Why Social Media Is Top Priority for Search Marketers

Is 2011 set to be the “year of Facebook,” even among search marketers? Based on what US advertisers told search marketing agency Covario, it’s definitely the year of social.

Search marketers have discovered how social media marketing can help build their search engine optimization efforts, and respondents to the Covario survey said their No. 1 priority for SEO next year was integration with social media programs. According to the report, “leveraging social media for scalable link-building efforts is a major initiative for advertisers.”

Social media will also play an important part in paid search efforts next year. Search ad campaigns on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn were top of mind for nearly half of advertisers surveyed—far ahead of priorities like local search or dealing with recent changes to major search engines (for example, Google Instant and Yahoo!-Bing integration).

The report noted that major spending increases on Facebook search advertising are planned for 2011. Covario estimated many advertisers would be spending 10% to 20% of their pay-per-click budgets on Facebook next year, giving the social networking site a major share of that market. The report also indicated that rather than pulling dollars away from other paid search spending areas, these would be additions to the search budget coming from display or offline budgets instead.

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