You’ve heard it before and you’ll here it again – you don’t control your own message, your customers do.
Whilst we can give you a number of examples where this has been proven to be the case, many traditional brands are still reluctant to embrace the ideology. However, some interesting new data on search from 360i might help to sway the argument.
In their recent whitepaper (November ‘09), 360i looks at the landscape of natural search, and suggests that a majority of social media search listings that appear for brand-related queries are created by individuals not affiliated with the brand.
To be specifict, “77% of YouTube, Twitter and Facebook listings that appeared for brand searches were controlled by a party other than the marketer.”
In essence what customers, fans, and such likes are posting to social media sites is what really dominates the brand name search experience over social media content created by the brands themselves. The research clearly creates a solid case for brands to be proactive with their social media presence, as participating in the exchange about their brand should improve the quantity and quality of customer-created social media content that searchers will happen upon.
360i also recommends that brands “cross-link owned domains and social media destinations. This creates a search ecosystem that will allow PageRank, domain history and strength to permeate.”
If you’re interested, you can access the entire whitepaper from the following link: http://www.scribd.com/doc/22677572/360i-SearchWhitePaper09-111709
[Blog post originally on Brightfire Blog: Nov 18th ’09]