The social Web took another giant leap forward last week with Facebook’s launch of their real-time search tool.
For PR/Marketing peeps, this is big news as the site now provides another conversation and content tracking tool on the world’s largest social network. Status updates, photos, links, notes, videos and pages which you’re a fan of are now searchable up to 30 days prior. The search tool will certainly improve with Facebook’s purchase of Friendfeed and I echo Steve Rubel’s thoughts about the overwhelming potential brewing here (keep an eye out as I would anticipate that Facebook will soon be making their public content sharing tool available to everyone).
Sally Falkow also recently touched on the topic of social search, harping the importance of relevancy within social media and it’s overall impact on search results. Google is amazing and they’re only going to get better. No longer can a company rely on tricking out keywords to impact search results. As Sally notes, “It’s about the relationship, not the technology.” That degree of relevancy and focus on human behaviors and user intent is only going to continue to shine through.
As an example, I want to point out a tidbit of work-related research that some colleagues from CA conducted. Long story short, they created a “Donors Are Sexy” campaign in an attempt to see if they could use particular keywords and “sexy” marketing to try and motivate people to register as organ donors. One of their videos has generated over 32k views, but overall results have shown a lack of registration action prompted by the campaign. In addition, searches around mainstay issue keywords such as “organ donor” and “organ donation” show the videos buried in the results. Why? Relevancy.
From a PR/Marketing perspective, it’s going to continue to be key to develop and craft authentic messages that effectively connect with our target audience and are as relevant as possible to their interests. Progressive search tools will of course help us to continue to seek out key influencers and niche audiences to deliver our messages.
What’s your take? What’s the next step for social search?
*Note, I’ll be back in early September. Similar to Dave Fleet, I’m completely unplugging for a bit to take in the sights, sounds and culture of Sweden, Norway and Denmark! Open to any travel tips and must see recos. Cheers.