Until recently, business owners regarded social as a toy and an important friend external to professional life. But things are now changing. According to a study, almost 50% of people aged 18 to 23 made use of social as their primary discovery source in the past year.
Now this is something that Google needs to sit up and take note of. With such a paradigm shift, Google must carefully strategize regarding how to keep both users and advertisers happy.
This information is very relevant for marketers like us too. We need to very seriously rethink strategies and plan where to invest our budgets in the coming few years, since we now have another way to access our online audiences on a large scale.
The zenith for marketers has always been the ability to target consumers intelligently. To do this well, you need access to information regarding people making use of your platform. You can then slice and dice the information to plan ahead.
Yes, Google has been pretty decent with this till date, and buying propensity has been based on search queries to a large extent. The advent of social, has however, taken that information to a whole new level. The likes of Twitter and Facebook have shown everyone an interesting new way of monetizing the social space. This does suggest the reaching of a genuine tipping point.
Is Google following an uncertain road?
Until now, the problem faced by social has been Google’s dominance, with its unrelenting focus on search as the only means for finding your audience.
The flux level in organic search result pages coupled with shrinking paid margins are making people reconsider their strategies and the trust they’ve placed in brand Google for so long.
Many business owners say they’ve had enough of putting all eggs in a single basket and now want a more diverse and safer strategy. The fact that social can offer both audience sizes and access to the correct people within them makes the scales start tipping significantly.
Social’s trump card
Until recently, social was perceived as a creative game which was great for engagement with people and progression of conversations, but not for direct generation of revenues.
Though the creativity continues, there’s now an important layer of science that’s been added. This layer involves collection and analysis of appropriate data for designing entire marketing strategies.
Search marketers have always acknowledged the power of data in planning conversions into sales. Data from social takes those insights to a much higher level. It’s far richer and far more connected than what search can ever give u
It tells us things like:
- The audience breakup based on age.
- The frequency of interaction with our content.
- Exactly when they require that content and the format they need it in.
- Their other interests and passions.
- In-depth demographic data.
- And lots more.
Facebook Insights interface offers all of the above to a certain extent. This is a reason for concern for Google, which has tried to follow suit with the introduction of Google+.