Nowadays, one of the easiest ways for a customer to decide on a purchase is to either do their due-diligence through exploratory questions, probing terms or relevant phrases to find the exact information they seek on a search engine, or to check a company’s social media accounts instead. Both social and search offer easy access to a company’s product information, images, videos and product reviews, which massively influence a buyer’s choices, preferences and loyalties. A study conducted by ‘Igniyte’ stated that, “93% of people say online reviews impact their buying decisions,” whilst “90% of people take the time to read online reviews before visiting a business.”
‘Scribd’ published a study which says that, “consumers are equally likely today to use a combination of search and social media in their path to purchase as opposed to just search. 48% of those who convert utilize both search and social media versus 51% that use search alone.” According to a Hubspot report, 71% of consumers are more likely to make purchases based on social media referrals. Further to this study, Forbes has shown that 78% of consumers’ purchases are impacted by companies’ social media posts. All indications show that this dynamic purchasing journey is only ever going to get more…dynamic! Yet marketers must also ensure that their more traditional SEO strategy is on point. Being on Page 1 of searches related to your products and services is the Holy Grail, and for good reason. HubSpot’s recent research shows that “75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results,” which alone speaks for itself when it comes to finding the right SEO strategy for your business and particular USPs. Then, once customers do land on your site, your social media accounts, blog pages and other real-time channels, they will more often than not form part of their user journey. This is your golden opportunity to cement brand perception, increase conversions, and drive loyalty.
Both are major internet entry points
There are 3.5 billion searches per day on Google alone. There are also over 3.8 billion people interacting with social media on a daily basis. Either search or social is often the first point of entry when people jump online. So, with almost half of the world’s population active on each of these channels, it is absolutely business-critical to optimize both to see the true business benefits that a strong social and search strategy can have. If marketers want to rival competitors for the top spot at the table whilst getting a strong ROI on marketing efforts, maximizing your visibility at each of those internet entry points is a sure-fire way to do it.
Both can be used to ask questions and seek answers
As we all know, search engines are the primary touchpoint for answering your questions. Whether it be finding the name of that song you heard on the radio, or flicking through tasty recipes to cook at home this summer, we’re all guilty of pulling our phones out of our pockets and heading straight for Google. That’s not to mention the search for professional services, tech, education, online communities, and so on. With Google now processing over 40,000 search queries per second (Internetlivestats, 2019), the world has turned to the search engine for all and everything that you need to know, or find, in life.
It’s also important to note that Google is now optimized to provide quick-fire solutions that can be a very handy addition to day-to-day living. When Google introduced ‘featured snippets’ back in 2014, search engine results pages were changed forever. Featured snippets allow users to gain insight to questions they have asked, without having to click-through to websites and scroll in search for the answer. If Google shows a featured snippet on behalf of your website content, that indicates that your content is useful and informative, further enhancing the possibility of users investing and trusting your brand.
Though search engines are not the only ones throwing up answers to users’ questions. Social media (or ‘social search engines’) is increasingly becoming a go-to, too. Although it may not be the same linear process of Q&A that search engines offer, social media platforms show results for just about any keyword or phrase that is typed into their built-in search bar. For example, if you’re looking for buddha inspired tattoo’s, you could either type those keywords into a search engine like Google or Bing to find answers, or alternatively, you could head over to social media accounts like Instagram or Pinterest, where a vast amount of results will be waiting.