When R&B recording artist Ne-Yo took the stage in Central Park for his Good Morning America free summer concert earlier this month, the crowd went wild.
And about 80% pulled out their smartphones to record the whole thing. It’s standard practice at live events these days.
What were they doing with those recordings? Professional videographers did a far better job documenting the show.
In all likelihood, the audience was uploading to a social site, like YouTube or Facebook, in the belief that proof of attending the concert boosted social capital.
Making yourself look good to peers is one of the big reasons ideas go viral, according to Wharton Professor Jonah Berger, author of the book Contagious: Why Things Catch On. Social currency through showing someone else what you did or saw is an instinct that begins in early childhood and is reinforced throughout our lives. “Kids love art projects,” he writes. “But whatever the type of project, media or venue, kids all seem to do the same thing once they are finished. They show someone else.” Berger notes that this behavior continues via social media, as people share what they’ve eaten, where they’ve traveled, and their opinions about the current government.
Now Google+ is putting a +1 on the power of social capital, and web marketers are taking note. Moz and SearchMetrics both note a high correlation between Google +1 shares and Google search rank.
It’s a lot easier for Google to find and index social shares on Google+ than on Facebook or Twitter. As SEO continues to lose steam in the face of updated Google algorithms (Moz was previously known as SEOMoz until May 2013 when SEO became uncool), you should rank Google+ at the top of your social marketing strategy. Google receives an estimated 900,000,000 uniques per month, dwarfing the second ranked Bing, which sees just 165,000,000 uniques in the same time period.
Your credible content, combined with an easy way for Google to find you, is the key to getting noticed by the world’s top search engine and by extension your future customers.