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Searching for Social: What’s Here and What’s Coming

Searching for Social: What’s Here and What’s Coming image multiscreen46 460 300x169With Facebook’s recent announcement of a new, specialized search feature coming to their site, there is a new discussion building around the concept of combining search and social and what it can mean for the content marketing field. What is important to note is that the Facebook search announcement is really just one element of a larger move, to what you might call “social SEO.”

Social SEO? What’s That Then?

There are already tools to see your rankings in social media, like SocialMention or Klout, but what Facebook is talking about is a search feature within the make up of the Facebook site itself. As we should all know by now: where there are search engines, there is SEO.

There have been strategies to combine social media and SEO planning in the past, but those generally involved having your two teams talk to each other and build complementary content plans. Additionally, the concept of social signals is a sort of precursor to this: using social media to build SEO through linking and interconnection of plans. Keywords, linked content, and sharing through various social media outlets helps you to build SEO value as you post to sites like Facebook and Twitter.

The coming power of SEO inside of social media shows all manner of promise to make these interconnections not only more powerful, but potentially vital to any of your content strategies.

But there is another factor to consider in your new social SEO plans: multi-screeners:

Multi-Screeners Are Changing the SEO Game

A recent Google report showed that multi-screeners are changing how SEO operates, as users move from a mode of planned search into a “spontaneous search,” which is goal-driven. In addition, the use of multiple devices – laptops, smartphones, etc. – means that a solid strategy is now to enable users to “save progress,” as they would in a video game. This saved process would allow them to move from one device to another effortlessly, maintaining their interest in your potential content.

An obvious example of the multi-screen influence in search comes from the example of the television. Multi-screeners generally use a second device when watching TV, often to search for something they just saw on the television. Music, fashion, an actor whose name you can’t remember – the power of the multi-screen search effect is there.

Multi-screeners will also check in on social media. Tweeting, Facebooking, or even just Instagramming some food they made while they watch another screen: the influence of social media isn’t going anywhere. In fact, contact related to shared experiences is a big push in the social media world, through sites like GetGlue or even Facebook itself.

Summing It All Up

When it comes to multi-screeners, the pitch is simple: be quick, be agile, be able to “save progress.” The ability to move back and forth between devices is key. “Second screen” applications, like Xbox Smartglass or Disney Second Screen for films like Tron Legacy are also a good place to start for inspiration. Allow the potential of the second screen, which has been a contest-topic in digital media festivals already, inspire you to build bigger and better content.

Of course, we’ll have to wait for the debut of Facebook’s “graph search” to see how it works and build strategies around it. I imagine that there will, no doubt, be purveyors of “social SEO” out in the world in no time post-launch, but it might not be a bad idea to start forming real strategies about how to integrate your social side and your search side. Not to mention, knowing how to build a plan for what is coming is always an appealing pitch.

How are you preparing for the era of “social SEO?”

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