The combined ranking of content based on keywords, meta tags, body of the content, back-links, social media shares (Likes, Tweets, Pins) and the social commentary — opinion ratings from social media comments is what is referred to as Social Relevancy.
While most people in Canada, UK and U.S. still use traditional search engines such as Google to find what they’re looking for online, user demographics such as the millennial’s are increasingly discovering websites by way of social networks and the relevance they bring.
Last year, 50 percent of internet users ages 18 to 23, and 43 percent of users ages 24 to 32, used social networks as their preferred method of content discovery, according to the report from Cambridge, Mass. – Forrester Research. Overall, social networks like Facebook and Twitter are the preferred means of content discovery for nearly a third of all Americans, up from 18 percent in 2010.
At the same time, 54 percent of American internet users still relied on traditional search results to find the information they were looking for. As expected, that number is on the decline and, according to the report, represents a seven-point drop in overall search engine popularity from 61 percent in 2010.
Although consumers are rapidly changing their behavior, digital marketing still has not caught up, prioritizing SEO and paid search efforts above engagement in social media. In order to turn that around, the report asserts, search marketing teams need to learn what searchers are really looking for and focus on broader engagement instead of simply trying to drive an immediate sale.
Some other interesting highlights from the report:
- Direct marketing works. In 2012, 26 percent of users reported typically finding websites through corporate and branded emails, an 11 point jump from the previous year.
- Social networks gaining ground. The biggest surprise from the report was that social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have overtaken traditional website traffic drivers like email and recommendations for the first time.
- Links keep users engaged. Roughly 28 percent of all internet users, regardless of age, discover new sites from links on websites they’re already visiting, the report said.
It is difficult to make broad suggestions that will work for every business. But one thing is clear that as consumers continue to search for more information, creating multiple touch points on multiple platforms is crucial to driving website traffic these days. Social Relevancy is key in helping find and generating as many pathways as possible through social media and targeted social content campaigns. All this leads to increase user engagement and ultimately traffic to your website.