In 2009 Google launched an initiative called Social Search. Social Search allowed users to integrate the relevant web content, created and shared by their Social Network, into a small section at the bottom of the organic search results page.
The announcement Thursday stated that Social Search results, which Google retrieves from your Social Network, will now be included as part of your organic search results, displayed according to the relevance of the search.
What this means is that you will begin to see more organic search results that will now be annotated with relevant findings which people in your Social Network have shared or created.
In other words, if someone whom you are connected to socially, has publicly shared a link to an article via Twitter, LinkedIn, or each of the other sharing mediums, Google will show that link and content, only to you, in your organic search results.
You must be logged in to your Google account to reap the rewards of your Social Network, and now you can also incorporate your own personal Social Media platforms privately. This way the world doesn’t know that you have a secret Twitter handle, @ILikeSuperman.
Not only will Google acknowledge that the content shared by your Social Network is relevant to your search, which is extraordinary in and of itself. The result is also from someone you know, or can know in Twitter’s case, and have engaged with already.
How does this affect B2B Lead Generation?
When someone in your Social Network searches Sales Consulting, which you have shared content or links about because ultimately Sales Consulting is the solution you offer. The incorporation into their network, will now afford you the opportunity to populate the organic Sales Consulting search results.
In essence, instead of calling each person you know, to ask for their input, or to see if they know anyone that can help solve your problem, you will now be exposed to all of the relevant content created by your entire network right on your computer screen. Wow.
In the case study: Social Media is the Major Contributor to Lead Generation, Jeff Bullas outlines the quantitative impact of Social Media on the Lead Generation process.
The case study details the inclusion of 6 Social Media steps taken to help fill the sales funnel. After only 6 months, these were some of the results:
- 10,230 unique blog page views in Q3
- 280 Twitter followers
- 141 members of their LinkedIn Group
- 155% increase in unique web visitors
The results provided above compounded with the recent announcement of Google and their Social Search initiative, make it hard for any sales leader to ignore Social Media as a crucial means for B2B Lead Generation.
The value of Your Social network is now immeasurable. By expanding your Social Network you are ultimately increasing your marketing department, and extending the reach of your message to lengths that you never would have dreamed of.
So, how do you increase your network effectively through Social Media, and what does, “increase your network” really mean?
Almost 63% of click through traffic, on a Google search results page, is accounted for by the top three positions. Can you imagine what the percentage would rise to if the results were from your peers?