Size Matters – Your Social Media Footprint

Size matters. How big is yours - your social media footprint? Here on Handshake 2.0, the topic of enhancing a social media footprint as a means of getting found on the Web has been addressed many times. Authors of these posts have encouraged readers to Google themselves to find out how they rank in search results both as individuals and as the businesses they represent.

Engaging in blogging, using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedInand other social media tools have been recommended as strategic moves to increase prominence on the Web. While all of this has been solid advice for any Web marketing and/or social media strategy, the relevance increased significantly when, in December 2009, Google announced it was changing its traditional search methodology to include real-time search. Search engines Bing and Yahooquickly followed Google's lead.

Now, it's not just a company's web site that gets indexed by search engines.  Updates to Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and Facebook Fan pages are indexed immediately after they are posted. And, according to an article by Adam Ostrow on Mashable, real-time search also works on some mobile devices.

Activity in social networks not only increases a company's Web presence, it now impacts how Google ranks an individual or a company in search results. Size matters – businesses and individuals with the bigger social media footprint are more likely to be discovered on the Web.

If you've been putting off starting a corporate blog, using Twitter or making a video and posting it to YouTube, maybe now is the time to do so.

How competitive are you? Would knowing a competitor appears in the top level of search results ahead of you because they use Twitter or have a YouTube channel be reason enough to enlarge your social media footprint?

From Handshake 2.0:  Creating corporate social media channels and keeping them updated with high quality content got even more mission-critical when Google announced its new search index Caffeine on 6/8/10: "Searchers want to find the latest relevant content and publishers expect to be found the instant they publish."


Z. Kelly Queijo is the founder of SmartCollegeVisit and a frequent contributor to Handshake 2.0. You're invited to follow SmartCollegeVisit on Twitter, @collegevisit.

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  1. Hi Kelly,

    You are right that Google has changed the playing field by indexing social media. Every company needs some form of social media to remain competitive. The challenge is finding the right strategy to meet corporate objectives. Jumping into social media without a strategy is a waste of rescources and objectives.

  2. It’s a huge challenge, isn’t it? Debra, I like the way you’ve addressed this in your blog post(Why Social Media Won’t Work as a Silo Marketing Channel). Social media can, and does, drive traffic to a web site. Then, there has to be a strategy regarding messaging and tracking in place in order to monitor its success. And, like you’ve said, social media has to be integrated into the overall plan so that when that traffic arrives, your site is ready to convert a sale or lead. The nice thing about social media is that it is relatively easy and inexpensive to test various methods. Trying new techniques and tools are a routine part of my own marketing strategy.

  3. All correct, all easier said than done. “Where did you hear of us?” The question – whether asked in person, on the phone, in an email, or by a survey – is one notoriously not asked by companies. More traffic to a site, more Twitter followers, more Facebook fans, more LinkedIn connections, all great, but did they result in the most common business objective – sales? Whether a company jumps into social media or dips in a strategy-savvy toe, if a company doesn’t ask what resulted in a sale, the benefits of social media simply can’t be stated, much less measured.

    I found these related posts of interest:

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