The Internet has been both a social and search engine for a very long time (in Internet years), but it has only been recently that these two forms of online functionality have become irrevocably intertwined. This issue of From Search to Screen will explore the relationship between social and search online and give you the top three tips for marketing your next online video or screen media project.
Top 3 Ways Search Uses Social
Internet search remains one of the most popular activities on the web. The online world is so vast that we would literally be lost without tools to help us search and find what we are looking for. Search engines like Google and Bing are always looking for ways they can make search results better and social media are a big part of that equation now.
- Listings from social media are turning up on search engines. Searches for people are generally dominated by social media listings (if that person is active online), and social listings like real-time tweets from Twitter and videos from YouTube have become more and more common in search results.
- Social cues carry authority. The explosion of social networks has created a large data pool that is being used to improve search results. The more a website, video or article is “liked” and “shared,” especially by people who have relevant followers and large communities, the better it will do in Internet search.
- Your social data makes your searches more personal. “Google knows what I want even before I do!” a friend of mine declared. It’s true. Search engines have got better at tracking where and who you are and the search listings you like, especially if you log in. Personalized results mean more efficient searching and social cues like Facebook “likes” in your network and Google’s new +1 are taking that personalization to a whole new level.
Top 3 Ways Social Uses Search
Turnabout is fair play, right? Social media also count on search to improve their user experience and keep their communities happy.
- Search boxes are everywhere, including social sites. Like any large website, social media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn contain many, many pages. Without search functionality how would we ever find the friends, apps, videos, or online conversations we wanted?
- Listings from search engines are turning up on social media. Facebook has a close relationship with Bing and when you use the search function on this social media giant, you will now see listings from Bing included. It would not be surprising if Google’ search results started turning up on Twitter in the near future.
- Social media as search engine. Searches on Facebook have increased so much that it is now considered the second largest search engine. YouTube’s search box is also often the first choice with the younger demographic, who prefer video answers to their queries rather than text.
Top 3 Ways Screen Media SHOULD Use Social & Search Marketing
So you have a website for a feature film or television series, an online video, a webisode series, a transmedia experience and you need to leverage the opportunity afforded by the social networks and search engines online. How do you do it?
- Do your keyword research. Social cues are great, but they become incredibly powerful if your Twitter hashtags, Facebook descriptions and YouTube video titles contain the language your audience is also using.
- Make everything search friendly. A 100% flash site is not search friendly. A video without a transcript is not search friendly. Images without alt tags or descriptive text are not search friendly.
- Spread the word. Get your articles, videos, websites submitted to the search engines and enabled to “like” and “share.” Mention them on Twitter, post them on your Facebook wall, upload them to YouTube. You won’t find your audience by just creating your project and hoping they will come.
Submit suggestions, questions or tips of your own via email to annelise(at)veria.ca or Twitter @veriatweet