Search: Tapping Social To Move Up The Marketing Funnel

WeintraubUnderstanding how social marketing drives consumers to the top of the search funnel should appear as No. 1 on the Marketing New Year's Resolution List for 2012. Paid social can drive brand search to the top of the funnel, improving brand conversion percentages. It may seem counterintuitive, said aimClear Founder Marty Weintraub, but at the Search Insider Summit earlier this month he described how to drive people to the top of the search funnel through social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. The results mean better brand conversions.

The social graph identifies people who make commitments, and identifies religious followings and those passionate about specific things. Weintraub, author of "Killer Facebook Ads," suggests tapping that information and studying each channel's internal search signals to understand the nuances. Analyze the conversation, and the conversations taking place along themes in social media. This, he said, becomes the inventory -- the audience segment. When marketers can't determine the themes within each community, he points them to the search footprint -- the URL -- to identify how to find it. Look for conversations and theme conversions. Find the "other" targeting signal outside things like "job," "Likes," and "interest."

Some Facebook members with outdated interests admit to being served relevant ads. Weintraub believes Facebook considers "other" factors outside the job, Likes and interests. He suggests creating shadow interests to test targeting. "That 'other things' [category] scares me," he said. "Out of hundreds of millions of impressions, I can click through three-tenths of one percent without hardly trying to make the ad and say something clever that speaks to my demographic. Somehow it still works because I think Facebook targets things they don't tell us about."

Weintraub said search marketers who are jumping into social marketing should focus on generating high impressions and low click-through rates among the 800 million active users, of which 350 million access the network through their mobile device. For every 10 million impressions you might only send through 1,500 visitors, but they are the ones who care about products. These are the social site members who will convert.

For those who want to view the entire presentation, click through to "Mining Jewels Hidden Deep In Social Media and Search History."

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