I think it’s fair to say that search goes out of fashion.
I don’t really think it’s that much in fashion at the moment, something that I mentioned a few posts ago. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, of course, or ineffective.
I’ve been in digital marketing for a very long time and, to me, it’s the nature of search marketing. It goes quiet for a bit and then it explodes with new algorithm changes and updates. Then marketers are interested again and want to talk about it.
The reality is that search marketing always has been and always will be hugely effective, and while it may have some detractors and quiet months, it’s something you should always look to build on for effective inbound business growth.
Search on Facebook now allows people to see posts marked for display, which follows up on last December’s update to allow people to search within friends’ posts.
“Because the business model for search is so well understood, we know [monetisation] will come when it makes sense,” says Facebook VP of Search Tom Stocky.
That sentence basically confirms Facebook as the next big player in the world of search marketing.
Is this the right move for Facebook to make? Will it make you want to spend more or less time on the social platform? Let me know in the comments section below.
Keeping it real
But why now? What’s the point? It actually makes a lot of sense; there’s a huge real-time audience out there and Facebook believes it can capture people’s interest for currently-happening and trending events.
Twitter already has a reputation and a stake in real-time reporting with professionals and amateurs alike. Its instant news nature makes it a favourite for people looking to keep updated on breaking news stories across the globe.
Reporters for some of the world’s top media organisations are even trained in using Twitter as a reporting tool, and how to source content and communicate with people on the scene to get accurate information.
Not so much with Facebook, though. How come? Well, it’s more of a personal private social network than a place where information instantly enters the public domain quickly and easily ala Twitter.
That’s set to change though with this latest update. Facebook promises to let people know what the ‘world is saying about topics that matter to you’.
The future of search
They’re doing that with improved search suggestions which are set to highlight trending events when people type into the search field. Facebook also promises to ‘cut through the noise’ when you search to provide you with the most relevant public posts.
Alongside all that is a new feature which Facebook says is a first for them; the ability to join in public conversations and weigh in on topics that are currently trending. Facebook will also give an aggregate overview of the sentiment, apparently.
It’s interesting to see and, as Facebook concentrate on it and develop it over time, may change the search landscape forever. Certainly the social search landscape; make no mistake about it, this is a direct challenge to Twitter and other instant social platforms.
It’s also something of a challenge to Google and Bing; the latter of which is doing very well thanks to the introduction of Windows 10 and has turned a profit for the very first time. Facebook’s saying beware, because in a few years’ time, it may very well be a serious search contender.
How can marketers make the most out of Facebook’s search improvements? Is this a chance for brands to get higher visibility? Let me know below!
The clue’s in the name
So what can you do about it now? You can start planning for the future with a social campaign now to start existing social conversations with potential customers, and create some targeted ads and lead-generation cards for your Facebook business page.
The trending thing’s a bit trickier though. How do you legislate for breaking news? It’s probably something not worth paying much attention to if you’re a shoe store, for instance; is it really productive keeping an eye on the news to write and share breaking social posts about what the Royal Family’s up to if you’re a small local shoe shop?
Probably not, but you don’t have to go that far. Interactivity is the key to social success, and keeping your eye on breaking topics so you can start conversations, join in with existing ones, and brooch topics with people will help raise awareness.
It’s also an interesting move for content creators, for now and in the future. Use Facebook in the right way and your content could be viewed by a much larger audience than intended, and could also become a huge conversation starter.
If you have the right creative content strategy in place, that is, that focuses on the content’s relationship with the reader and isn’t just published as a way to get more likes and views. There’s little worse than ill-informed content going viral…
However Facebook decides to change it still underlines that you need to get the core principles perfected first as a foundation for future success. Interact with people as much as you can through your page, join the conversation, and create entertaining, relevant content.
As for search itself if Facebook follows through with its future marketing plans then search as we know it may very well change for good. It usually does, though, so no surprises there!
But the theory stays the same; practice your search strategy in an ethical manner – as well as complementing it with a strong social presence – and you can set yourself up for future growth and strong inbound success.
If you’d like to know more about how search and social media marketing can help make your business more visible online get in touch with a Webpresence representative now.