It’s so simple, it’s just a button. One, simple, click of the mouse and the job is done. It’s easy, almost …too easy.
There was a time when connecting via social media was simply a social connection. It would brighten our day to gain a new friend request, a new follower, etc. We would almost accept the request without a second thought.
It had no real impact, beyond boosting the ol’ social media ego with the increased number of perceived “friends” we collected. Who didn’t love that? It was innocent. Times have changed to say the least. Social is now affecting everything we do online, in a very significant way.
The people have the power.
Every action one takes on a social platform, has the potential to be “liked,” commented on, shared, “re-tweeted,” etc. These functions serve several social purposes, and aid in tracking data for search purposes. Social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, know they have a strong potential to affect search in a huge way.
It’s through these functions that they are able to gain knowledge about users. Social media has become an infinite vault of marketing information. People are discussing, liking, sharing, linking, re-tweeting and blogging about their preferences on a daily basis. This constant stream of marketing information is being shared at an incredible pace, so much that search engines can’t help but to notice and start joining in the fun.
Search engines are turning up re-tweeted results from people you follow in place of general organic search results, known to search geeks as “blended results”. ”Liked” Facebook statuses from your friends may also turn up in the new blended results section. This is not some wild coincidence. According to Search Engine Watch, “Both Google and Bing have declared that, for some searches, social context will boost the rankings of results higher on the SERP than regular results.
These announcements are just further confirmation of the convergence of social and search, and signal the growing importance of social media marketing for businesses.” The thought behind this is that you trust your friends’ opinion more than you trust Google’s or Bing’s. It makes sense, but only if you’re actually friends with the people you’re “friends” with, and follow people you genuinely respect and want to hear from. Make sense?
The days of the sarcastic “like” on Facebook are dead because its algorithm is now accounting for who we interact with the most. Actions have consequences. We should no longer “like” an ex-girlfriends “single” status because Facebook will include her in future newsfeeds on a regular basis. Yes, we’re being held accountable – even in the social media world.
Mashable informed us that, “Facebook has released an update that fundamentally changes the button’s functionality to that of a Share button. Now after hitting the Like button, a full story with a headline, blurb and thumbnail will be posted to your profile wall…Previously, only a link to the story would appear in the recent activity, often going unnoticed by users.” In short, we invest ourselves when we “like” something. Marketing and SEO companies who understand this fine tuning, can help clients use it to an advantage.
Social and search are blending in an awesome way. Ecommerce is beginning to leverage the billions upon billions of marketing cues our social networks are sending out into cyberspace on a minute to minute basis.
We have to make sure we are sending the proper cues and utilizing content and online actions effectively. With more and more people utilizing Facebook for searching functions, it only makes sense that we can look for Google to be incorporating social media strategies at a more fundamental level in the months to come.