Jul

Why Keywords Do Not Cut It on Social Search

Most of the online search is keywords-based. Same in social domain, a vast number of analytical tools, networking platforms and mobile apps use keyword-based technologies as well.

There is a difference, of course, between traditional internet search and social search. The former finds websites. The latter finds conversations, messages, posts. Keyword-based internet search is doing a decent job for us for over 20 years. Keyword-based social search is not doing a decent job at all.

Consider a basic example: finding on Twitter who is interested in buying jeans. We can start by typing ‘jeans’ but that brings up too much noise. Maybe ‘need jeans’? Less noise but then we  people who use expressions like ‘looking for jeans’ or ‘want jeans’ or shopping for jeans’. Not to mention those who use ‘denim’, or brand names. So we have to run multiple searches or create a complex search string using logical AND and OR and hope it works. Neither option is simple, or convenient, and certainly not efficient.

The above example highlights the major flaw with keyword search - it does not capture the meaning of social conversations, and therefore cannot be a reliable source of information about conversations.

It does not provide too much of correct information. And it does provide lots of incorrect information. But the biggest problem is that it has extremely limited potential for improvement.  

So as long as we stick with keyword-based social search the results are destined to be limited.

Why, then, we stick with keyword-based search in social search? Simply because there is no good alternative. Until recently, that is.  

The advanced semantic technologies capable of capturing the meaning, or intent, of conversations are now offering an exciting alternative.

I will discuss these technologies on my next blog.

Interested in reading more? Check out our other blogs:

The Advantage of Social Engagement for Business, in Simple Words

                                                   

Much is being said about social networks and their importance for businesses. The amount of analysis, explanations, and advice keeps on growing, while the matter is being investigated from every possible angle, real and imaginary.  

As for me, the need for businesses to market and sell on social can be explained by a simple argument.

Here it is.

The principle advantage of social networks for a business over other mediums is in the social networks’ potential to build trust. Traditional marketing mediums, such as TV, newspapers, internet, radio, etc. are not designed to build trust. They are information channels, or scaling vehicles, or sales means, but their primary goal is not to build trust. Social networks, on the other hand, are exactly this - a trust building tools.

And herein lies their biggest advantage in today’s market. The endless variety of options consumers have and the ever growing dissatisfaction with traditional aggressive marketing methods, such as commercials or banners, means that creating trust between businesses and their audiences is now the most efficient way to attract customers. The way that guarantees long-term sustainability and growth.

This is, simply put, the reason for businesses to embrace the social.

 

READ MORE