There’s no doubt that social sites are all the rage. Facebook’s amazing growth is legend. Then we have Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and others. Businesses and Internet marketers haven’t been asleep, and they’ve turned a lot of their attention to social sites for marketing and customer communications.
A recent article over at SearchEngineWatch.com gave five excellent reasons why search marketing should still be the primary strategy for business if customer acquisition is the goal. While customer service, complaint resolution and support are all enjoying great results, the article points out that search is still better at actually getting customers and stimulating them to purchase.
- Social sites tend to get business in front of people already familiar with their brand. Search brings people who may have no knowledge at all of the brand or products and services offered until they bump into the company with a search.
- People do purchase through social site activity, but mostly they “socialize.” The example of local pizza is a good one. A traveler is far more likely to search Google for pizza nearby than to ask people on a social site. This is a ready-to-buy customer.
- According to MobileMarketer.com, 88% of people who search online with mobile devices will take some action within a day. They’ll visit or purchase from the business they found.
- Easy and effective aren’t the same thing. While many businesses perceive social media as “easy” marketing, Tweeting about daily activities is highly unlikely to deliver a customer. A well-designed search marketing campaign will actually deliver ready-buyers.
- “Likes” aren’t necessarily converting into purchase intent. Search has been proven by many studies to be very effective at delivering customers ready to purchase when they arrive at the site. A large number of followers or likes doesn’t have the same statistical proof of value.
The goal isn’t to discourage social sites for marketers and businesses, as they do have value, especially for brand promotion. Social does deliver customers. However, the data still strongly supports the value of search marketing in bringing people to a site when they have a purchase on their mind. They’re far more likely to take action when they actually asked to be at the product or service page.