ReadWriteWeb published a recent article titled, “Why is Google Afraid of Facebook? Because Social Networking Could Soon Pass Search.” The article reviewed recent numbers released by traffic analyst firm Hitwise, indicating that social networking site traffic has surpassed search engine traffic among web users in Australia. This data builds on recent research findings from Nielsen and Razorfish that show social media have caught up to aggregators and search engines to become one of the leading content gateways of the internet.
Capitalizing on the trend, Facebook recently encouraged users to start using the platform as a news syndication service. From the FB blog:
At any given time, the news on your home page can consist of celebrity gossip posted by your sister, sports scores from the ESPN Page, and a political debate among your friends as they cite their favorite blogs. With so much information at your fingertips on one site, Facebook can serve as your personalized news channel.
So what does this mean for online marketing? For one, traditional SEO strategies will be increasingly augmented by social media’s value as a navigational tool. Beyond its brand building, link building and CRM capacities, social networks have become an important vehicle for getting your brand discovered. Secondly, Facebook’s continued growth and critical market share should underscore it as a top platform in social media marketing strategies. Its incorporation of news feed syndication, in addition to its status update function and established popularity, will continue to keep large amounts of users from wandering to other social sharing platforms like Twitter and Google Reader.
The average consumer doesn’t want to deal with a bunch of different web apps, especially if their current online community provides all the same services in one location. So while Twitter and RSS may work well for B2B marketing initiatives, a successful B2C social media strategy should put a heavy emphasis on actively engaging consumers through Facebook.
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