e ver yd a y I n t er ne t us ers . S oc ia l t o ol s s uc h as b l ogs , f orum s an d p h ot o/ v i de o u p l oa d in g s of t war e h a v e a ll em po wer ed I n ter n et u s ers to r e v ie w or d is c u s s th e pr od uc t or is s u e of t he ir c h o os in g . Us er - g en er at e d c o nt e nt h as i nc r e as e d t he t ot a l v o lum e of on l i ne c on t en t. M uc h of t his c on t en t is n ic he an d e x per t, ( on an in d i v id u a l ’s p ers o n a l b lo g, f or e x am pl e) c o ntr i bu t in g t o th e v o l um e of ― l on g t a i l‖ of In te r n et pro p ert i e s t ha t s e arc h en g i nes are t as k ed wi t h s urf ac i ng . In a d d it i on , th er e is a n i nc r eas e in us er - e nh a nc e d c o nt e nt ac ros s tr ad i t io n al m ed i a an d re ta i l c ha n ne ls wi th a d d it i on of us er c om m ents , r at i ngs a n d r e v i e ws —p ro v i di n g a l a ye r of s oc i a l r e le v a nc y to t h es e s it e s . S oc i a l m e di a t oo ls ha v e a ls o c r ea t ed s ig n if ic an t n e w s e arc h o pp or t un i t ies f or e nt er pr is es . B ec a us e t wo of G o og l e ’s pr im ar y s e arc h r e l e va nc y c ri t er ia inc l u de f req u enc y of c o nt e nt up d at es a nd v ol um e of c o nt e nt – t h e t wo v er y m e as ur es t ha t s oc i al m edi a t oo ls are d es i g ne d to inc r e as e — t h os e to o ls ha v e em po we re d p ub l is he rs , br a nds an d ret a i lers t o ac h ie v e gre a ter s earc h r e l e v an c y. Cr e at i n g f or um s a n d b lo gs i n p ar tic u l ar ar e s ta n dar d b es t prac t i c es us e d b y l e a di n g s oc i al m edi a ve n dor s f or inc reas i n g s e arc h r el e v a nc y. F or re t ai l ers , un b i as e d us er - ge n er a t ed c on t e n t pr o vi d es a l a yer of c re d ib i l it y t h at im pr o ves c o n v ers io n r at es . I n th e e ye s of c ons um er s , tr us t in ―s o m eone l ik e m e‖ tr i p l ed b et we e n 2 00 4 a n d 2 0 06 – 2 an d is s t i l l t he m os t tr us t e d s our c e f or i nf or m atio n a b ou t c om pa n i es . The Social Web. W hile l es s vis i b l e t o t h e e v er yd a y I nt er ne t us er, t h e em erg enc e of a n e w s oc i a l W eb arc h i tec t ure is wh a t is m ak ing t hes e s oc i a l t oo ls p os s i bl e . As s oc i a l to o ls a nd s oc i a l ne t work s h a v e s pr ea d ac r os s t h e In t ern e t, s o h as t he n e ed f or a m ore o pe n a n d m od u lar W eb – a W eb wh er e th os e s oc i a l i nt er ac t i o ns a n d th e c o nt ex t t h e y pro v i d e c a n be tr a ns por t ed f re e l y be yon d t he ir o wn wa l ls , f o l lo wi n g t he pe o p le t o wh ic h th e y b e lo n g. W idgets , f ee ds , an d o pe n d e v el o pe r p la tf or m s pro v id e t he f irs t l a ye rs of op e nn es s . B e h in d e ver y b l o g e ntr y o r F a c eb o ok f r ie n d r e qu es t is a m as s i ve ef f ort o n be h a lf of i nd us tr y l ea d ers to c o n tro l t he r u les of th e g am e i n t h e ne w s oc ia l W eb. W hile s t i l l de v e l op i ng , t he ef f or ts l au nc he d b y F ac e b ook , G o og l e, M yS p a c e an d ot h ers to po we r th is op e n s oc ia l W eb p o i nt to war ds a n o n l in e e n v i r onm e nt wh er e s oc ia l c on t en t c a n tra v e l ac r os s th e W eb f ree l y. 2 E d e lm an Tru s t Baro m et er h ttp :/ / w w w. ed el man . co m/ i mag e /in s igh t s/ con ten t / Fu l lSu p p l e m en t.p d f Page 5
  • 7. Integrating Search and Social Media T oge th er , th es e r ec en t tr en ds i n s oc i a l m ed i a c o n v erg e t o d el i v er a n In t ern et ex p er i enc e ric h wi t h s oc ia l c o nt e nt , i nt er ac t io n a n d s oc ia l c o nt ex t . It is an ex p er i en c e th a t en t erpr is es c a nn o t af f ord t o i gn or e. SOCIALLY-ENABLED SEO: TOP ISSUES FOR MARKETERS S ea r ch an d so ci al m e dia ar e inh e r entl y r e l ate d and shou ld be a ppro a ch ed w ith a si n gle - mind ed and st r at e gi c al l y - co he siv e f r am ew or k. A n e nt er pris e f ac ed wi th ou t li n i ng t h e ir s oc ia l m ed ia a n d s e ar c h s tr a t eg i es s h ou l d c ons i d er a n um ber of f a c tors . T ac t ic a ll y, m anag ers f ac e a s er i e s of to u gh is s u es t ha t m anda t e c o ns i d er at i on of b ot h or ga n i za t i on a nd s tra te g y: Review your organizational structure. W hile t he tr a d it i on a l o r ga n i za t i on m ig ht r el e ga t e c ert a i n I n ter n et - r e la te d d ut i es – c om m un it y m anag em en t, s e l ec t i o n of t ec hn o l og y v e n d o rs , etc . – t o a d ed ic at e d tec h no l o g y r es ourc e or proj ec t m an ag er , to d a y’ s b us in es s e n v iro nm en t r e qu ir es t hos e f un c ti o ns to be oc c u p ie d b y s en i o r o p era t io ns a n d m ar k etin g pr of es s i on a l s . As s e arc h an d s oc i al m ed i a em erg e as t he pr im ar y d i g it a l m ar k et i ng ou t le ts , t h es e a re t he s t ak eh o l ders wi th t he tr a i ni n g a nd ex p er ti s e r eq u ir ed t o m ak e i nf or m ed d ec is io ns a b ou t a n e nt erp ris e ’s s e arc h an d s oc i a l m ed i a s tr at eg y. Rethink your approach to PR. Ma rk et in g a nd pu b l ic r e la t io ns ar e n ot m utu a l l y ex c lus i v e i n s e arc h e n gi n es , s oc i a l m ed i a , an d s oc i a l ne t wor k s , a nd br a n ds s h ou l d c o ns i der a f res h a pp ro ac h to e n ga g i ng in t h es e are as . W hil e e na b l in g a n d i nt er a c t i ng wi th u s er - ge n era t ed c o n te nt c an he l p br an ds m eet v ar io us o bj ec t i ves , r u l es of en g ag em en t s ho u ld b e es ta b l is h e d o n be h a lf of th e br a nd , a nd th is i n v o l ves em p o wer i ng a br a n d a d voc a te who ef f ec t i ve l y b ec om es t he v oic e of th e br a n d i n bo t h s ea rc h , a nd s o c i al m ed i a. Educate internal stakeholders on the benefits and risks of engaging in social media. T oda y, us ers h a ve m or e c o ntr o l o v er br an d c on v ers at i o ns , a n d th e re a l it y of ― wh o yo u ar e‖ is m ore a b ou t wh a t th ey s a y yo u ar e , r a th er t h an wh at a bra n d wa n ts c o ns um ers t o b el i e v e. T he In te rn et has a l l o wed e ver yd a y c o ns um er s t o br oa dc as t c o n v ers at i ons t h at o nc e oc c ur red pr i va te l y – an d s e ar c h h as a l lo we d o t her e ve r yd a y c ons um ers to s t um bl e ac r os s th os e c on v ers at i o ns . T h er e ar e po te n t ia l r is k s f or e it her par t ic ip at i n g i n th e c o n vers a t io n, or n ot par t ic ip a ti n g , b u t th e o n l y wa y f or m ark et ers to h a v e a v o ic e th em s e l ves is to h os t an d par t ic ip a te in t h os e ve r y c o n v er s a t io ns as t h e y oc c ur. Page 6
  • 8. Integrating Search and Social Media Build a robust content strategy. Co nt e nt s tr at e g ies m us t be r ob us t en o ug h t o a d dres s b o th s earc h an d s oc i a l m ed i a au d i enc es . As a s i gn i f ic a nt s h ar e of G o og l e ’s d a il y u s er qu er i es a re u npr e d ic t ab l e, s o lu t i ons f or a d dr es s i n g th is ― un pr e d ic t a b le s earc h i n t en t‖ ra n ge f rom a l lo wi ng en h anc e d c o nt en t s tra te g i es , t o a l lo wi n g f u ll us er - e na b l ed di g it a l as s e t c r e at i o n an d de p l o ym e nt – inc l u di n g tex t, im a ges a n d v i d eo . W ith t h is ap pr oa c h , u s ers wi l l bu i l d a b od y of c o n te nt t h at f oc us e s o n th e ir i nt er es ts , us in g t he ir o wn l an g ua g e. Ma k ing yo ur s it e a us ef u l a n d r e le v a nt gr o u nd f or c on v ers at i o n is a n im p or t a nt e l em ent of t h is s tra te g y. Ensure vendor compatibility. T he r e la t io ns h ip b e t we en s ear c h a n d s oc ia l m edi a c a n r a is e im por ta nt is s u es i n v o l vi n g m ult ip l e v e nd or s . I n r et a i l, f or ex am pl e, t he im por ta nc e of f l ex ib l e A PIs am ong k e y v e n d ors c an n ot b e u n der s t at ed . A r et a i ler t h at us es c om m uni t y f orum s t o s urf ac e c ons um er - ge n er at ed pro d uc t ins i gh t a nd dis c us s i on c o u ld le v er ag e A P Is t o r en d er th a t us er - g e ne r at e d c on t en t s e arc h a b le b y th e r e ta i l er ’s i nt er na l s it e s e arc h v e nd or. S uc h an e n ter pr is e m us t l e ver a ge t h e f u l l vo l u m e of d at a t he y o wn – pr o duc t r a ti n gs a nd r e v ie ws , f or um s c on te n t – an d m ak e it s ear c h ab l e b y us er s . Understand how social media can increase search engine visibility. T here are a num be r of d if f er e n t d yn am ic s a n d c o ns i d er at i ons f or s oc ia l m ed ia t h at d ir ec t l y im pac t s earc h e n gi n e v is ib i l it y, tr af f ic an d ra nk in gs . S om e of t hes e is s ues inc l u de t h e l ink a b il i t y, c r a wl ab i l it y, an d i n dex a b il i t y of c on t en t, as we l l as m a n y o t h er c or e s e arc h e n g in e op t im i zat i o n b es t pr ac tic es . W hen e n ga g in g i n s oc ia l m ed ia s tr a t eg i es , op t im i zat i o n a ll o ws f or t h is c o nt en t t o be d is c o v er ed in t h e s e ar c h c h an n el on a la rg e s c a le . CONCLUSION For tod a y’ s l ead ing b ra nd s, r et ai le r s an d publ is he r s, s oc i al m e dia and s e ar ch p re s e nt a gat ew a y to th e d igi t a l bu s in es s l and sc ap e – a n env i ron m ent w h er e c ons um e rs a r e be com ing in c r ea si ngl y - e mpow e r ed t o sp e a k t he ir m ind s . T h e o pp or tu n it y t o ac c e ler a t e th at em po werm en t b y g i vi n g c o ns um ers a v o ic e has ne v er b e en b i g ger . B y g i v in g br a nd ad v oc at es , s ho p per s a nd au d ie nc es a p l atf or m to en g ag e i n b us in e s s - re le v a nt c o n v ers at i on , en t erpr is es c a n p ar t ic i pa t e i n th at c on v ers at i on t o t he ir a d v a nt ag e b y d irec t l y a ddr es s i ng c ons um ers . F i n al l y, e nt er pr is es c a n m ax im i ze ex pos ur e a nd p ar t i c i pa t io n t o th os e c on v ers at i o ns b y l e ve r ag i n g s ea r c h t o s urf ac e c o ns um er - le v e l d is c ours e . Page 7