Social media will change the search landscape in 2011. I'll delve into the forecast further in an article in the December issue of OMMA magazine. The topic also became the theme for the Search Insider Summit (SIS) taking place next month in Deer Valley, Park City, Utah. The conference presents a think-tank type environment for marketing professionals at brands, agencies and technology companies like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.
At SIS, expect to hear Tony Fagan, Google director of research, talk about emerging trends in multivariate tests; John Yi, strategic program manager at Facebook, discuss advertising and marketing strategies at the intersection of search and social; and David Zinman, VP and GM of display advertising at Yahoo, will tell us how search and display advertising work together. Also on the agenda, a keynote conversation led by Chris Copeland, GroupM Search CEO, where he discusses search marketing with marketers from Black Rock, Kimberly-Clark and SAP.
Google and Microsoft have begun to do more than integrate real-time information into search engine results. They have begun to dig into the social graph and pull out signals to assist advertisers target content and ads. Similarly, this year Facebook formed a tighter partnership with Microsoft making Bing the engine powering searches across the Web. It also opened an API with about seven partners that let marketers buy social ads similar to search across the site.
So with all this talk about social and search, I couldn't pass up calling attention to a report Forrester Research Analyst Shar VanBoskirk published Wednesday titled How To Integrate Search With Social Media. The report calls out ways to boost marketing performance for both, including:
1) Creating quality social content to drive inbound links
2) Using keyword searches to inform social media efforts
3) Mining social content to assist with keyword selection
4) Enabling ratings and reviews to differentiate from other social results
5) Using paid search to extent the distribution of social content
6) Employing social for search results crisis management.
In the report, VanBoskirk points out smart marketers will create site or blog content based on what target customers search on. This ensures content is relevant to current market need and loads it full of keywords, which boosts natural search visibility. Wells Fargo matches the content for its student finance blog to the long-tail keywords that students search for about loans. The report also makes recommendations on how to integrate the two.