Brands need combined search and social media strategy, says report

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Brands need a combined search and social media strategy, according to a new report from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), the trade association for digital marketing, and Microsoft Advertising.

The report, Search and Social Media: making your brand stand out, provides brands with a guide to the ways in which the two can be employed to best effect when combined.

With real-time and social content becoming increasingly visible within natural search listings, the voices of consumers are now louder than ever, it says. In a roundtable held in November 2009, attended by brands such as the COI and Coca-Cola, alongside a number of social media agencies and search specialists, the IAB and Microsoft Advertising found many marketers are not yet fully aware of the inextricable link between the two disciplines. Both organisations are now urging UK advertisers to boost their branded online visibility and guard themselves during PR crises by implementing a solid, joined search and social media strategy.

The IAB and Microsoft Advertising have aggregated case studies and best practice examples, research, quotes from practitioners and consumer insights to create a holistic overview of the market, and the future implications of the continuous merging of these two worlds.

Featuring a foreword from Dr Qi Lu, president of Microsoft, online Sservices division, the report outlines the ways in which search and social media can work together:

Combined effect: search and social media working together

Informing strategy: using social media research to inform your search and overall business strategy

Response and reputation: using search and social media as a response tool, to successfully manage your reputation online

The IAB and Microsoft Advertising have also enlisted recruitment experts such as Propel London, to explore changing company structures and where the responsibility for search and social media lies within advertiser organisations.

Search and Social Media: making your brand stand out is available to download for free.