Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing are no longer exclusive services. This is an obvious development if you’re looking at what Google and Microsoft have been doing when rolling out new search features after making key strategic acquisitions. When creating a marketing plan for your business, you must be able to plan for at least 5 years into the future, not just dealing with the present.
That being the case, if SEO is currently a marketing strategy with your brand or business and your SEO department or outsourced company is not talking to you about Social Media Marketing, they’re shooting your results in the feet. Secondly, if you are concerned about being findable online through search, Social Media Marketing has to be involved in your marketing plan and strategy. Here’s why:
There is now a new Google search called “Google Personal Search” which combines Google+ connections to Google Search results. This affects all search results by making them relevant to you based on your Google+ connections.
When you look at the other acquisitions/products Google has, you have Google Search, Google+, Gmail, Youtube, Picasa, Reader, Google Docs and Zagat, most recently.
Now, with Microsoft we have seen Bing slowly crawling to the surface of relevance with it’s connectivity to Facebook. In fact, they connected Facebook to their search results more than 15 months ago. More than that, as Twitter has left the Google camp, they’ve definitely started working with Bing. If you use Bing for Bing Social Search, you will see full access to Twitter’s API in the search results. On the Bing Map, you can see tweets showing up real time based on their geographical location.
To round out Microsoft’s acquisition/product suite, we have Bing, Facebook, Hotmail, Skype, Flickr, Office, WebMD & XBox Live. Twitter is likely to join soon. With Google owning Zagat, it’s not too much of a stretch to see Yelp! start to migrate the way of Microsoft.
All of these key acquisitions and services being amassed under 2 major flags leaves us with many questions:
What’s to happen with search in the future?
How do these products work in unison to provide more diverse information?
How can a company stay ahead of these changes and be sure their strategy doesn’t fall to pieces once a major change is released?