‘Social media and the socialization of the internet will at some point be just as important as the invention of the internet itself.’
On Thursday the 10th of February industry experts and an interested audience got together in Microsoft’s Victoria offices to talk about the future of social and search as part of Social Media Week London.
The panel of industry experts consisted of Orla Malone, sales associate UK & Ireland for Facebook, Jim Brigden CEO ISpy, Amy Clarke, e-commerce manager at Radisson Edwardian Hotels, Dave Coplin, Director of Search at Microsoft Bing and Colm Bracken, Group Search Director from Microsoft Bing.
Here are of some powerful examples where social & search supported one another, tips and a vision on the future.
Paid, Owned and Earned Media
Paid media is advertising as we know it, owned media the channel created by you from your website to your Facebook fan page, or your Windows Live, YouTube or Twitter accounts and earned media the buzz created by people talking about your brand, sharing your content and the free and trusted word-of-mouth publicity they give you.
All participants seemed to agree on the value of earned publicity. So how do you go about earning media and what roles do owned and paid advertising play?
Search & Social Examples – Old Spice
Colm Bracken (Microsoft, Bing) gave the example of the now famous Old Spice campaign:
“The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” spot from Wieden + Kennedy Portland was launched in February during the Super Bowl. It featured Isaiah Mustafa, a former NFL athlete, in excellent, compelling creative and became an almost immediate hit online. The campaign got its start from traditional TV commercials, supplemented by cinema ads (paid). Then the campaign migrated to an interactive mix of brand microsites with Facebook and Twitter pages (owned), and continued its momentum through consumer interaction and word-of-mouth on social sites and beyond (earned). Finally, the campaign gets continued lift from additional online advertising -- both banner and video ads -- which fuelled traffic back to the brand's site and social-media pages.
Search & Social Examples – Radisson Edwardian Hotels
Amy Clarke (Radisson Edwardian Hotels) spoke about how her business connected with their customers. A high end brand with hotels in key London locations they first set their search PPC goal of receiving more high revenue bookings. A restructure of their adCenter Bing account, the use of deeper landing URLs and the introduction of dynamic text resulted in more clicks and the cost per acquisition dropped by 34%.
On the social side they developed a good looking Facebook page, Twitter account and a blog, advertised on their site. Taking care that these pages looked just as good as the homepage as, for many customers, this would be the entry point to the brand.
They organized a staff day (to which doorman to chef de cuisine were invited) to explain the importance of social and search which resulted in staff ‘behind the scenes’ contributions to the company blog. The hotel also pulled in unedited Tripadvisor reviews.
Although Amy admits she finds it hard to report internally on the success of the social activities, the stats on earned media speak for themselves. Their strategy & execution has, in her opinion, succeeded in entwining social & search, reflecting their high end brand and surprising and delighting their customers with something new.
Social & Search Tips from the panel:
- People prefer to click on images opposed to brand logos.
- Narrow down your targeting. Target on age, location, anything available.
- Use the day of week and time of day targeting options.
- Correlate your search and social messages. There are huge benefits to be had.
- Know your search and social analytics.
- Social search is much more than a repository of content that can be mined for information. It delivers very important signals across the Web.
- As more brands start to use social network pages as replacements for microsites, getting consumers to these pages is more important than ever. Nothing as instant and scalable as PPC.
- Social network pages tend to perform strongly in natural search results. If well executed, you can control what’s being said about your brand (example: Amy Winehouse may hit the headlines for the wrong reasons but by having a blog, Facebook pages and videos online, she does, to an extent control what people will find when they search for her).
- While fan pages can add value to your existing efforts, it takes more than a Facebook page and a Twitter account to start a powerful conversation.
- Paid media may be needed to receive earned media. 75% of Facebook users polled in September 2010 said that an ad is what spurred them to like a brand (Source: DDB Worldwide and Opinionway Research, “Facebook and Brands,” Oct. 11, 2010)
- Download the ‘Search & Social media’ report.
Dave Coplin, Director of Search, Microsoft, Bing
The Future of Social and Search
What about the future of social and search? Orla Malone (Facebook) believes all businesses will be ‘social’ in five years.
David Coplin (Microsoft, Bing) says ‘At the moment only one in four search queries are successful. Search is not about some blue links to information anymore and has to go beyond intent. A search engine based on an algorithm only gets you so far. Better work needs to be done on search results so that they reflect what humans want to find. Human decisions need human intend. Social media and the socialization of the internet will, at some point, be just as important as the invention of the internet itself.'