Customer Magnetism Review is a monthly blog feature. We review various events, websites and products that you might want to check out – or not. It’s our way of keeping you up to date on the Internet’s latest.
Search engine Bing and social media website Facebook joined forces last year. They have now stepped it up a notch. As of last week, Bing and users linked to Facebook can now see what their friends and other Facebook users like while they are doing an online search. A notation is added in to relevant search results. This adds about 500 million Facebook opinions to the user’s search. Bing calls it a social search. Connected users can also click the Facebook “like” button on the Bing search bar without having to log out and go to Facebook.
This could have a profound effect on merchants. Will it? Stefan Weitz, Director of Bing, likes to think so. He cites statistics that 90 percent of all consumers seek the opinion of their friends and family before making a purchase. By adding the “power of the collective IQ of the web” to the Bing user’s search, they no longer have to wait to speak to someone else before making choices on where to eat, what to buy and what to read.
The question that merchants and business owners need to ask themselves is whether this matters. Most companies engage in some type of social media marketing. Not everyone is on Facebook. It is easier for a trendy department store or restaurant to gain “friends” on the social media scene than it is for a DUI lawyer or a plastics manufacturer, for example.
For businesses that are on Facebook, social search is potentially beneficial. Facebook posts now show up in the search engine results pages, as well. This is where social media marketing can help, when done correctly. While Bing is still a very distant second to search engine Google, it still captures about 15 to 20 percent of the market share. That has to count for something, right?
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