Search & Social focuses on how search engines are weighting social media influences, share signals and user rating data to provide users with a more ‘personalized’ set of results. In addition to exploring the growing intersection of search and social networks, columnists provide insight on how to integrate search marketing and social activities for optimal results and more targeted traffic from these channels working together.

The Filter Bubble Within Social Media

During the 2010 U.K. general elections, I, like thousands of others, was glued to my various screens as I kept up to date with one of the closest contest in living memory. This included the first ever televised leadership debate in a British election, during which Twitter acted as a default running opinion poll. At the end of the election, I came out with the feeling that Twitter had generally been on my side, that is, supportive of either Liberal or Labour candidates and issues. And yet, when research was carried out, it turned out that Twitter had been like the election itself, just in fa [...]


Facebook Gestures: How Users Could Be Sharing Their Opinion

Facebook "Likes" have become a universal way to share or promote a piece of content on a blog or website (or Facebook itself). There are even T-shirts with the Like button printed on them. [caption id="attachment_96182" align="alignright" width="301" caption="Like t-shirts from http://www.likebuttonshirt.com/"][/caption] The Like button is now a recognizable symbol, and while it is used millions of times each day, the fact remains that the Like button cannot be used in every occasion. Users need more variation in order to both adequately express how they feel about content posted on Face [...]


The Benefits Of Facebook Timeline Changes For Businesses

Major press outlets and blogs (as well as social media sites like Facebook and Twitter) are all buzzing about the new updates that Facebook make recently to their site, and the Facebook Timeline design that is coming soon to all profiles. While some have said this may be bad for brands, the truth of the matter is that Facebook will continue to evolve and change. Deciding to rely on the positives of how the new Facebook changes could potentially lift business profiles, can help small business owners and employees learn to make the best of the situation and continue to grow their audience via [...]


Why Facebook’s Timeline Might Be Bad News For Brands

Last week's F8 conference was full of news about where Facebook is heading, and how it intends to get there. It highlighted, for anyone who wasn't already sure, that Mark Zuckerberg's ambition for his company is huge: he want to be the glue that binds the Web together, in the same way that Google was the index that made it usable. I'm writing this the day after the anouncements, and have just turned on Timeline, but whilst it's hard to make accurate predictions about what the end result of these changes will be, it does strike me that they may not be good news for brands trying to use th [...]


7 Tips For Boosting SEO Of Your Facebook Page

Brands and businesses are moving away from traditional websites, and placing more and more emphasis on their Facebook pages. This is great from a customer service and interaction standpoint, but certainly muddies the waters from an SEO perspective. It used to be that with the right mix of keyword-laden text, reciprocal links, and clever use of heading text, a crafty SEO expert could push a website up in the rankings. But now the focus is on your Facebook page, and you still need to get your brand or business in the top of the rankings. Here’s seven tips to help you do just that. 1.  Pus [...]


How To Ensure That Your Content Will Go Viral

It is every blogger or Internet marketer's dream that their content will go viral, meaning that it will be shared thousands of times, thus resulting in a massive stampede of traffic to the site, which may even cause servers to crash under the weight of its popularity. However, several things are put into effect in order to make virality happen. The content first must be well written, original, and be something that readers will want to share with others. While there is no set formula or guarantee that content (no matter how well it is written) will go viral, the following are some sugges [...]


Is Your Business Too Reliant On Social Media?

There is a fine line between integrating social media as part of an overall marketing strategy and relying completely on it to market a business. Just because social media is the so-called "next big thing", it doesn’t mean that it can be a business-savior. The following are some reasons why relying on social media along won’t guarantee marketing success. News Sharing Sharing company and product news and information solely via information will limit the people who may see it. In additional to sharing news, new products, and other developments, other marketing outlets that should b [...]


The (Social) Medium Is Not The Message

Last month, I talked about how marketers need to distinguish between interactions and true engagement*. As part of that, I referenced the fact that Facebook and Twitter had been written about in relation to events such as the death of Amy Winehouse, the massacre in Norway and the Egyptian revolution. But since writing that, social media has again been rolled out as a whipping boy, this time being blamed by some for the riots that broke out in London. This led to politicians, including the British Prime Minister, and some of his most loyal followers, suggesting that at times such as these so [...]


Blind Social Sharing & Its Effect On Personal Credibility

Social media may seem like ‘information overload’ for some, especially since there are now thousands of tweets sent per second and millions of people with a Facebook account. But how is this information created and sent? What is the ratio of actual unique information compared to the amount of re-tweets and Facebook posts about it? These types of questions lead to the question of how much content is actually consumed versus how much of it is being shared. Sharing content to share it is a legitimate strategy for some — just look at Guy Kawasaki. As a co-founder of news aggregation webs [...]


The Power Of Facebook-Only Content And Contests

Not only is it important to make sure your tabs are interactive, but you need to give users reasons to keep going back for more. Facebook-only content and contests help drive users back to your tabs time and time again. What’s even better, these techniques can also help drive new users to your Page. The second piece of this two part series gives you some advice on how to do just that. Creating Facebook-only Content Reward your fans for liking your Page by offering them something they can’t get anywhere else. Coupons and special discount codes are often the first ideas that come to mind, [...]


Utilizing Social Media To Celebrate Milestones As Marketing Opportunities

Social media was created with the idea in mind that people were going to use it to connect with friends, family, and even strangers from around the world. It has now grown into not only a personal networking opportunity, but also a marketing opportunity for businesses wishing to promote their products and services. When marketing on social media, whether it is Twitter, Facebook, or another site, it’s important to "go back to the source" and remember the reason why social media became so popular in the first place — to create personal connections. One of the best ways to do this is to he [...]


Why Interaction Is Not The Same As Engagement

If there's one thing that the social media sector has in spades, it's statistics. We've all seen the videos, most, it seems, with a Fatboy Slim soundtrack, that list the mind-bending figures about the continued growth of social platforms and devices. Facebook has over 750 million active monthly users Those users share over 4 billion pieces of content a day More than 24 hours of content are uploaded to YouTube every day Someone joins LinkedIn every second If Wikipedia were a book, it would be over 2 million pages long* It's not just numbers, many of those writing about social m [...]


Effects Of Choice Positioning On Social Purchasing Behavior

As I discussed in How Prototype Theory Influences a Social Strategy, they way that people influence others and their decisions is based on their associations with certain words and phrases. For example, the word tree will most likely bring up an image of an oak or maple tree in a person’s mind, versus a less common tree, such as a birch or weeping willow. The way that people associate words and phrases and let them influence his or her decisions is something that is related to both prototype theory and the types of information sharing discussed in Colleen Roller’s well-written article, [...]


When A Welcome Tab Isn’t Enough: Use Custom Facebook Tabs To Give Fans More

When it comes to custom landing tabs, all the big brands have them, all little businesses want them, but just how effective are they in engaging your Facebook Page’s following? Since landing tabs primarily target those who don’t already "Like" your Page, what’s in it for your fans, and are your fans even aware of the stuff you’ve got tucked away in your sidebar? Creating a worthwhile Facebook tab is an art, and using it effectively, both before and after a visitor has Liked your Page, can be a challenge. In the first installment of this two-part series, you will receive some tips [...]


The Power Of Hashtags On Twitter

twitter-hashtags-featured Hashtags are the world’s chat room. Where else can you hop on the phone or computer and have an instant, passionate conversation about something that shares a hashtag? When it comes to primetime television, current events, or sports events like the Olympics or the Super Bowl, hashtags allow anyone with a Twitter account to take part in a universal conversation about a group topic. [caption id="attachment_84409" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Photo Courtesy of PRSarahEvans.com"][/caption] Besides TV shows, news, or sports stories, harnessing the power of hashtags can lead to se [...]


What Does Google+ Add To The Social Graph?

Is there anything else that this week's column could have been about? After months & months of rumours, leaks, presentations and high-profile talent grabs, Google finally launched its Facebook competitor™*. After the farce that was Wave, and the let-down that was Buzz, Google+ seems to be Google's big push to date to get into social.   However, outside the reams of press about how it looks a bit like Facebook, or acts a bit like Friendfeed, or isn't as good as Twitter, the one question that I haven't seen asked, is exactly why Google would bother to launch a social network? [...]


How Information Is Socially Shared

The mystery of how and where articles, information, graphics, and more are shared online has been something to plague both marketers and content creators alike. Catering your information towards your target audience and where they share it most is crucial to producing content that spreads like wildfire online. Linkbait tactics would be without effectiveness if it wasn’t for the social media networks that make it irresistible to share. Even though some linkbait-crafted content spreads fast without preference to a certain social network, it is a fairly common fact that different social [...]


Comparing Facebook Like vs. Google +1

Google’s new +1 feature was one of SMX Advanced Seattle most engaging sessions and, as a speaker, I have received a wide variety of feedback and questions. It seems this feature has fomented a great deal of speculation and inquiry. Here is a bit more food for thought. Like vs. Google +1: What Are The Main Differences? As Google product manager Daniel Dulitz mentioned, Google +1 is an annotation system which reinforces the interactions between organic and paid results, web pages, and your Google contacts. That being said, your Google contacts are not necessarily your friends… and, you [...]


15 Tips For A Successful Facebook Ads Program

If you’re a marketing or advertising professional, then lately you’ve  probably been running ads on Facebook or have heard the phrase ‘paid social’ or ‘Facebook ads’. That’s because according to eMarketer, social media is the fastest growing digital media channel. As impressive as that is, it doesn’t tell the whole story. First, let’s consider some statistics: "More than half of 25 to 34-year-old social network users say they can’t live without their social media sites" – eMarketer 2011 "9 out of 10 Internet users visited a social networking site each month in 201 [...]


5 Truly Creative Uses Of Social Media

The biggest news in the world of social media over the last few weeks has been the IPO of LinkedIn, the upcoming Groupon IPO, and the slew of floatations these two are likely to herald. And, of course, underpinning all of this has been the simple question of whether the valuations these companies are receiving mean that we are in a bubble. Whilst I'm in no way qualified to answer that (though I tend to agree with the analysis by multi-media consultancy Broadsight that all of this activity suggest that we definitely are in a bubble), what I can say is that nearly all of these companies rely [...]


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