Recently, Bing paired up with Facebook and rolled out its Social Search, which is similar, but not an exact replica, of Google’s system with the same name. While Bing’s search is solely Facebook-orientated, Google’s Social Search system integrates data from Flickr, Google Buzz, Twitter, Quora, and YouTube, in addition to the soon-to-launch +1 Button by Google.
To access Bing’s Social Search, users need to log into Facebook. Search results through Bing are then filtered by what a user’s friends “Like” on Facebook. As in, when a user is searching for something, Bing takes into account what their Facebook friends have liked and returns results based upon that information. Bing has dubbed the practice the “friend effect” and believes that people are more likely to trust what their circle of friends Like on Facebook. For example, if a user is searching airline tickets and finds that many of their friends clicked Like for Southwest, the assumption is that the user is much more likely to book through Southwest rather than United or other airlines.
Additionally, Bing will populate users’ Facebook feeds with search results if a user clicks Like for the results. For example, if a user searches Bing for flights between Los Angeles and San Francisco and clicks “Like” for the results, their Facebook profile will be updated with new offers of flights to San Francisco. While many Facebook users may view this as spam, other users may find it convenient. Many users may also be uncomfortable with linking search results to their Facebook, and it remains to be seen whether Bing will share users’ preferences with Facebook.
Bing’s launch of its own Social Search makes it more relevant than ever for attorneys and law firms to have a quality Facebook page that engages with and encourages users to Like. It is also important to consider finding a way to effectively integrate the Facebook Like button on both legal websites and blogs, making use of other relevant coding and tags in order to appear in search results. And hopefully, by being optimized socially for Bing, it will generate more likes for your Facebook page.
While the integration of social and search continues to evolve, think about what your legal Internet marketing goals are in relation to your target audience and reputation. To find out what kind of plan you need to fulfill these goals, contact the law firm Internet marketing team at SLS Consulting. Call 323-254-1510 today for a free growth assessment.