Holiday Smarts – Search & Social Integration Opportunities

Search and Social Integration for the Holidays


With Black Friday and Cyber Monday fast approaching, smart marketers will be moving beyond the click and the keyword, and will make the customer the focus of their media activation strategies. Real-time, consumer-centric channels like Search and Social play an influential role across the purchase journey, and they get brands closer to their target audiences than any other media. Combining massive reach with high engagement potential, Search and Social enable marketers to connect with holiday shoppers on their terms, as they live out key moments along the journey from discovery to conversion.

No doubt success this holiday season will in part be determined by how effective marketers are at integrating these key channels in order to unlock competitive advantage and ROI, whether they are looking to drive sales in-store, online, or both.

Below are several actionable ways marketers can look to integrate Search and Social to make the most out of their holiday efforts and beyond.

Multichannel Attribution Model Across Search and Social

Most traditional analytics packages track conversions on a 30-day last-click basis. This means that over the course of a month’s time, credit is given only to the last click that resulted in the final conversion. The impressions and clicks that led up to that final click are given no credit for the sale, and this is highly problematic when you consider the value of Search and Social as discovery vehicles and interest drivers. Rather than a last-click evaluation model, marketers should implement an online analytics package to allow for multi-touch, multi-channel attribution.

Monitoring for Social impressions and engagements as touch points in the purchase cycle is an excellent first-step to understanding the true role that Social is playing. This information should guide optimization strategies in order to maximize the impact of Social on downstream conversions occurring through Search.

Leverage High Volume Brand and Non-Brand SEM Keywords in Twitter

Twitter isn’t just a popular social network, it’s the world’s foremost real-time information network. By including brand keywords in Twitter’s Search capability, you can effectively use Twitter as a navigational platform back to capture handraisers and lead them to content-rich portions of your site.

In addition lower-funnel, non-branded keyword phrases can be targeted in the Twitter feed at an effective cost/click that is often substantially more efficient than Paid Search. Twitter offers opportunities to layer on sentiment targeting as well. To make the most of this unexplored opportunity, marketers should start with a test using keywords leveraged on both Twitter and paid search. If results are strong, scale up your investment on Twitter for increased volume.

Use Facebook’s Google Shopping Campaign Clone

Facebook has quietly rolled out a clone to Google Shopping Campaigns, formerly known as Product Listing Ads or PLAs. Facebook’s Multi Product Ads (AKA, Product Carousel) feature allows retailers to showcase multiple products inside a single newsfeed post. The shopper can swipe to see more colors, sizes or styles. Paired with Facebook’s Custom Audience capability, marketers can tailor Multi Product Ads specifically to consumers who left their site without making a purchase on a specific SKU or SKUs.

As paid and organic Search channels typically refer the highest volume of site traffic, applying Facebook in this way can be a powerful Search remarketing engine. To get ahead of the curve, marketers should design Multi Product Ad efforts using learnings garnered from current Google Shopping Campaigns.

Pair Facebook Exchange (FBX) with Google Shopping Campaigns

Google Shopping Campaigns is being leveraged by savvy marketers for hyper targeting individuals who browsed specific products or product pages on their website. Similarly, Facebook Exchange, the social giant’s programmatic marketplace for desktop inventory, allows marketers to retarget site visitors on Facebook’s desktop experience using dynamic ad creative. By coordinating FBX and Google Shopping Campaigns, marketers can better optimize their overall remarketing effort to maximize conversion volume and efficiency. This can be an especially effective tactic to re-engage cart abandoners who’ve expressed strong purchase intent.

Deploy Facebook Custom Audiences on Search Visitors

Marketers can further broaden and improve the effectiveness of their retargeting initiatives by creating special audience clusters for Facebook targeting . Called Custom Audiences, marketers can tag their site with Facebook’s conversion pixel in order to generate lists of users they can then re-message to on Facebook.  A major benefit of this approach is the ability to combine Custom Audiences with Facebook’s native targeting filters.

With this capability, marketers can refine their targeting using interest, affinity, and demographic data, as well as create lookalike audiences and even exclude certain audiences (e.g. not showing women’s clothing to men who might have visited a women’s clothing style). Another major benefit, the Custom Audience approach allows marketers to buy against mobile inventory as well, which is currently not possible on the Facebook Exchange.

Harness Search Data for Social Content Strategies

Search has been called the world’s largest focus group, and it’s surely a major database of consumer intent. Marketers can mine this rich information in order to better understand what consumers are interested, how they perceive certain products, categories, and brands, and what matters most to them as purchasers.

These insights, especially potent during the holiday season, can light the way to a more relevant and more resonant content strategy in Social channels, better matching your communications and creative to the mindset of your target audience.  Keyword research using publically available tools such as Google’s, or even exploring data from your website’s internal Search capability, can be great places to start.

Monitor Social Conversations to Unlock Search Opportunities

Marketers are using Social listening for all sorts of reasons, but rarely are they applying their findings in Search, and this is a miss. Social listening can uncover trending conversations and keywords that can be powerful signals for optimizing paid search targeting and bidding. For instance, if there is a swell in Social conversation around a college sports team, a retailer carrying team jerseys and other collateral would want to deploy those trending keywords in their paid search efforts and increase their bids to capitalize on the heightened moment of interest and relevancy.