For the last several years, US companies in particular have been utilizing social media to market their particular product or service. With the 1.4 billion users on Facebook alone, this trend was predicted to lead to success. Other countries such as Asia have noticed the fairly recent trend of social media marketing and are thinking of moving their digital marketing focus from search to social.
There are many companies that have been shifting their digital marketing tactics from search to social but are now realizing the continued importance of search. Although companies are having successful social media marketing campaigns, they are now realizing they aren’t quite achieving the performance they had hoped for.
A recent report shows that last year, less than 1% of online transactions among US consumers could be traced back to a social media campaign (Forrester Research). These are not the number that companies want to see after moving to primarily social media campaigns. When looking at Monetate’s study on search, it states that last year online searches were the greatest contributor to e-commerce visits, which often led to sales. 31.43% of sales happened via search, email marketing held 2.82%, and sales from social media came in at only 1.55% for all e-commerce traffic.
Last year, only 6% of participating companies said that their social media campaign had a major impact on their search and sales.
Here are a few tips when evaluating if social media is as important as search for your company:
1. Understand your audience behavior in both search and social media: social media is not replacing search engines so you cannot replace search with social. It is important to understand how your audience is using both sources. Reviewing data to find out when they are using each will be best when analyzing your strategy.
2. Setting search and social media goals: when you’ve got a good understand of your audience’s use of both search and social, it is time to set some goals. Set of specific goals in what you’d like to see happen with your social media campaigns and search products.
3. Understand how social helps SEO: especially when talking about Google, social media can really help with a company’s search rankings. Make sure your company is participating is social sharing, reviews, authorship, etc.
4. Integrate search and social: it is important to understand the difference between search and social. If the two are looked at as two separate tactics, your business has a lot higher chance of a successful digital marketing campaign. Remember that social media is still very beneficial and important to include in a marketing plan but should not be looked at as a replacement for search.
Social media and search are different in regards to digital marketing strategies. When looking at your own company, make sure to analyze how your audience uses both and be present in all your customer’s channels.