Social search: with a little help from your friends

Panel discussion: Brynn Evans, Will Ventilla, Ash Rust, Scott Prindle

Three flavours of social search: collective – gathering trends from a crowd (what are other people thinking/doing), friend-filtered (what are my friends thinking/doing), collaborative (working with someone to answer a question).

Objective questions vs. subjective questions: What’s Einstein’s birthday vs. What’s a good book to read about Einstein? Search is better at answering objective questions.

Why social search? Users want personalized responses to questions; most content is still locked in people’s heads.

Aardvark.com findings: Intimacy more than authority facilitates trust. You trust those you know most.

People asking questions want to know who they’re addressing.

OneRiot: realtime search engine ranking results based on level of discussion of trending topics in social sources. Other sites use their API to publish visualizations on specific topics. They estimate that 20-40% of all search queries benefit from the social component.

Social media is now a big part of the media mix in all marketing campaigns. Email marketing is dead because it’s not a public form of sharing and can’t generate the viral growth you get through the interaction of social sites and search engines. Example of the Old Navy supermodelquins contest.

BestBuy providing customer support via Twitter @twelpforce – it was happening ad hoc; they organized it and started marketing it.

Prindle: moving beyond traditional campaign model (spring campaign, holiday campaign, etc.) – better to build a platform for ongoing conversation with customers. Insert yourself into the conversations that are already taking place on social sites.

Search failures are a good place to insert social search opportunities – nudge people to try social options at this point.

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