Social proof is one area that we examine for each client, and yes, social proof makes it sound like ‘everyone else is doing it’, but that’s the point. Social proof includes ‘likes’ and ‘follows’ as well as any testimonial or positive feedback you receive from clients and customers, and it’s this type of evidence that helps others feel more at ease with purchasing and using your products or services when they have yet to meet you.
Over the past couple of months, the idea of social search has developed, which could prove to be very valuable in regards to a local Internet market campaign… or not. It all depends on the value and validity of the search criteria that’s examined. You see, social search is the marriage of FaceBook and Bing where FaceBook searches incorporate Bing search results, and vice versa. What does this mean for you? It means that your ‘likes’ connections on FaceBook influence your personal search results and ranking. Your FaceBook friends’ and connections’ data will be gathered and impact your search results.
Some may like this personalized search approach, or, if, like many, your likes and dislikes aren’t in alignment with your ‘friends’, then you may hate it.
We get mixed emotions when this topic comes up. For some, if used wisely, it could truly enhance their business and promote growth as they receive the ‘right’ fans. Others, on the other hand, question how much it will skew ‘relevant’ search results.
In reality, there are several reasons why someone may ‘like’ a social network or business, and there’s no guarantee that a ‘like’ has any relevance at all for a business. If you take a look at an individual’s personal FaceBook page, and they have hundred of likes (and I’ve seen it), then it’s easy to question if they truly ‘like’ those businesses, or do they simply ‘like’ every page recommended, or do they even have their own agenda of building their own page or business connections and hits? It’s hard to tell, but you can see why this could really skew search results.
So what do we recommend?
Be prepared for any scenario, and optimize social media with what we do know as far as its impact on local Internet marketing results:
- Link Bait and focus on SEO.
- Build your local Internet marketing social media presence by encouraging contacts and customers to ‘like’ and ‘follow’ you and stay current with newsworthy content.
- Use testimonials – a powerful credibility tool – as social proof.
Regardless as to what continues to happen with social search coupled with local Internet marketing, be sure to keep up with new trends and continue to enforce strategies that you know do work for your business.