Integrating search and social media is one of the biggest topics in e-marketing channels these days. And, that’s one of the ones that will be addressed at the Oct. 29 Austin Innotech e-Marketing summit. Matt Scherer sat down with Ian Strain-Seymour, the director of marketing at Apogee Search, about some of the things he’ll discuss at this event.
Q: How can social media and search work together?
A: These two can work together in a lot of different ways. You can use search (both paid and organic) to help people find your presence in social media channels or to places where your praises are being sung. On the other hand deep, rich conversations are one of the types of content that search engines like, so these can play into your brand’s shelf space or if links are included in the content, even drive your organic search performance through high value links.
Q: Do social media and search ever work against each other?
A: Absolutely. Social Media drives a lot of content, which can cause one of two issues. Walled gardens, or websites that can’t be fully crawled by search engines, can close off a lot of the great things being said about your product or company so that they are never found.
The other issue is the noise that all the volume creates. With the volume of chatter going on, the search engines sometimes have a hard time deciphering it all, which can cause relatively poor conversation to float to the top.
Things have improved, but it is not uncommon to see search results that don’t help a searcher find the information they were looking for.
Q: What should businesses do now to address their web visibility?
A: This is kind of a chicken and egg question, but at the end of the day, I think that it makes sense to focus on search first. Get your website well optimized for search engines, then switch focus to developing a community or your presence in an existing community bas for your product or business. This requires continuing, ongoing commitment, not just lip service.
Q: Resources are tight these days. Can the same people (either inside a company or from an agency) work on both?
A: It depends. What does it depend on? It depends on the people doing the work and the company and products being focused on. In many cases yes, because search people that only know search are missing a lot of the picture, and vice versa. In some cases, where either the community is point of the business or the product and company brands are very large, it make sense to split thing out. This however requires the team members to work together closely.