Posted January 30, 2012 10:17 am by with 1 comment

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This post was created by our Reputation Channel sponsor Webimax.

Numbers reflecting user participation on social sites were issued recently, stirring the interest of marketers and brands leveraging popular sites like Facebook and Twitter. Out of 2,000 U.S. web users asked, an astounding 85% had Facebook accounts. About three-quarters of the population use the social platform daily, and over half of those asked have at least a hundred friends. Wow, the opportunity to engage markets is there.

The Consumers Have Arrived, Where’s the Businesses?

Further research showcased what consumers do with brand-produced media. It seems consumers are more than happy to share videos, mention companies in updates, read brand-produced editorial, “like” businesses, “retweet” posts, and interact with brands in other ways. So, consumers will interact but will brave brands?

I tease the reluctance of some small businesses by using the word, “brave.” Some brands are hesitant to engage in real time platforms, which behold opportunity for consumers to state both positive and negative sentiments. However, the research shows most of those who do comment, provide positive comments and those who make negative comments, do it less often and don’t participate as much, creating reason for small brands to shed reluctance.

Social Media Influences SEO

The main title refers to a reputation’s influence on search. In most cases, each brand needs to chase highly-competitive keywords aligned to its respective industry. Social media optimization (SMO) supplements search engine optimization, and when done well, could help lessen the importance of chasing competitive, SEO-campaign, search terms, sought by many if not all vendors in most industries.

Reconsider Marketing Dollars

Marketing research reflects interesting data regarding “desired” information. A significant 80% of consumers, partaking in social media platforms, desire information related to discounts and coupons. If a high number of people use social sites, are willing to share brand information, and mostly desire info related to discounts and promotions, perhaps it’s a good idea for some companies to reconsider how marketing dollars are spent.

As mentioned, every small brand needs to chase competitive, broad keywords, investing a lot of dollars in the process. Marketing data illuminates a different avenue of opportunity for small brands, one leading to social media engagement. Would it make more sense for your brand to begin shifting its online marketing campaign’s focus, placing more emphasis on social participation and building reputation, while placing less focus and dollars into chasing hard-line, competitive search terms? For instance, shifting more resources and money away from chasing those golden terms, reserving them for social-platform-launched promotions and sales, could produce more “bang” for a small-brand-sized budget.


I’m not diluting the importance of obviously popular, user-leveraged search terms aligned to a brand’s respective industry, but suggesting some small brands survey the landscape of their industry and behavior of its target markets, especially regarding social site participation. While you’re pulling your hair out, trying to secure rankings for those golden terms, you could also be building your brand’s reputation, creating numerous consumer-to-brand avenues through social engagement.

Sources: AYTM and SEJ.

The views and opinions expressed in this post are not necessarily those of Marketing Pilgrim.

Todd Bailey is Vice President of Digital Strategy at WebiMax, a leading SEO company with 500+ clients and 150+ employees as well as Lead Contributor at

  • “A significant 80% of consumers, partaking in social media platforms, desire information related to discounts and coupons.”

    That’s my takeaway. It’s no surprise, but it’s good to have the hard data to support why this needs to be a part of our strategies.