How search can boost your social media campaigns

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The ways that consumers initiate their digital experiences and engage with brands are evolving. For the last 10 years, search engines reigned supreme as the way users navigated their online travels. But social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are encroaching on the search engines' dominance as an entryway to the internet and brands.

As technology advances and consumers continue to evolve digitally, their online behavior changes -- it's up to marketers to follow suit if they want to reach and engage with their desired consumer base. Marketers must look at ways to integrate and optimize their digital marketing and media mix to reach and engage with consumers while supporting their business goals. This article will explore ways in which the social and search channels can work together to optimize both conversion performance and consumer engagement with your brand.

Social media and SEO: Finding common ground
Social media and search engine optimization (SEO) have competing goals. One aims to pull users to a designated website, while the other enables and encourages conversations and interactions on third-party properties. To unite these two goals, marketers need to find the common ground between the two, which is the content created and shared between marketers and consumers.

Using social media marketing and search engine optimization together enables marketers to capitalize on instances in which social interactions become search queries. In this era of real-time search results, the ability to capture this intersection point is of growing importance. Consider the use of Twitter. Users who follow more than a handful of people (and brands) will likely have difficulty recalling a message or sponsored tweet. In search of information, consumers typically turn to search engines. If you don't have a search engine marketing plan in place to capture the users exposed to your social media efforts, you're missing valuable opportunities.

The beauty of social media is that it inherently creates sound bites and memorable slogans; for example, if you're running a promotion via a social platform, you want to anticipate the keywords consumers are going to use in their queries and build the appropriate website content needed to stay relevant for those search terms.

SEO and SEM: Enhancing synergies
The connections between SEO and paid search are solid. Beyond their proximity in search engine results pages, the two work together to build relevancy for consumer queries. For example, if a consumer is searching for "Brand X Widget Y" and they see both paid and unpaid results, they are reassured that those links relate to their query and will lead them to the most relevant page.

When the two strategies work together, they also provide marketers the opportunity to direct users in a highly targeted manner. Depending on the product or service query, it might make more sense to lead consumers through a higher funnel process page (such as a homepage). In other instances, it might make more sense to send users to a page that enables a deeper product or service experience. Using both paid and organic search strategies together enables marketers to cover all the bases by supporting various approaches in information seeking and/or purchase decisions differently while serving as way to build their SEO reputation in the process.

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