Activating the Social-Search Dynamic #SESLON

Activating the Social-Search Dynamic #SESLON

20th February 2013

This session discussed:

  • How to develop an integrated social-search strategy.
  • Key points of crossover between search and social marketing.
  • Ideas for achieving synergy and efficiency between both channels with actionable strategic frameworks.
  • The importance of combined measurement and analytics strategy.
  • Client examples from some of the world’s most revered brands.

Bas van den Beld, Marketing/Search Strategist, Founder,

Bas started with a story about his studies in history at university. His professor came on stage and said “don’t believe a single word you will hear over the next four years”. The study of history is more about what you’re thinking. We want to trust what we see and trust what we hear from the people around us. Only 5% of our decisions are made when we are aware of making a decision. We end up relying on the people around us to help guide us to make good decisions. This is especially true in choosing a restaurant.

In some of the instances Bas says he gets more tweets than visits to some posts on state of search. Google launched Google+ to get our data on who we trust, who our influencers are. You can see that in the personalized results in Google. Eric Schmidt recently said “I actually don’t think most people wants Google to answer their questions. They want us to tell them what they want to do next”.

Finding answers has to feel natural your result there should also make sense. Google is basing that on two types of authority. First are the people around us and secondly are the celebrities. He shared two marketing campaigns one gave cards from professionals and the other gave cards of the local school footballers. His son forced him to shop at the second and he ended up spending £700 at a store that he never shopped at before just to get enough cards to finally get his son’s card.

Google is going to push endorsements from people around us, the people we trust.

Celebrities also influence us and their product endorsement influences our own. Authorship will have a bigger and bigger effect on the celebrity endorsement. Facebook is doing a similar thing with their member endorsement of ads.

In order to take advantage of this you need to stop focusing on your product. No one cares if it comes from you. If it comes from a customer however that’s a different story. You also need to stop seeing “average users”. People approach buying in different ways and you need to build up personas.

The most important thing though is you need to think how people think. You need to engage with people to get them to think about your product. Finding the right target audience and develop those personas on how to communicate for them.

Stop looking at Klout for influencers. Look for real people. Linkdex has a great tool about authorship. Use Google too to profile bloggers.  You can do really good research with Facebook graph search. There is a big privacy issue there but you can use Facebook to find out what people actually like.

Don’t focus on the channel, focus on the user!

Nick Beck, Managing Director, Tug

Nick focused on how do we deliver it. There has been a huge accumulation of social data since 2003. Search engines had to sift through this data and make it meaningful to their end users. The problem is all the big players don’t agree:

  • Google – has integrated social data into the search listings
  • Bing – has rolled out social columns so they don’t mix
  • Facebook – have launched graph search , Bing integration
  • Linkedin – developing itself as a social and search platform
  • Twitter – not in favor of how social search influencers results.

He then shared a story about how they hijacked a conversation through the news to promote a client into a conversation.

He then shared a hair removal product’s multi-channel launch strategy. His PPC team had their own objectives, the SEO team had their own objectives and the Social team again had their own objectives. A more integrated approach seems to be more social search to him.

He then shared a Facebook notes test where they used Facebook notes to gain long tail SEO results from a content perspective.

He is still undecided about what is social search is all about when talking to clients though.

The problems to deliver all this are:

Problem 1 – who defines the purpose of content and who creates it?

Problem 2 – who identifies the influential sites and bloggers? Who approaches influencers?

Problem 3 – do stronger processes help or hinder?

Possible solution?

Is the solution to create a hybrid workforce about people than can do all aspects of digital marketing? Or maybe just hire younger people.







Written By
Louis Venter is the founding director and CEO of MediaVision, a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) company specialising in all areas of search. His particular interests are organic search marketing, paid search marketing, conversion strategy and online PR.
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