As with any recommendation, when it comes from a trusted source it carries a lot more weight and will probably stand-alone in influencing any resulting decisions that we may face. Whoever we are, weâ€™ll all be able to recognise that friends, family, teachers, politicians (no wait) all have a part to play in our perception of a product, service, destination or event that weâ€™re yet to discover for ourselves.
As we all know, search engines are constantly striving to give us a quality experience that will result in us coming away happy and fulfilled. Itâ€™s all part of the search engine service and this continual improvement approach has led to sites being rewarded or downgraded depending on the quality of content that theyâ€™re providing.
In 2012 it became apparent to search engines that social media was playing a massive part in a userâ€™s decision making process and, as in real life, the recommendations that were being made online were being listened to and acted upon accordingly.
So, search engines upped their game and started to reward sites that had likes, shares and links entering their domain under the thought that this sort of recommendation is as close to a real life word of mouth experience that the user can hope to experience online.
Fair play to them and although Google is kind of trying to gently nudge the likes of Facebook out of the way with its all-encompassing social experience, Google+, itâ€™s still worth remembering that having social plugins on every page of your site is pretty much the way to go.
If 2012 was the year that we woke up to social media then 2013 is the year that we fully embraced it and integrated it as part of our marketing strategy as opposed to a stand-alone feature. Below are a few examples of web content to engage and enthral social media users.
A well-written piece of content is worth its weight in gold and if itâ€™s engaging, interesting and entertaining then itâ€™s more than likely going to be shared, liked and Tweeted about.
Highly amusing videos or potentially inspirational videos are all well-worth sharing in a social setting, mainly because they make the sharer just that little bit more popular.
A well-managed blog will engage with a targeted audience and provide information thatâ€™s worth sharing. RSS feeds make the perfect means to interact with users who are interested in what you have to say.
You canâ€™t beat a good infographic and the more colourful, creative and entertaining the better. Giving users the option to share something that they canâ€™t actually create themselves is an excellent way to let them pretend that they can.
In summary: Thereâ€™s never been a better time to add social media to your marketing mix and from long-term content plans to finding out what people really think about your products; 2013 is the year that social media grow up and started to play with the big boys and girls.