Branding: Search VS. Social? How About Search AND Social?

With the rapid emergence and adoption of social media as a marketing tool, today’s marketers have been spending a significant amount of their time leveraging social media channels with customer interaction, collaboration, and idea generation being the main incentives for them to jump on such the social media bandwagon.

Despite all that, search engines are still the king when it comes to online marketing for the following reasons:

  • Search engine traffic provides targeted traffic to your brand.
  • The traffic from search engines is steady and predictable – you will not face the spikes and plunges associated with inquiries through social media traffic.
  • Search engine traffic pays you in the long run.
  • Money makers: Search engine visitors are those visitors who come to your brand looking for something that they really want and are willing to pay money to get what they want.

That said, it is a business imperative to consider both avenues – search and social media in your marketing strategy. Sometimes the issue is convincing people why resources need to be committed in these areas at all. While more often, the conflict is whether to invest in one marketing strategy more than the other. What is obvious is that you can’t just focus on one because you will be missing out on potential visitors from the other. The ideal solution is to find a way where you can manage social media and search engines on regular basis to drive desired behaviors and results.

One of the tools you can leverage to achieve this goal is the Q&A feature on With Q&A feature you have your cake and eat it too!

The reason is simple – Facebook and LinkedIn are kind of semi closed networks. They provide limited access for Google and other search engines to index their content – including the Q&A discussions posted by the users on their sites. However, which includes the link to all your social media channels is a completely open platform. This will make every page on accessible to the search engines including the Q&As.

To see this in action, just Google Josh Sippola, the social media strategist for CenturyLink. His pages rank higher than his Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter page. Better yet – it even ranks higher than his Google+ pages! The same rule applies for all the Q&A pages you create on

Here is a sample Q&A page. Check out the link to the user’s personal, company, product, and service page on the right hand side of the page. You can also automatically share each question page on your social media channel of choice. This way, your Q&A, personal, company, product, and service pages will be found and viewed by users from both search engines and social media sites. So, there you go – you are able to reach your targeted audience from both search engines and social media sites in fast and efficient way.

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About Elias Shams
I have been a serial entrepreneur in telecom and social media space for past 12 years or so. I hold a M.S. degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the George Washington University and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. I’ve lived and worked in many countries and cities including London England, Tehran Iran, Bonn Germany, Paris France, Alicante Spain, Delhi India, and my favorite of all Washington, DC of great US of A. Two of the greatest Washington, DC based companies I worked for and very proud of are Yurie Systems which was sold to Lucent in 1998 for $1.23 B and that I founded in 1999. I am currently the founder and awesomizer @

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