Social Search: What the Heck Is It?

social search
With so many social terms whizzing by, it’s easy to forget if you’re coming or going. Maybe you finally have terms like engagement, consumer advocate, and ROI figured out. Well, now we want to toss another one your way — social search. Don’t worry, though. We have no plans to leave you twisting in the wind. We’re going to lay it all out for you, in terms you can understand, without so much as wrinkling your brow.

So Seriously, What the Heck Is Social Search?

The long and short of it: Social search is a different way of finding the content you want.

So what does that mean: Unlike the traditional searches that most people are used to, it considers the searcher’s social graph when returning results.

In plain English, please: Social search makes it easy to find content posted by people and businesses within your social circle. With this type of search, a person gets all that juicy content from people in his social network. It omits the stuff every Tom, Dick, Harry, and, well, Bonnie posts.

While traditional search will likely remain the primary tool for finding content, more people are using social media every day. Over time, social search is likely to grow in importance.

How to Benefit from Social Search

Okay, but how is social search going to help you, beyond being really sorta cool? Essentially, the people in your network want to hear from you. They don’t dither over whether to bother with your content. They’re pretty much a warm sell. So social search means they can go looking for all of that amazing content you post and easily find it without wading through the drek.

Here’s how you can, and definitely should make your content more social search friendly and increase visits to your website or blog.

  • Use keywords and hashtags in your posts. Whether you’re tweeting, posting on Facebook, or updating on LinkedIn, you can expect the search engines to index the content you post, as long as it isn’t private. You can help make your content easy to find by incorporating carefully chosen keywords and adding hashtags. Let’s look at Twitter for just a sec. Tweets that include hashtags get twice as much engagement as those that skip this. And if you skip the keywords, it’s like tossing your special fish into an entire ocean of others swimmers and expecting yours to get caught. Do you feel that lucky?
  • Only use relevant keywords in your content. The use of irrelevant keywords can hurt you with the search engines. Keyword spamming is bad, very bad.
  • Add links. Improve the chances that social searches will lead to an action you want your audience to take, such as buying something or downloading a free report, by incorporating links. If you link to one of your most attractive products or informative content you want your audience to see, you have the potential to get more than just traffic out of this type of search. Show them what they want. Then show them again, and again.
  • Use long-tail keywords. Often, people search using longer keyword phrases, so including them in your content ensures they will find you. For example, instead of “math tutoring,” you might benefit from incorporating a long-tail keyword like “algebra tutoring services in Atlanta.” Want some really good news? Consumers often search for the longer phrases late in the buying cycle, and you know what that means, don’t you? That’s right. More sales.

Don’t take a nap, pass go, overanalyze, or do any of the other things that routinely slow your amazing ascension to the top. Start using these tips right now. No, seriously. Why are you still reading? Go already!


Social Search What the Heck Is It

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