Jun 24, 2013

Why Social Search Matters to Your Brand

by: in SEO

Last week I discussed the meaning of social search and a little history on how it became a buzzword in the digital marketing industry and how it’s spreading across industries. In understanding social search it is not only important to understand what it is, but also why it matters for your brand. 

So then…why does it matter?

There are one billion active users with engagement numbers soaring with Facebook reporting 2.7 million likes and 250 million photos uploaded daily. The introduction of Graph Search changed the way users searched on Facebook and the results of their query. Facebook’s new search function offers users the opportunity to use what their friends like and pages they are connected with to generate results for search-based questions like “What restaurants do my friends like in Louisville, KY?” Facebook’s search results to questions like this are based on several factors including “likes”, ratings, pages, categories and relationship strength including user engagement, friends and pages. Additionally, 80% of social media users say they would rather connect with a brand via Facebook than through a brand’s website – and users are searching on Facebook, looking for relevant information about a brand or company and are interested in the comments and photos on your profile page. 

YouTube is the #2 search engine in the world, with 800 million unique visits each month, 4 billion videos watched monthly and every minute 72 hours of video are uploaded. Searches can be filtered by upload date, channel, result type, duration and features and then sorted by relevance, date, view count and rating. Users are going to YouTube to search because they know searching directly through the platform will result in better search results than performing a general search through Google or another search engine. Videos can engage current and potential customers and establish higher visibility and authority. One hundred million people take social action on YouTube weekly including liking, sharing, or commenting on a video.

In 2012, Twitter was serving an average of 1.6 billion search queries per day. Twitter search results include tweets, people, videos and images. Twitter’s latest feature includes a real-time human computation engine, which identifies the context behind search queries as soon as the search term begins trending. All tweets are indexed within Twitter search and Twitter’s search allows users to search by any keywords or hashtags mentioning any related product, service, person, event or trend.

Google+ currently has more than 135 million active users and this social media platform is by far the most influential for search. Because Google+ profiles show up in Google search results, companies utilizing the platform have greater visibility and a ranking advantage over those brands not using the platform. Additionally, Search Plus Your World brings together the complexities of search with a Google+ users personal information, connections and interests in mind when reporting the results to a search query, providing personal content and public content into a single search results listing. Authorship is the final major component of Google+ and search. Google Authorship allows article, blog and other content authors to connect their personal Google+ profile with a brand’s content, likely increasing the relevancy and authority of that content in the eyes of the Google search algorithms.

Understanding each social media platform and the various types of searches and search traffic as a result of each channel allows brands to better understand the importance of social media in a digital world. As more consumers turn to social media for things like review, brand information and customer service, having a strong presence through social search will help improve your chances of a consumer finding your brand over a competitor.