So the neighbor’s kid knocks a baseball through our living room window. My response is:

  1. Go to Facebook and look at pictures of cats.
  2. Have a sandwich before the mayonnaise goes bad.
  3. Have someone replace the window before the weather and unwanted visitors becomes an issue.

If you answered “C,” you’re a conformist. Yep, you’re about to do what everyone else on the planet would do.

Your predictability makes me happy, because as a digital marketer, I know where to position my clients to get your attention at just the right time. I’ll have them on Google showing up when you search for “Window Repair.” Why? Because you need something NOW, and you’re motivated enough to start searching for it.

So now I’m on Facebook looking at pictures of cats while eating a sandwich.

I really wasn’t thinking about replacing my patio door, but my wife and I had been discussing it for a while. Lo and behold, wedged between what my neighbors had for dinner tonight and the latest political tirade, is an offer to download a free guide to patio doors. I click on it, download my guide (expertly branded by the advertiser) and immediately go into a database where systematic emails (and my wife) conveniently remind me about that remodel and new patio door.

Search or Social … What’s the Difference?

Search: When I’m searching for something, it’s typically something that I need or want NOW. By definition, I’m a pre-qualified customer. Think about what just happened by the time I get to your website:

  • I have a need for your product or service.
  • I’m motivated enough to sit down in front of my device and actively search for it.
  • I’m presented with a variety of search results to choose from.
  • I select the best result based on what I see, and I click on it.
  • If I see what I want, maybe I’ll call or click.

Social: I need to see pictures of cats, what my neighbors had for dinner, and other brainless activity. I’m not looking for anything in particular, I’m just killing time.

  • I’m scrolling down my Facebook feed for whatever catches my eye.
  • I see an image of someone installing a patio door. I see that I can download a free guide about the “Top 10 Tips Trends in Patio Doors.”
  • My wife’s been bugging me about this, so I click on it.
  • I go to a landing page on your website, where all I have to do is fill in my name and email address.
  • I download the guide.

Am I a pre-qualified customer? Well, yes … but not as qualified as when I actively searched for something. I didn’t start off with the intent to purchase, I don’t have an immediate need, but now you’ve got my attention … I’m just not as far down the buying funnel (but I’m thinking about it now).

So which is better, search or social?

Search targets motivated customers with actual buying intent and typically has higher conversion rates. However, social is typically less expensive per visitor.

Conversely, there are some products and services that are rarely searched for but do generate a lot of business through social advertising.

More often than not, we’ll recommend a strategy that consists of both search and social, but that’s not always the case. It takes a bit of research, but we can help you develop the best strategy. It’s one of those “complimentary” things, so give us a call.

Authors Note:
For more tips about what you can do to create a robust web presence, see the free guide “25 GLASS Website ‘Must Haves’ for Driving Traffic, Leads & Sales.”

1 Comment

  1. I agree with your conclusions, but wonder if “complimentary” means you will conduct research free of charge, – or if you mean complementary as in “enhance”??

    All the best,


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