More and more people are using social media every day in order to find out information about products and services. The way in which we search for things (products/services/information) on the internet is changing yet again.
Most of us use a search engine ie, Google, Bing or Yahoo to carry out this function and many of you will also have noticed that these search engines offer you suggestions on your search. The latest offerings are going more social. As a business this is a prime opportunity for you to sell the quality of your brand, product or services.
The trend for searching online for a service or company is increasing, and people are buying products from recommendations from their peers, friends and associates rather than clicking on an unknown link with a flashy advert.
Who would you buy from? A company you had never heard of appearing at the top of Google? Or a company that had excellent reviews or likes from your trusted friends or associates?
For example, how many times have you clicked on a link that you have received from a friend? You click because you believe that you can trust the source. If my friend clicked it, then it must be safe and useful, and if it is a product or service that you find of interest or of use, then you will have no qualms about sharing the same link amongst your own friends.
With all of this in mind, the search engines have evolved in how search results will appear…
Google have introduced +1 and Bing has announced that they are introducing a new process termed the ‘friend effect’.
The +1 button is Google's answer to Facebook's ‘Like’ button. It is a button that you can add to your website. The +1 will influence search rankings, you will start to notice this symbol on more and more websites (provided you are logged in to Google). With a single click you can recommend a product, service or website to friends, contacts and the rest of the world.
The aim of the +1 is to get you the most relevant of results as quickly as possible.
Bing’s ‘friend effect’
This process is similar in their mission of aiming to help you make a faster and more informed decision.
Research states that 90% of people seek advice from family and friends as part of a decision making process as people feel smarter, confident and safer within the wisdom of their social circle.