What is Social Search and How Can it Benefit Your Business?


What is social search and what does it mean for your business? Like many terms in today’s digital world, the meaning of social search continues to be shaped and defined but  it is how search engines are beginning to return content from a user's social network into search engine results. Basically, social search a new way of searching that focuses more on your social media connections than a regular search. I started noticing the term social search being used more after the launch  of Google+  last year. Then Facebook followed with the announcement of their more personalized search function called “Graph Search.” Clearly, social search is something we need to start paying attention to and figure out how to best position our businesses to be able to take advantage of the increased traffic it can drive One of the most obvious ways to take advantage of social search is by building a presence with Google+, but there are many other avenues that can be explored to increase your traffic.

What is Social Search?
A social search is regular to a similar search engine, but it uses the person's social media account as a basis. Instead of showing links that are relevant to the keyword query , a social search will show posts that match that keyword. For example, if you run a pizzeria and someone searches for "nearby pizzerias," then the social search will show your account and location if you have a social media presence and the person is following you.

Advantages of Social Search
The biggest advantage of social search is that you have the potential to connect with people your competitors who may rank higher than you may not. Unless you are running a massive SEO campaign, there may be hundreds of websites ranking higher than yours.

One other benefit is that social search emphasizes location-based, real time results. If you frequently post and your business is serving a local area, then you can easily build consistent and sustainable traffic for your business and website.

Capturing Traffic
Capturing traffic and growing your business with social search is easier than you may think. Success lies in the frequency (at least one or two updates a day) and relevancy of your posts to your intended. Talk about what is going on in your business, how your services can solve certain problems, announce new products that you are rolling out, or recent sales and special offers. This will ensure that you are always on top of the social search and that there is relevant content your audience will not only want to consume but share.

It will be interesting to see how social search continues to evolve and the impact it will have on marketing strategies moving forward. One thing is for sure, search, social and content forever entwined and those businesses that know their audiences and produce sharable content will reap the most benefits. 

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  • Jeff Glackin

    If you have hundreds of sites outranking you in the search engines I would say you may want to diveret a little attention to YOUR site and a little less to the social sites.

    • shirleywilsonsocial

      Thanks Jeff!