The integration of search engines and social media is expected to grow and become central to how people pick and choose where to take their business. How do you stack up?
In December 2011, Econsultancy’s third Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing revealed that 25 percent of company marketers regarded social signals as being ‘very important’ but when asked how important they would be in three years, this figure increased to 57 percent, Social Media Today reports.
Social search engines sites like Wajam— a site dedicated to filtering searches based on what those around you are doing, searching and recommending— along with others, are beginning to team up with new partners.
Wajam is partnering with Shopping.com to add comparison shopping to its social search results, according to TechCrunch. Besides doing what Google and Microsoft’s Bing does by showing relevant social media posts from “friends”, it also will show alternative shopping destinations and their prices right next to friends’ opinions about a product.
Bing has also begun a new partnership with Foursquare last week, according to PC magazine. Users will be able to get tips and recommendations from other Foursquare users about “any person, place or thing” in addition to photos and reviews.
At a time when “a quick search for “Starbucks” pulls up location-specific tips about the best deals on refills or which cafe location has the closest free Wi-Fi”, how can a company test the impact of its social media posts on search engines?
Social Media Today suggests:
- The use of different generic keyword terms, branded terms (company name and products), and linking to different pages, for example, the home page and ones deeper in the folder structure when linking to your website in a post.
- Monitor the number of Likes, comments and shares on Facebook. Also monitor Retweets, replies and favourites on Twitter, and +1s, comments and reshares on Google+.
- When linking to your website, by using a tracking code in the URL you can examine the following in Google Analytics: Clicks through to the site or visitors, bounce rate and path to a conversion or to other pages.
- For any keywords used in a post, observe the website’s rankings in the global and local search engine results pages as well as the ranking of the social profile itself before the start of any activity to obtain a benchmark, immediately prior the post, in half hour or hourly intervals after posting the days following.
Finally, SMT would suggest undertaking separate tests on Google+, Twitter and Facebook, whereby the content and links used are unique, to understand the benefit that each platform brings for you.