Organic search and social...a match made in heaven.
How much does search really affect social influence? How important are peer-to-peer recommendations? I think word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing! How can you not? One of the most difficult challenges marketers face is how social advertising turns into search and conversions.
Have you ever thought about why your friends are your friends? It is because you have similar interests and common values. You trust your friends and value their opinions. So if your friend suggests you try this awesome restaurant, chances are you’ll go check it out. So as marketers, how do we take advantage of peer recommendations in terms of search?
Every day, our digital environment becomes more and more important for consumers, and most importantly, marketers. The millennial generation has increasingly become more digital and less personal in terms of peer-to-peer interactions. More texting, less talking on the phone, more emailing and Facebook chatting, and less mailing letters, more Skyping, less meeting up. Instead of telling your friend in person about a cool new product you just bought, you post a picture on Instagram with Hashtag “#lovemynew…” Your Instagram is linked with your Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and any other social networking site you use. Therefore, now all 1,432 of your friends see the picture you just posted. Even those friends you haven’t spoken to in over five years, the ones you went to sleep-away camp with and thought you’d be best friends forever. Whether you’ve known someone for 2 weeks or 10 years, they still trust your opinion of a product over some VP of Marketing at a huge conglomerate company who gets paid six figures to target you with ads.
According to SEOMoz, Google’s algorithm is now adjusted so that social media directly influences search rankings. For example, if you follow me on Twitter and then search for digital marketing, Mashable will rank higher than it would if you didn’t follow me because I share articles from Mashable and according to the new Google algorithm, since we are connected, my opinion as a social connection is more influential to your search than other SEO optimizations. So why does this matter for marketing? Well, it means everything! Now word of mouth is spread through digital means and causing search engine adjustments. The #1 ranking for a keyword on Google is different for me than it is for you because we follow different people on social networking sites. For marketers, this means there is a huge incentive for building your network as big as can be because size does matter (no matter what anyone else says). By building your followers, you are retargeting and optimizing your prospective customers through their social network.
So now you know. Facebook and Twitter actually do have an influence on your search rankings. So those Facebook likes, Twitter RTs, and Pinterest pins really do matter. That’s your way of recommending a product or service to your friends.