If you are tracking your web statistics (as you should be), one of the things you should look at is how are people getting to your site.  You may find that they now starting to find your website more through social media networks.  In case you have not heard, Twitter and Facebook are now huge players in regards to search marketing and with good reason– there are millions of potential customers among the Twitter and Facebook masses.  More impressive is a recent social media marketing study that demonstrated that people who are exposed to a brand are more likely to take action if they are exposed to both social media and paid search results.

A Dynamic Duo

Paid search listings and social media marketing (SMM) seem to work very well together. Industry surveys conclude that customers exposed to a brand through social media and paid search listings claim much higher conversion and click-through rates than customers merely exposed to paid search listings alone. A research study conducted by ComScore, GroupM Search and M80 noted that CTR statistics jumped by 50% when customers saw social media and paid search results side by side, and that similar customers were almost three times as likely to search for a brand’s products or services compared to customers who only saw paid search results. The statistics do not lie: click through rates and conversions shoots sky-high and customers abound when social media marketing is also present in the search engine ranking positions (SERPs).

Blurred Roles and Broken Walls

In traditional marketing, the seller and the buyer occupy two distinct roles: one sits and silently listens to the proclamations and pitches of the other.  Essentially, it is a one-way communication street, but social media marketing (SMM) has torn down this barrier in a big way. Sellers and buyers now socialize side by side, happily “tweeting” and “facebooking” each other about the latest business fads and marketing trends.

New Search Arenas

Whereas traditional search engines used to control nearly all Internet searches, social media sites now command a large number of user searches. Social media sites offer specific search benefits than generic search engines simply cannot offer. Twitter, with a fan base of 160 million, receives more search requests than Yahoo or Bing, and Facebook, with over 500 million members, has a nearly unlimited customer base. These sites thrive on human interaction, not sales pitches.

Why the Change?

The power of social media marketing lies at the fingertips of search engine marketers. But, without proper implementation, its powerful influence is elusive, and is likely to rebound and shock the seller rather than boost the ROI. There are two essential rules that a social media marketer must follow so as to succeed in search engine marketing.

The first key rule is integration. Social media marketing puts the buyer on the seller’s level. Overzealous sales pitches and pushy businesspeople do not bombard the buyers.  The buyers choose what and when to interact with a brand. Social media marketing has added interaction to business; the customer feels like he or she has control over the message.

In SMM, content is also king. Human readers could care less about keyword densities and title tags. If content does not specifically address the reader’s requirements, it is worthless. Social media marketing must be tailored towards a unique customer profile. SERPs are no longer decided by who can decipher Google’s algorithm most accurately, but by who can analyze both computer and human behavior. Engaging with other people is essential to success.

The iron curtain is gone. The arrival of social media marketing has changed search engine marketing. It is about engaging with others and interaction – it is about getting involved with the online community.

Do you agree or disagree?  Perhaps, I missed something?  Either way, I would just love to hear what your thoughts are on this topic… just let me know your alive!

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