August 6, 2018

3.2 : Planning integration of search and social media

3.2 : Planning integration of search and social media

Dr. Aleksej Heinze, Associate Professor at KEDGE Business School (France), Visiting Lecturer, Salford Business School, UK

As I mentioned before, search and social media marketing are the two most common activities that people do online. And therefore, understanding those two activities gives you an insight into how the individuals might engage with the organization.

However, there are a number of other touchpoints that individual has with your organization that go beyond the digital remit – it might be a physical store, it might be a leaflet, it might be a conversation in a restaurant with their friend that will be mentioning your name.

Don’t just think about online channels when considering your buyer personas

For example, do you have physical premises where buyer personas might be frequenting?

Can you think of ways to connect digital and offline activities?

So how do you control those? The reality is you can’t. What you can do is you can just simply influence and try and engage with them on as many networks as you can in the most favourable way.

So… that means that if you are an organization, then you are trying to think about the customer journey, you will need to look at your website’s traffic using a tool such as Google Analytics that gives you an insight of what the most frequent social media networks that have brought visitors to your site.

Or you can look at the general industry analysis, and there are tools such as Think With Google that shows the typical online customer journey to online purchase in your area. And those tools give insight into how organizations in your area usually interact with their visitors.

Colin Telford, Managing Partner, The Candidate Ltd, UK

For us, the type of content that we run on social media activity is perhaps more responsive so it gages that response a lot quicker because of the shares on social media activity. Whereas on search, it seems to be that with optimization it’s more of a longer-term game in terms of being recognized by Google and in the medium to long-term your activity generating large waves of traffic that come through.

For The Candidate Ltd social media activities tend to focus on an immediate response

On the other hand, content developed for search engines tends to take longer but has a longer shelf life

So we see, although the content and the messaging can similar across search engine activity and social, that social is more engaging, has a quicker response, is more short-term, where search engine optimization would be more medium to long-term for attracting that traffic.

Alex Charalambidis, Digital Marketing Strategist, MONKS, Greece

I think social media is a part of your off-page optimization so every link coming from your own media or social media on your site is helping your website so yes I think social is helping the SEO. It is very important because Google can identify social media as major links and sources for your website.

Social media published content is indexed by several generic search engines

This creates links to the main website and content that targets search engine optimization

Kristina Chokoeva, Marketing Director, DINO, Bulgaria

Social media and search optimization have been crucial for our company in building relationships with our existing and prospective customers. In real life, how we cultivate our relationships is often the greatest determinant of the type of life we’re going to live. Business is no different. Our real business is done when we interact with people and form long-term relationships with our clients.

In the case of Dino, both social media and search engines help to develop the relationship between the company and the buyer persona

Social media has only helped to scale these interactions with current and potential customers to unprecedented levels. Therefore, it’s absolutely crucial that small companies like ours use the right tools to develop these relationships with their client base in order to achieve market growth.


Planning the Customer Journey to Online Purchase

Google tracks data beyond what people are searching for. For websites that have Google Analytics enabled, Google can see how people engage with the actual website and therefore the full online journey based on the different Countries and Industries.

The following interactive tool allows you to look at some of the markets where Google has a good market share and is able to estimate how on average a buyer persona has engaged on different communications channels.

Visit the The Customer Journey to Online Purchase web page

On the above web page compare different countries, industries and size of business. For example explore:

Explore how marketing channels for large
businesses in the Arts and Entertainment
industry in Canada and then in Japan
influence the purchase decision?

How can this data help you with your integrated planning?

What does the visualisation suggest to you in terms of what kind of content should be placed say on Social Media or Organic SEO as a communication channel in the different countries?

Please share your thoughts below and reply to the comments of others.

Additional materials

Search and Social

Watch this talk from Ritson criticising the focus on Social Media. Consider his point in view of the Customer Journey to Online Purchase:

There are many blog posts that highlight the importance of SEO and Social Media integration see:

Why Your Online Content Needs Both Social and Search Optimization

Search Engine Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing: The Showdown


Reid, M., Luxton, S., & Mavondo, F. (2005). The relationship between integrated marketing communication, market orientation, and brand orientation. Journal of advertising, 34(4), 11-23.…

Kumar, Prem, Vikas Kumar, and Jitendra Mohan Mishra. “A prospective study on online marketing of Small and Medium enterprises (SMEs) of services sector in India.” IJAR 1.9 (2015): 910-914.…

Pleae see chapter 3 links below:

3.0 Buyer persona development
3.1 The importance of understanding who the target audience is
3.3 Keyword research for buyer persona
3.4 Social media channels for buyer persona
3.5 Develop keyword plan for a campaign
3.6 PPC keyword vs organic keyword plan
3.7 Develop social media editorial calendar