This week’s Marketing Week has a great piece by Nicola Smith demonstrating how social media comment has a direct impact on search results. She quotes research by iProspect which shows that most brands aren’t thinking about the link between search and reputation.
The article lists a number of topic areas to help brands to leverage the social space to optimise search: make content king, make content social and shareable, leverage news and rich media and where possible enable and activate a community around your brand. In other words, create content which consumers genuinely want to engage with.
No huge surprises there. Even less surprising is my opinion, which is that proper PR (not SEO content blah-PR) is the discipline which strategically drives these areas.
Smith’s final tip is interesting though: focus on Google+. Why? Because as Gareth Jones, head of online marketing at Carphone Warehouse explains: “It is not because we expect to get 250,000 [Facebook] fans but because we know that Google, through its natural listings, disproportionately rewards social signals if they come from Google+. Out thinking is that if we have lots of fresh content going into Google+, that content will be beneficial for us in terms of search listings”.
Yet as Smith’s article explains, “a comScore study in February found that users spent on average just three minutes on Google+during January”.
What a delicious irony that for all our efforts to create content which is genuinely useful to people, what Google really wants is to force us all to use a platform which for the moment, nobody uses. Who said the web was democratic.
Posted by Richard on May 22nd, 2012