google search

Social Discovery Is No Accident; Marketing Needs to Evolve

From December 2004 until the end of 2011, Google’s monthly US desktop searches hockey-sticked steadily up and to the right. A multi-billion industry around search engine optimization was born to ensure that brand’s could be discovered in a search environment.

In the four years since then, however, these Google searches have been essentially flat, as you can see in the chart below from Blind Five Year Old. There are two major reasons for this flattening. One, of course, is the rise of mobile searches. The other, however, is the dramatic shift in how we discover content in a social media world. Less often do we seek out content. More often, we find content in our social channels, from Facebook and Twitter, to LinkedIn and Yammer, relevant content and breaking news comes to us.

google search

Not sure? Take a look at this chart leaked from the New York Times in early 2014. The venerable content source lost 50% of their home page visitors per month in less than two years, while total traffic stayed steady.

New York Times Traffic

Why? No longer did you need to go to nytimes.com to check for news. News is in our news feeds and great content gets clicked. Since the New York Times still has great content, traffic stayed steady overall. But how people found that content shifted seismically.

Fast forward to the end of 2015, as you’re working to set your brand’s social strategy. How are you dealing with Social Discovery?

  • Are you counting on content to “go viral” because it’s so good?
  • Are you counting on being found in Google?
  • Are you counting on having great updates on your Facebook page and Twitter do the trick?

This isn’t enough anymore. We need a strategy to get our Content Everywhere™.

We have to think of a way to not only create great content and share it on our channels, but we need a way for that content to be shared, posted and syndicated pretty much everywhere. By us. By fans. By influencers.

If we do that, we dramatically increase the chances of social discovery. The benefit, of course, is that we also dramatically increase our chances of meaningfully ranking in Google for traditional search discovery.

If you need help with social media strategy development, let us know. But regardless of how you develop your strategy, ask yourself: Is my brand optimized for social discovery? The answer may lead you in exciting new directions for 2016.

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