Did you know that social media consumes nearly one-fifth of the time users spend on the web? Well, most major brands and marketers do! If you think about it, social media has become the perpetual internet refrigerator. We check social sites constantly to see if anything else has changed or, in other words, to see if anyone recently posted new information relevant to our interests.
This continued reliance on social media has led to the expansion of advanced social capabilities -- specifically search. In serving both personal and professional functionalities, search features allow users to inquire, discover, learn, and connect. Today, effective marketers recognize the boundless opportunity to inject ideas and content into social media channels.
However, in a revolutionary combination, search within social uniquely blends the way people think, interact, and communicate. Users flock to few social media sites for much of their daily information uptake. For instance, Facebook operates as a hub for sharing YouTube videos, tweets, news articles, photos, personal opinions, and even music.
By providing interactive search capabilities, social sites discourage users from exploring beyond network boundaries by offering a wealth of onsite data. The objective is clear: incentivize audiences to naturally repeat engagement and become the center of the web.
Let's examine the major social giants and their respective search capacities. We'll stick to three components: engine functionality, user engagement, and content optimization for brands.
Engine functionality Though currently in beta testing, Facebook Graph Search will allow Facebookers to pinpoint specific content connected to highly targeted people, places, and businesses. And it will do this for more than 1 billion users. So say, for instance, you wanted to see results for the search query "biking." Graph Search will automatically provide you with an array of drop down selections related to biking: the Facebook page for biking, the interest, the people who like biking, your friends who like biking, photos of biking, and web searches of biking and biking gear.
User engagementUsers will be able to search in layers, opening the door further to semantic search. Semantic search technology interacts with the user by providing relevant suggestions to better understand what the user is searching for. This isn't a new concept and will only improve over time. Because of these multifaceted functionalities, people will inevitably change the way they interact with Facebook, using it for many purposes.
Content optimization With Graph Search, brands -- especially local -- have an incredible opportunity to get in front of new and interested customers. Before metrics such as likes, comments, and shares convert to sales, businesses will need to optimize their pages by updating their timelines. Highlighting company milestones and telling a story will deepen impact. Established authenticity is critical to online reputation.
Furthermore, filling out all information categories, including location and contact details, while incorporating appropriate links, will maximize business search visibility. For example, if you sell hotdogs in Dallas, let Facebook know that you sell hotdogs in Dallas!
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1 The 5 types of terrible networkers
2 The top 4 consumer trends you need to know
3 The most meaningless (and hilarious) job titles on LinkedIn
4 The best social media campaigns of 2013
5 5 brands that were forced to apologize