Earlier this week, I participated in my 13th Search Insider Summit. Over the years, the themes have changed quite a bit and I’ve done my best to keep up with all the buzz.

At this show, there was a lot of chatter around the intersection of search and social. Here’s a quick recap of the highlights from my session, titled: “Leveraging Social to Drive Search and Vice Versa.” 


My panelists included (right to left in photo) Michelle Prieb, Sr. Account Supervisor, Social Integration and Strategy at Edelman Digital, Holly Maust, Director of Analytics at Engauge, Nevia Chiclacos, Digital Marketing Specialist at Vail Resorts, and Gerry Bavaro, Chief Strategy Officer at Resolution Media.

Turns out, beyond digital marketing, these folks are quite accomplished vocalists. Gerry is a beatboxer. Nevia is a slam poet. Holly is a singer. And Michelle does free verse. Check out the first 5 minutes of the video from our session to see them in action.

Following the sing-off, er, intros, we got down to brass tacks…

Gerry discussed how his team uses Twitter hashtags to identify early trends and then buys related keywords via search to reach people looking for info on those topics.

Nevia stressed the importance of Google+ and said she’s seeing a 20% increase in click-through rates for paid search ads that have embedded +1s.

Holly harped on connecting search and social teams and using analytics to determine what content works best in which channel using engagement metrics.

Michelle talked about using search keyword data to build audience segments and use those as a base for channel and content planning.

All in all, it was a very insightful session with some concrete takeaways for the audience.

That said, we had a tough act to follow on the heels of a keynote from Rob Creekmore of Facebook who dropped some knowledge on how social can make search work harder after dropping a little spoken word.

Thinking I may have to challenge Rob to a Search and Social Rap battle at the next show. Need to reclaim my throne after getting stomped by Chuck in the SEO/PPC Rap Battle at the Spring 2011 SIS.