social media advertising search intersection2011 may well be known as the year that Social Media caught up to Search in the race for Internet supremacy.

Data released last week by Business Insider indicates that Google’s influence over global Internet browsing is being slowly eroded by social networks. The article even suggests that Facebook might well be in a position to outshine Google in the long run as a major Search alternative.

Impacts on Business Advertising

While perhaps not immediately apparent, this trend could well have a significant impact on conventional advertising methods. With a decline in market share, search engines will surely see a decline in advertising dollars as Social Media Advertising becomes the next big thing.

In the hopes of connecting with potential customers and fans on a deeper level and with more regularity, major labels, networks and brands have already begun the process of incorporating social media advertising into their campaigns (as opposed to, or in addition to search based advertising).

What does this mean for small business?

Leveraging social media and incorporating elements of it into your advertising will be a crucial part of developing trust with consumers. While most businesses are still using traditional push tactics (ie: pushing a customer toward a sale), the more successful ones will be those who “advertise for interaction” using consumer affinity with social networking as a base.

Three Great Examples of Social Media Advertising

1. New Twitter

The launch of NewTwitter was an interesting experiment in advertising for a few reasons. The ad itself was primarily distributed through social media channels like YouTube and Vimeo.

In the weeks leading up to its release, the video also got major coverage on mainstream news networks…

Typical of their overall company culture, Twitter was clever in its approach. The video contained no dialogue and no insight as to the competitive advantage of the product. Instead, they preferred to show a “Day in the Life” of a Twitter user.

What can we learn here?

Though Twitter is a social media company and this kind of consumer-focused interaction comes naturally to them, small businesses can do the same.

If you’re producing content for advertising, a list of benefits of your product isn’t the most effective or persuasive method for getting your point across. Don’t think you need to repeat your message three times for it to be heard. Show examples of what people can do with improved or unique product and leave it at that. People will connect the dots on their own.

2. Keenan Cahill with 50 Cent

Arguably the most recognizable face on the web today is Keenan Cahill. The YouTube phenomenon has been getting millions of hits this year for his self-recorded lip-syncing of pop songs from the likes of Katy Perry and 50 Cent.

It was only a matter of time before someone had the brilliant idea to leverage Keenan’s immense online popularity…

By all means spare yourself from watching the whole clip, but there is a great take-away here: Social Media is a fantastic way to compliment existing advertising.

Said Georgette Cline of

“Down on Me,” the second single from Jeremih’s sophomore album All About You, is currently No. 4 on the iTunes R&B chart as a result of Keenan’s video. “It went overnight from No. 25 to No. 11,”

Now THAT is a successful advertising campaign, no?

3. More With Google

Don’t believe social media advertising is going to become a mainstay?

Even Google – the search behemoth – is capitalizing on the power of Social Media Advertising. The ‘More With Google’ campaign released in late November is a wonderful example…

The most interesting thing about this particular release is the strength of social media when compared with search.

Upon release, Google didn’t choose to make this a sponsored video in its own YouTube search results. Instead, the video was released through a competitor – Vimeo. Making use of another network, which captures a different niche, shows that Google understands social media as a concept and sees value in using social media channels (even those that they don’t own) to disseminate information.

If It’s Good Enough for Google…

If it’s good enough for Google, it’s certainly good enough for small business. Don’t spend all of your advertising dollars releasing content through traditional TV, radio, newspaper or even search based advertising.

Instead, do what the big brands are already doing – take advantage of en effective and emerging trend – social media advertising.

Do you have any social media advertising examples you’d like to showcase? Let us know by leaving a link or a comment below.