by Car­oli­na Beltrán

Recent­ly, a very smart lady asked me about social media and paid search adver­tis­ing. Specif­i­cal­ly, she want­ed to know why she should be doing both and if they had any impact on one another.

Well…YEAH!  She should be doing both, but I under­stand why most of us don’t think of them togeth­er – they couldn’t be more dif­fer­ent. Those of us who live in the paid search world know our medi­um is all about con­ver­sion and ROI. You wouldn’t think paid search would have much inter­ac­tion with social media, which is often con­sid­ered exper­i­men­tal, brand-focused, and dif­fi­cult to measure.

But as dif­fer­ent as these two medi­ums are, each is capa­ble of increas­ing the val­ue of the oth­er. A GroupM Search, M80, and Com­Score found that con­sumers exposed to a brand’s social media con­tent are 2.8 times more like­ly to search on that brand’s terms. Fur­ther, con­sumers exposed to social media are more like­ly to per­form deep­er search­es, going fur­ther down the pur­chase fun­nel and com­plet­ing more purchases.

Con­sumers exposed to a brand’s social media are also 1.7 times more like­ly to search with the inten­tion of mak­ing a pur­chase. The study report­ed brands expe­ri­enced a 50% lift in click-through rates from con­sumers exposed to both social media and paid search. High­er click through rates pos­i­tive­ly impact your Qual­i­ty Score, so your ad posi­tion may be high­er and actu­al CPC low­er than what you would expe­ri­ence with no social media presence.

Where social con­tent exists that attracts engaged con­sumers, you can use paid search to cap­ture them and turn them into buy­ers. You can also use your paid search pro­gram to fuel social media con­tent interaction.

So now that you know there’s some seri­ous ben­e­fit to run­ning both con­cur­rent­ly, here are some ways you can start integrating:

1) Adver­tise on Face­book: Got an active paid search cam­paign but no Face­book page? What are you wait­ing for?! A Face­book Page is a free way to com­mu­ni­cate with your cus­tomers. Build your audi­ence (get more page likes) and get peo­ple to see and engage with your impor­tant mes­sages (pro­mote posts) by cre­at­ing Face­book Ads – you can tar­get by loca­tion, demo­graph­ics, and interests.

2) Use Google &*the AdWords Social Exten­sion:* I con­sid­er this the ulti­mate inte­gra­tion and the tac­tic most able to fuel your social media inter­ac­tion. The AdWords Social Exten­sion links your Google page to your AdWords cam­paign, so that all your 1s (from your page, your web­site, ads and search) get tal­lied togeth­er. This means more rec­om­men­da­tions for your ads, help­ing inform users about your con­tent. Cus­tomers will see the rec­om­men­da­tions your busi­ness has received, whether they’re look­ing at your AdWords ad, a search result or your Google page, mak­ing your 1’s vis­i­ble across all Google products.

3) Watch, Lis­ten, Learn, & Exe­cute: Remem­ber that by run­ning social media and paid search togeth­er, you’re look­ing for a per­for­mance lift in your paid search pro­gram, but suc­cess doesn’t hap­pen just because you are run­ning both along­side one anoth­er. You’ll need to active­ly lis­ten to what your audi­ence is con­vers­ing about. Dis­cov­er new key­words you can use and top­ics you can men­tion in paid search copy. Quan­ti­fy that lift!