Social is the New Search

Advertising Sources Consumers Trust

Some SEO experts are now noticing  more traffic is coming to their client’s site from content and links posted in social networks than from Google search. This is a massive behavioral change but one that’s been a long time in coming. It’s being driven by two factors:

1) Search results are still not all that relevant. There’s a lot of junk in organic search, especially when it comes to the search for information and often it takes multiple operations to get to relevant information.  At least that’s my experience. How about you?

2) Consumers and business decision-makers consistently site their friends and colleagues as the number one source of trusted information on products and services. Followed right behind this is ratings and user comments posted online. Brands can run but they can no longer hide behind advertising. If some aspect of your brand experience is off, you will be found out.

An interesting study by virtue on the effectiveness of Facebook posts for brands take this insight about driving brand experience via social media to a deeper level. As they point our in the introduction to “Managing Your Facebook Community”, for the three month period August through October 2010, Facebook reached 35% of the total internet population. Average usage is up to 55-minutes per day. But, like managing the content for a radio station or a cable channel or magazine, although it may be apparent when and how people are using Facebook, the “why” can remain elusive.

The two white paper’s virtue.com developed look interesting. Both are included here for your downloading pleasure.

The Anatomy of a Facebook Post

Managing_Facebook_Communities

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About Scott Cone
A husband to a loving, lovely wife. Father to six great kids and two grand kids. I'm a marketing, advertising and promotion professional with a keen interest in big ideas, all things digital and especially how mobile is changing all aspects of communication and marketing. I play guitar and sing, write music, write screenplays, act, scuba dive, weight lift, ski and enjoy Christian apologetics, logic, evolution versus intelligent design and the basis for morals, values and ethics.

2 Responses to Social is the New Search

  1. Marc says:

    People now distrust organic search more since Bing has grown and challenged Google. However brand site destinations must be more than a rehash of commmercials and puffery but rather create real relevance and benifit however the consumer came to them. The brand site is the last chance to confirm and process the intent through sale. Just use the example of retail versus manufacturer…the same product presented in two distinctly different manners with relevance based on either merit or price.

    • Scott Cone says:

      Marc,
      Couldn’t agree more. What brand sites would you say are doing a good job right now of delivering value through information/education/entertainment versus just being an electronic brochure for their latest ad campaign? I see big brands, one we know in particular, that use social media channels as if they’re just another avenue for their ad campaign message. Wrong! There’s very little value in this exchange and to me, the issue of value is critical for brands to understand if they’re going to succeed with content in a socially connected world. In essence, brands need to get that there are now three kinds of media: earned (traditional PR or social media), paid (traditional advertising) and owned (content, community, connections like iPhone apps, experiences, etc.). It’s the owned channel that presents the greatest opportunity as well as challenge for traditional, advertising-oriented marketers. If you’re going to win in the owned media space, you have to think more like a publisher and less like an advertiser.

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