For years now, Google has been the top dog when it comes to online search. However Microsoft’s Bing is quickly becoming a respectable competitor. Bing.com (previously Live Search, Windows Live Search, and MSN Search) hit the online stage in 2008 with lofty goals of being a major contender in the online search field. The little search engine that could is slowly making gains on the Google giant, and 2012 has been a year of many new upgrades and changes.
One of the most noticeable updates, and a tool that is greatly differentiating Bing from Google, is the addition of social search and Facebook integration. Now, when a person searches for something on Bing, recommendations, comments, and tips from their Facebook friends who have mentioned the search term will show up in a left hand margin of the search results page (SERP).
Here are some tips for how marketers, business owners, and individuals spreading their brand online can get the most from Bing’s new social search:
Step 1: Reinvigorate your social media presence
Most businesses have been dabbling around on Facebook and Twitter for years now, but it may be time to reinvigorate the social marketing plan. Tactics for reinvigorating your social presence include:
- Make a schedule of when you want to tweet and post on Facebook each day to keep up with interactions.
- Consider hiring a professional designer to create a new, more branded profile for your Facebook and Twitter pages.
- Branch out into multimedia options for sharing content, such as photos, video, and more.
Step 2: Make it easy to share
Whether writing a blog, uploading a new product to a website, or pushing out a press release, companies should be sure the Facebook icon is there so fans and friends can instantly post your message to their Facebook wall. Here are some proven ways to make content easy and likely to be shared:
- Use the Facebook and Twitter share icon on your website, blog, and across your other social channels to make sharing just a click away.
- Consider allowing customers to create an account on your site that is connected to their Facebook or Twitter pages, for seamless sharing.
- Use humor, wit, and interesting facts to make information you post or promote more likely to be shared socially.
Step 3: Find your niche
Every business or brand has specialized information it can share via Twitter. Bing is now using Twitter like an expert advice column, which presents a new opportunity for you to be considered an expert in your field. Tweet your best business tips and advice, and see this information come up as “suggestions” in the Bing social search results. Some ways to gain the cred necessary to become a Bing social search advice guru include:
- Post content that is relevant and helpful to your customer base/audience.
- Keep your advice and tips light and friendly, so people don’t feel intimidated and can trust you like they would a friend.
- Consider doing some research on keywords and popular search terms to incorporate (in an organic way) into your tweets.
Step 4: Be patient
Social search results will build over time, rather than bringing overnight success. And Bing itself, as a search engine, is still growing in popularity. Furthermore, many generations still aren’t truly on board with sharing their personal thoughts and opinions all over the internet, but the younger generations who have grown up with the internet will soon be all over the social search engine. By laying the groundwork now, companies that invest in their social presence will reap the benefits of being an early adopter in social search later on.
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