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digital marketing search and social influence

Digital Marketing: The Search and Social Influence

Last week I had the pleasure of attending Eastern Michigan University, Center for Digital Engagement’s Search Marketing Workshop. The theme of this year’s event was, “The Fusion of Everything”. While Digital has shifted from web only to many things: web, mobile, car, home entertainment system, etc;. search and social media remain the constant in this fusion. As a result, digital marketing is becoming more and more personal.

With digital, you can be marketed to at any time and messaging is tailored to your preferences.Click To Tweet

I’d like to share some of my favorite highlights, tips, quotes and “snackable chunks” from the workshop.

The day started with a Morning Keynote from Jon Beebe, Director of Digital Advertising and Analytics at General Motors discussing “Advanced Audience Marketing: Using Big Data to Understand, Recognize and Engage Customers.”  Big Data for Marketing has big opportunities. Every engagement as the opportunity to create different sets and types of data. Here are some highlights:

  • Throughout all interactions, customers move from one state to another. All data can be anonymously matched back to a “Universal ID.”
  • Outside-In Approach to Data:Leverages external data partnerships, and may include or exclude customer data, depending on objectives and the target customer. “Universal ID” enables cross-interaction recognition, integrated messaging and media efficiencies.
  • Integration provides greater customer insights but a one size fits all approach is suboptimal because the path to purchase is complex.
  • 3 integration barriers: poor data quality, siloed departments and inability to link different marketing technologies.
  • Stream together behavioral data with your customer data. Engagement from your audience can help optimize your content.

At the Integrated Digital Marketing Track: Search and Social, Making It All Work Together included presentations from Susan Emerick, Principal of Brands Rising, Jeff Alderman, VP, Partner of Performance Digital-Search, Universal McCann and Sean Hickey, COO of PWB.

Highlights on General Search and Social Integration:

  • Create a vision of the integrated world within your company and have a shared plan to get there.
  • Play to their strengths: search is a demand/pull tactic, social is an engagement/push tactic.
  • Encourage bi-directional learnings.
  • Be a testing fanatic.
  • Use a centralized measurement system.
  • Avoid waiting until it’s perfect.

Brands are looking to engage people that are seeking information and express intent to purchase. The real time bidding ecosystem including SEM and social enables brands to identify, engage and acquire audiences throughout their decision journey.

In the Effective Social Campaigns breakout, we heard fronm Kelly LaVaute, Editor in Chief, Chevy Social, FleishmanHillard, David Murray, Manager of Social Media, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Taylor Hulyk, Social Media Director, re:group.

All three speakers shared real campaigns, what their goals were, what the results were and what they learned. My favorite takeaways from this breakout were:

“Branded hashtags don’t really insert you into a conversation. Broad ones help you to be a part of a broader conversation.” – Kelly LaVaute

“I believe that creating an emotional connection with social communication is the most important thing.” – Dave Murray

“When faced without assets, advertisers can use social to run photo contests that drive engagement and assets.” – Taylor Hulyk

Following the workshop, re:group posted a blog on how to execute social media contests for the purpose of crowdsourcing customer multimedia assets based on Taylor Hulyk’s talk at the workshop. Make sure you bookmark it!

We wrapped up the day with a lunch panel that included Bob Chunn, Co Founder and CEO, ContentOro, Shamir Ozery, Director of Marketing, Message Blocks, Matt Laurin, Web Marketing Analyst, General RV and moderator Grace Hsia, Co-Founder and CEO, Warmilu.

We discussed in general, how do you make digital work without blowing the bank?

Here are some tips:

  • Business owners should learn how to do as much as they can on their own. Use videos and blogs to teach yourself how to do a lot of your own work, and outsource what’s left.
  • Use marketing channels for what they’re intended for.
  • Creating content! Content creation is not paying for search but get the benefit of people searching.
  • Content marketing is a solution to the need to communicate with customers.
  • Creating content and curating will help you avoid spending a lot of money and getting nothing back.
  • Figure out what your goals are FIRST. Figure out what you’re trying to accomplish, THEN look at the data according to that.
  • Focus your efforts on the outreach and use free tools to analyze data.
  • In order to grow you need to look at unbranded traffic/keywords.

The workshop resulted in plenty of valuable information and takeaways that were very applicable to marketers and their everyday use of digital marketing. I am looking forward to 2016!

You can catch more highlights from myself and all the attendees who were tweeting out information and quotes with the #EMUDigital hashtag with my storify story:






How To Get Your Business Page Ready For Graph Search

facebook (2)Recently Facebook announced an exciting new feature called Graph Search. In a previous post I talked about how beneficial it would be for businesses. Today I want to emphasis that further as well as give you a few tips on how to get your page ready for this great new feature.

Graph Search will greatly benefit the brick and mortar business: (Coffee shop, retail, studio, etc.) It will make having an active presence on Facebook non-negotiable.

Think of it this way: you’re the owner of a beauty shop and need advertising but it’s not really in the budget. You have a clientele but you need to expand beyond their circle of friends. Here’s where your Facebook page comes in.

If you correctly set up your page as a “Local Business” with location information where people can check in to your business you are on the right track. Once they begin checking in and posting about their wonderful experience at your shop, imagine the “word of mouth” potential here. This takes your reach to whole new heights!

Now, instead of a few people telling a couple friends about your shop, it’s now exposed to so many more people, because when someone searches for a beauty shop in their area, they get results from their friends and their friends friends.

In fact, this will help any business with a Business Page. This is why it’s going to be particularly important to have good engagement. Likes, shares and comments from your Page will go into the “graph” and be “searchable” This just changed the whole problem of the “shelf life” of your page posts. For the better! 🙂

With that said, make sure you are doing these things to be Graph Search ready! :

1) Set up your Facebook Business page if you haven’t already!

2) Correctly set up your business as a local business if that applies so that your business gets check ins.

3) Post and post REGULARLY!

4) Make sure you are using relevant, interesting content so that your posts are liked, commented on and shared.

5) Optimize your page! Make sure that you are in compliance with Facebook rules (cover photo, contests, etc;) utilize your tab features, have a great cover photo and links that are visible in your about section to your website or blog. Take advantage of the ways you can get visitors to your page more interested in your business.

What do you think the benefits will be? Do you have the new Graph Search feature yet? What do you think? Please share in the comments below.

Beneficial To Your Business: Facebook’s Newest Feature Graph Search

Facebook's Graph Search
Facebook’s Graph Search
After the much anticipated “BIG” Facebook announcement today we now know what they have planned. It’s called “Graph Search“.

From Facebook: “Today we’re starting a limited beta release of Graph Search, enabling people to find information through the filter of their friends. The limited beta of Graph Search is available only to people who use Facebook in US English. The rollout will be gradual, starting with a very small number of users.”

With Graph Search, people can search the social graph by looking for things like “sushi restaurants that my friends have been to in New York,” “hotels near San Juan,” or “TV shows my friends like.”

If you have a Page on Facebook, Graph Search can make it easier for people to find your page and learn more about your business.

This is how Facebook says the search will work:

“The search bar first returns the top search suggestions, including people, Pages, apps, places, groups, and suggested searches. People can search for things like restaurants near them, hotels in places they want to travel to, photos posted by Pages they like, or games that their friends like to play.

These search suggestions take people to a unique results page. The results returned are based on factors that include information that has been shared by your business and the connections of the person searching.

As has been the case for some time, we may also make search suggestions in the search bar that then can trigger web searches. Web searches will display Bing results and Bing ads, similar to results on

Pages and apps can still use sponsored results, which appear to people whether or not they have Graph Search (sponsored results have been globally available since August 2012).”

Search rankings will be based on top search suggestions including people, Pages, apps, places, and suggested searches as well. One thing to note is search results will also based on data shared by a business and connections of the person that is searching. This is probably why Facebook urged business owners to “Continue to invest in your Page” by making sure it’s up-to-date. Graph search will be beneficial to those who maintain their business page:

“The name, category, vanity URL, and information you share in the “About” section all help people find your business and should be shared on Facebook.
If you have a location or a local place Page, update your address to make sure you can appear as a result when someone is searching for a specific location.
Focus on attracting the right fans to your Page and on giving your fans a reason to interact with your content on an ongoing basis.”

Even more reason to keep your page current and active! What do you think of this new innovation from Facebook? Do you think it will benefit your business? Please share in the comments below.