The integration of search and social media has been developing over the past year and has created major buzz as Google introduced Search Plus Your World and Bing added the social sidebar, which includes information from friends, experts and enthusiasts that relate to your search. It’s only appropriate that there is new news on the social search front. Enter Bing’s inclusion of the Klout score for those results in the social sidebar. Klout was founded in 2008 and is social media scoring platform. Klout uses more than 400 variables to give a social media user (individuals and companies) a social media influence score. This partnership between Bing and Klout also includes Bing providing search data to Klout for Klout to use in its scoring algorithm. This new partnership, according the Bing Blog, is to “help enrich the discovery and recognition of influencers across our platforms.” Meaning…social influence is going to impact search – in a way.
But, what does this mean for your brand, your company or even yourself being found in search? While it does not directly impact traditional search results, it impacts those people (experts & influencers) who appear on your sidebar for a Bing search. As searchers become more accustomed to this addition to Bing search, they will begin to rely on those experts and trust those points of view over the general search. This is where a brand or expert’s social postings and influence start to come into play. Wouldn’t it be great if your website appeared at the top of the search results page AND your internal expert also appeared in the search side bar? Searchers would take notice and relate your brand or company with being an expert in that field, industry or search term.
Social search is a fasting moving target and without the right strategy you might not be able to take aim, let alone hit a bulls-eye.