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GroupM Search and comScore announced recently the results a study looking at the relationship between social media exposure and search behaviors. Conducted in tandem with social media agency M80, the study, “The Influenced: Social Media, Search and the Interplay of Consideration and Consumption” reveals the dramatic correlation between influenced discovery of brands through social media and consumer search behavior. The study sought the answers to 3 important questions:

  • When consumers are exposed to influenced (brand) social media are they more likely to search and when they do, are they more engaged?
  • Does social media exposure influence search behavior by driving search queries further down the purchase funnel where consumers are more likely to convert?
  • Is there a synergy between influenced social media and search marketing that drive better performance than search only?

The research explored the impact of social media on search behavior over a three-month period across different verticals, including automotive, consumer packed goods and telecommunications. Search behavior was broken into segments based on where queries fell among stages of the purchase funnel. This included upper-funnel terms expressing awareness and consideration to lower-funnel terms expressing action and loyalty such as campaign brand terms and brand product terms.


Here are a few key findings:

  • Consumers exposed to a brand’s social media and paid search programs are 2.8 times more likely to search for that brands products compared to users who saw paid search alone.
  • There was a 50% increase in click-through-rate when consumers were exposed to ‘influenced’ social media and paid search.
  • Searchers using a brand’s product name in the query, the CTR increased from 4.5 percent to 11.8 percent when users were exposed to both influenced social media and paid search around a brand.
  • Consumers exposed to both a brands social media and paid search spent almost 3x more time online than the average consumer.
  • Among lower-funnel searches for campaign brand terms, consumers who were exposed to both influenced social media and paid search, had a total 32-point lift in searcher penetration.
  • The consumer’s propensity to search for brand product terms significantly spiked when exposed to both influenced social media and a brand’s search ad, with a jaw-dropping 42-point increase in searcher penetration.
  • Consumers exposed to influenced social and paid search exhibit 223% heavier search behavior than consumers exposed to paid alone.
  • In organic search, consumers searching on brand product terms who have been exposed to a brand’s social marketing campaign are 2.4 times more likely to click on organic links leading to the advertiser’s site than the average user seeing a brand’s paid search ad alone.
Thomas DiSanto

Thomas DiSanto is the CEO of Drive Customers, a Rhode Island based Digital Marketing Agency. He has more than 20+ years experience in creating and managing search engine marketing and enterprise level SEO programs. Call (855) 540-3300 today to learn why so many companies trust him.