Maybe you’ve already heard the term “Social Search”, “Social Search Engine Optimization” or even “Social Search Optimization” (SSO).
These terms are starting to appear in various places around the web. So, what exactly is Social Search Engine Optimization and how is it different from “Social Media Management“ and “Search Engine Optimization“?
SSO is the idea behind what makes social media so powerful and where Social Media is going and why.
Social Media Management
By now every company, business, and/or organization should have a Social Media Management Strategy in place. Simply put a social media management strategy is how a website, business, or professional individual interacts with the social media networks on the web.
This includes the following activities:
- Facebook Posts
- Twitter Posts
- LinkedIn Comments
- Google+ Comments
- And much more! (but that gets you started)
The idea is to engage with other people – clients, business associates/partners, etc. about your likes, dislikes, comments, views, etc. A business uses these mediums as a strategy to promote products, events, etc.
But what good are all these posts, comments, tweets, etc. if there is no one to see them or respond to them? That’s where SSO comes into play.
Social Search Optimization
When you tweet something and no one reads it, retweets it, or notices it, then it was pretty worthless, right? Well some might say “no” because links are created, a history of tweets are kept, etc. but for a social strategy to work properly other people need to forward on your message along.
Social search strategies are designed to reach those people outside of your immediate network – friends of friends, other social circles (Good Google Garb there!). As the social networks evolve posts, tweets, comments, likes, etc. are indexed and searchable. Those results are then organized and your search results are results based upon the influence of those in your social circles.
For example: How many times have you seen the Facebook ads that say something like: “Mike Paxton likes the Constitution”? – I see this one all the time (thanks Mike). That’s because Facebook knows that Mike and I have a lot of similar interests; we both work at Q2 Interactive Media, we’ve worked at the same companies in the past , we’ve attended the same schools, we’re connected to a lot of the same people because of those affiliations too. Plus, we like a lot of the same Facebook business pages and groups; so Facebook is using that information to market to me.
How to apply SSO
All of the information about you, your company, products, services, and anything else related to your business or brand MUST be:
- Keyword optimized
Great Facebook pages (soon to be Facebook Timelines for Brands) have all of these elements. People like the pages and they know that when they like that page their connections are going to see those likes.
What’s coming next?
You notice the search fields at the top of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, etc., right? Well, the social networking sites are beginning to filter those results based on the likes and preferences of your friends. Bing is already integrated with Facebook and if you let it, Bing will change your search results on the Bing site to represent the interests of your friends on Facebook. Google is doing the same thing with Google Social Search or Google Search Plus Your World (GSPYW).
- Organize your branding, products, services, etc.
- Get your website ready to convert traffic, answer questions, and engage visitors.
- Get a social media management plan in place!
And a little bit of free advice
Social media management is best handled by the people in the business! You know who you work with, who your professional contacts are, who your clients are, etc. You know which causes you support, which events you want to attend, what music you like, where you went to school, etc. These are all important networking pieces that will begin impacting your search results and the results of others.
Separate professional and personal social accounts are a good idea. Your professional connections aren’t always personal connections and vice versa!
So if you still don’t think Social Media Management is important, that social media is just a fad, or there’s no real reason to network online…I just don’t know what else to say!
If you need help organizing a social media management strategy or a social search strategy, contact the Web Presence Optimization Team at Q2 Interactive Media