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!