You’ve heard me say this before, but it bears repeating again and again: the single greatest selling point for a social media campaign is that SM and SEO go hand in hand. Every single tweet, every Facebook page, every YouTube comment – every thing you say within social media channels is recognized by search engines. Therefore, the right SM campaign can allow you to “own” search rankings.
Today, I want to take this concept a step further and look not just at the result of social media on search returns, but also the impact social media has on search behavior.
A company called GroupM released a study that details the interplay between social media and search, specifically, brand term search volume and paid search click through rates as well as evidence showing how social media influences consumer intent and search behavior.
The study looked at correlations between social media exposure and search behavior and went on for a period of 3 months. It included a number of different searches, including consumer packaged goods, automotive and telecommunications. The people studied were also separated into three groups, consumers exposed only to a brand’s paid search, consumers exposed to social media relevant to a brand’s category, and consumers exposed to influenced social media specific to a brand.Here are some highlights.
- Consumers exposed to a brand’s influenced social media and paid search are 2.8x more likely to search for that brand’s products
- There was a 50% CTR increase in paid search when consumers were exposed to both influenced social media and paid search
- In organic search, consumers searching on brand product terms who have been exposed to a brand’s social marketing campaign are 2.4 times more likely to click on organic links leading to the advertiser’s site than the average user seeing a brand’s paid search ad alone
It’s clear that social media and search are interconnected. So, as you examine SM channels and campaigns, it’s important to consider the natural search paths that will lead customers to your brand and the natural paths that your own strategies will create for the next search. The right campaign will build content around that path from impulse to connection and back again, driving more content, communicating more messages and ultimately, allowing the brand to own returns on customer thinking.