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The Synergy of Search and Social Media

Two is better than one

October 15, 2009

Research has shown that display ad exposure can lift consumer response to paid search. Data from comScore, GroupM and M80 indicates searchers are also more likely to keep a brand in mind if they have seen a combination of paid search ads and social media.

The research firms found a 19-percentage-point lift in searches on the campaign brand among users who saw social media relevant to the brand in addition to the campaign’s paid search ads compared with those who were exposed only to the search placements. And there was a further 13-point lift among those exposed to social media influenced directly by the brand.

US Internet Users Who Search on Campaign Brand Terms, by Ad Exposure, 2009 (% of total)

“Every day consumers express their intent via search. Now, we better understand how that intent is established via social media and the interplay between the channels,” said Chris Copeland, CEO of GroupM Search—The Americas, in a statement.

The effect was even more pronounced when it came to searches for product terms rather than brand terms. Users were almost three times as likely to search after seeing influenced social media plus paid search, compared with paid search ads alone.

US Internet Users Who Search on Brand Product Terms, by Ad Exposure, 2009 (% of total)

Consumers exposed to paid search along with influenced social media also had a 50% increase in click-through rate on paid search ads. Organic search click-through rates were higher, too.

“This finding provides strong evidence that investing in social media marketing can both increase initial brand consideration and drive higher conversion rates once the consumer has decided to purchase,” said Graham Mudd, vice president of comScore.

Keep up on the latest digital trends. Learn more about an eMarketer Total Access subscription, today.

Check out today’s other article, “Web Coupons a Hit for the Affluent.”


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