Results from a recent iProspect study outline the specific behaviors of users visiting the most popular social networking sites. Among other items, the study finds that marketers should spend more time and resources investing in sites that operate within a relevant niche to their product than they have in the past.
Editor's Note: As the iProspect study indicates, search marketing and social marketing go hand in hand. Making sure you're message is there where the searcher begins their journey as well as where they end up is playing the game right. Any tips on how to do this? Share them with us in the comment section.
According to the study, more people visit the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN) much more frequently than the most popular social networking sites. With that being said, marketers shouldn’t be looking to abandon their ranking efforts in paid and organic search anytime soon.
Still, social networking users are growing at an accelerated rate. One in four Internet users visits a social site at least once a month, and that figure only looks to increase over the next several years. The Internet is shifting from a medium of information to one of participation, and iProspect suggests that marketers follow that trend and encourage consumer participation in their marketing efforts.
One of the more interesting points in the findings, however, is the notion of vertical marketing. Sure, MySpace has the sheer numbers, but chances are that you will actually be more successful by placing your product into a smaller group of users that are actually passionate about the particular niche.
Here’s what iProspect had to say about the vertical aspect of social networking:
Though sites such as YouTube and MySpace were designed to appeal to a high percentage of the online user population, many social search engines have been built to serve, and attract, a community that is defined by their affinity to a vertical industry, a business model, or an interactive activity type.
Sites such as del.icio.us (bookmarking), LinkedIn (BtoB), and TripAdvisor (travel and hospitality), though visited by less than 10% of Internet users, nonetheless can serve as highly targeted, extremely effective means to reach very specific profiles of potential customers. Marketers should research their industry’s/niche’s universe of social networking sites, and explore those offering this special targeting.
Going back to search for a moment, iProspect notes that most visits to social networking sites come from search engine referrals. Again, this reinforces the notion that social marketing isn’t a separate beast from search, but rather is designed to work in concert with an effective search marketing campaign.
The study also looks at how social networks have changed how consumers respond to marketing messages:
It’s still early in the history of social networking, yet one out of three Internet users is already taking advantage of a site containing user-generated content to help make a decision to buy, or not to buy something. This bodes well for the future of these sites that take advantage of our human nature to trust the recommendations (and warnings) of fellow consumers more than we do the claims and “marketing-speak” of professional marketers.
So if you’re looking to reach that ever-elusive 18-24 demographic, you might want to examine your search and social marketing strategies for synergy, while taking advantage of any verticals that are relevant to your particular product or service.
SES: Pumping Up Video Search Optimization
By David A. Utter
Editor | WebProNews
Attendees headed to the Search Engine Strategies conference in New York under a mostly clear sky today. A session on video search and optimizing for the engines that index it awaited those hitting the Multimedia and Mobile Track at a running start.
Eric Papczun, Director of Natural Search, Performics, spoke about what he was seeing new in the world of video search. "These include file tagging which I refer to as 'scene tagging'. These are often user generated tags. This allows viewers to just watch the parts of a video that pertain to you."
One insight Eric gave involved the actual keyword, 'video'; he believes there is still a good opportunity to brand a site to it as a keyword. "If you have a good position with the word 'video' with search engines, you are going to do well down the road."
Linking to your own site?
Our featured post today comes from muskie. They have come across a website which links to another website owned by the same company. They want to know if having websites that are similar and owned by the same company would hurt them in the rankings. They gave an example below and I'm asking you for your opinions.
Think you can help muskie out? Tell us at WebProWorld.
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Would Google see this as a good link or bad link, a gateway page, redirect or a form of a directory site or link? Both aforementioned sites have lost some position slots sense this was installed not a lot but from page #1 to page #2 for some keywords. No other changes were made on either site.
Ranking seems to be a walking on eggshells business.
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