Today a trusted media partner sent me a note about a Google search he had done on Starbucks during his business trip to Seattle. The subject line of the email: “Starbucks” search results & you! wow… Curious, I opened the email to find a screen shot of what his search result delivered. Interestingly enough – there is a new feature in Google’s search results that I had not seen before. That feature (in Beta, of course) delivers results for your search from people in your social circle. I know for a fact that this partner reads my blog from time to time and has it delivered as an RSS Feed to his iGoogle account. Google recognizes that, and delivers a search result based on that connection. Nice job Google – closing the loop on keyword search and your personal social graph. I’m impressed.
According to Nielsen: Search Engines and Portals still dominate, but we’re seeing the Social Web quickly move past sites that act as publishers for dedicated information (ie CNET, as seen in the chart below). From my vantage point, this trend only continues…with the Social Web also eating into Search and Portal share of audience.
comScore, in collaboration with GroupM Search, released a study this week that discusses the important connection between Search and Social Media. Hard to see in the diagram above, the study shows a signficant lift in consumer tendency to search for brand and product related terms when both relevant and influenced Social Media are incorporated in the paid search effort. In my opinion, the value of the connection to Social Media goes beyond just search however, extending to every paid action a company has on their media plan. Below are some key soundbites from the report that are spot on in their assessment of the connection.
“There is a valuable audience for advertisers to focus on who are engaged with brands through social media and search. The study further validates our view that media discovery — specifically a brand’s owned and earned media — is as important to success as the paid media we handle every day. Generating upper-funnel awareness and influencing consideration through social media can produce better down-the-funnel performance with paid media, such as paid search.” (Credit: comScore)
“Social media-exposed consumers are far more likely to search for brand and product-related terms, and click on a brand’s paid search ad,” said Graham Mudd, vice president of comScore, Inc. “This finding provides strong evidence that investing in social media marketing can both increase initial brand consideration and drive higher conversion rates once the consumer has decided to purchase.” (Credit: comScore)
Search, Social Media
Advertising Age ran an interesting article yesterday about the evolution of search and the notion that social media has affected exactly HOW people search.
“If 1.0 was about making sure the information within individual pages of your site could be found, and 2.0 was about making sure your site was optimized within a network of related sites, then 3.0 is going to be about finding ways to reach individuals by using their social graphs.”
Very interesting anthropology of how people’s quest for answers has shifted as their personal network has expanded. As someone that is more active on the Web than most, I find that I leverage my network pretty heavily when searching for information…sure, I go to GOOG for the easy things, but when I want a ‘human’ recommendation/perspective – out goes a tweet or a question posed on my facebook status – in effect, leveraging my social graph. The article goes a bit further by explaining how marketers must understand the breakdown of networks that have morphed throughout the social eco-system.
- Direct Connectors: connections based on real world relationships
- Interest Generators: strangers sharing interests or perspectives – think ‘followers’ on Twitter
- Experience Sharers: reviewers of a product or service – an enticing target due to their place in the purchase funnel
Very Gladwell-esque….which type of ‘Connector‘ are you?
Search, Social Media