A few days ago, you could practically hear marketers and SEO geniuses alike salivating at the new possibilities of social searches. Google recently included relevant Twitter updates in search results, and last week Facebook and Bing partnered up in an agreement which allows the search engine to produce results based on “Likes” made on Facebook by the searcher’s friends. Joe Devine pondered the implications this could have on SEO professionals over at Mashable.com on Monday. Some have blogged about social searches being a coup for analysts, while still others have wondered if social search has crossed a line into creepy consumerism spying.
For marketers, though, social searches finally may provide a glimpse into the effectiveness of our social media marketing strategies that previously relied on one-part guesswork and one-part blind faith.
While working on a social media campaign for a local small business, I was thrilled to find its name in tweets and on Facebook while doing a routine search engine trolling. My elation wasn’t solely based on our campaign being successful, but the ease of having all the social media mentions in one place. This is a necessary time saver for marketers and freelance PR wizards who keep a delicate balance between working and watching YouTube videos for, um, research. These social search results also can reassure a client who still hasn’t surrendered to social media marketing: Proof of effectiveness is now in black and white.
Additionally, social searches can give us a look at what brands are hitting social media marketing campaigns out of the park. If there are 100 tweets about a new Pepsi campaign on Google’s first three pages, for example, it’s safe to say the effort has been a success. If, however, a social media campaign has generated no search engine buzz, we’ll be able to tell right away where the glitches are. Mainly, social search legitimizes the importance of social media and the brand-generated conversations that take place on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Our customer’s voices soon will wind up on coveted Goggle searches – and that, in and of itself, is invaluable marketing gold.