The rise of social networking is influencing how search engines now return results to you. Many of the major players in the development of social networking tools are implementing “social search” in their strategies to deliver content. With social search, content that has some social connect to you is prioritized in your search results. Facebook, Google+, and Bing are all experimenting with this evolving concept, so what does this mean for your own content development and delivery?

 While the landscape of social search is still in its infancy, it is important to realize that social media is emerging as a major influence on more traditional marketing efforts such as search engine optimization (SEO). Social media and SEO must be integrated; for example, determine if your top-shared content overlaps with your top-performing search results. If so, you have some strength with that content and it pays to further optimize it. Additionally, make it easy to share your content with easy share links or buttons.

Social sharing is powerful because consumers are migrating away from straight advertising towards relying on recommendations of family and friends. This emerging form of authority plays prominently in your company’s marketing approach. Learn about who shares your content and why; knowing who shares your content helps you expand your reach further. You want to nurture these sharers so they continue to be an extension of your company.

The intersection of social media and SEO is in its infancy, so be prepared to consider all options when it comes to social search strategies. Stay aware of changes to Google+, Bing, and, of course, Facebook exerts major influence on social media strategies. Yet, the most important factor in this emerging landscape remains content. Create useful content; good content is shared and, by extension, becomes trusted. The authoritative content you deliver drives your marketing.