Social value embedded in Search

Is it clear for you that social search is for real?

As Google and Facebook face off against each other, Microsoft and Facebook are getting all the more “friendly.”  As a result, Social Search is becoming evermore present and is giving Microsoft’s Bing renewed life (not just like).  Bing has made some further adjustments (as described by Mashable’s Ben Parr) that integrate Facebook interaction into the search results.  Thus, a brand’s ability to create favorable interaction via Facebook is taking on greater importance.  Google, meanwhile, is bringing social into its search in a big way via the +1 button (along with realtime results).

What does this mean for brand marketers — and specifically for digital marketing? You will have to learn to be more “social” to feature on the BING and Google results.  What does that entail concretely?  Creating more content that really turns people on.

Turning People On: Listen, Understand & Engage

Not that there is an on button for people, but brands need to find a voice that resonates, that surprises and that entices.  This means understanding better your client, which clearly means listening more to your client base.

So, first you have to find your audience.  Once you have listened and have a good idea of what resonates with them, then you need to “produce”.  There are four levers that I believe help to drive greater interaction.  And, for two of these drivers, it strikes me as evermore essential to find a more personal tone and touch to the content.

4 Levers to Drive Interaction

  1. emotion: music, humor, passion, personal expression and surprises (the unexpected) — but, be careful not to be off key or too far removed from your core
  2. one-on-one: you are listening to me and you reply to me with a personal note
  3. useful information (educational, clear and relevant)
  4. entertainment: videos, quizzes, giveaways & games

Getting the search equation right is an evolving and long-term process, including a rich blend of SEO, SEM, social and content creation.  The weighting given to each must be carefully measured and regularly adjusted by digital marketers — with all these evolutions, to my mind, it has never been more exciting to be in marketing.

On a final note, the rapprochement between Microsoft and Facebook continues to give hope to my prediction that MSFT might buy out Facebook.   The first part of the triangle (Microsoft with Nokia) has come to bear. Now for the final link!

Please do not hesitate to lend your voice to this post!