Using social media research to help drive your search strategy
As any good marketer knows, the more data you can collect, the more informed decisions you can make. That’s why I find it so difficult that even today, many search marketers still rely on only the data they can collect from search engines or that search engines provide to them. With Facebook on its way to a billion users by the end of 2012 and the increasingly rapid adoption and creation of new social media channels, marketers have to start, if they haven’t already, using social media as a vital and viable research channel, especially for search marketing.
To this end, we actively recommend marketers close the gap between search and social channels and start using both in an integrated fashion both from a research as well as an execution standpoint. This article will focus on the research aspect, but in future posts, we’ll focus more on the lift and efficiencies to be gained by integrating search and social together.
So how should I think about search and social from a research standpoint? Below are 3 quick ways for you to get started:
- Keyword research: When beginning or optimizing any search campaign, marketers must understand what the keyword landscape looks like. In the past, tools such as the Google keyword tool, Wordtracker, SearchMetrics or Wordstream have been used and were enough. But now, there are so many more realtime tools you can use to update your campaigns such as Twitter Search, Radian6, TrendsMap (for specific geo-targeted campaigns) or even Pinterest search to see what visuals are resonating with your customers, which may give you additional keyword ideas. These tools, along with your traditional research tools will supercharge your campaigns and give you the realtime insights todays search marketer needs.
- Optimization: As you start rolling out your search campaign, keep an eye on those same social research tools to watch for key brand messages and if or how they are resonating with your audience. If you are including #hastags or social icons, keep an eye on your social analytics and see if you start seeing referrals from your search landing pages ending up in your social campaigns. Make sure to note when you make search campaign changes and how they influence your social engagement overall.
- Measurement and Reporting: And last, but certainly not least, keep an eye on peaks and valleys in both your search as well as social reporting. If you see specific spikes in the social space, see if it correlates in search and vice versa. These channels grow more intertwined on a daily basis, so the only way to maximize the two is through an integrated effort.
I hope this has been informative, however I know there are certainly other ways to integrate both of these channels from a research perspective. What ways do you integrate the two? Let us know in the comments below.
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