These days, when you think of conducting an internet search, would you imagine the Google or TikTok search bars?
If it’s the former, you might be out of touch with the current trend because younger generations today use social media to search for information, while you are busy optimising your content for Google.
So, should your content strategy be affected by this new change? And are social media sites actually evolving into the next generation of search engines, or is this merely a trend? Read on to find out what we think.
Social media’s attractiveness as a search engine
Due to the chaos of the internet, young people nowadays – particularly members of Generation Z – prefer to use social media to quickly find what they’re looking.
What, then, are they seeking, you may ask? Mainly authentic content, videos created by real people sharing their thoughts on a certain subject(s), commodities, or services.
Young people, however, also enjoy brief content. You can watch more relevant information on social media in less time because TikTok and Instagram impose time limits on videos. Just think about it, would you rather watch a one-minute video instead of wading through the Google search results’ wall of text? Clearly, the latter is more attractive and time-saving.
How important is social media?
We must examine certain data in order to respond to this question. Start with the most apparent question: how many people use social media?
The response is roughly 56 per cent of the world’s population, which is greater than half of the entire population. According to research, the average person uses social media daily for two hours and twenty-five minutes.
Therefore, there is no denying that having a social media presence for your business has fantastic advantages. However, social networking is less beneficial than having a website and optimising for search engines, given the staggering 6 hours and 37 minutes individuals spend online as a whole.
Trust goes a long way
Nonetheless, the issue goes beyond sales. According to research, customers are giving more and more weight to brand image. What better way to establish that trust than by employing TikTok or Instagram, an app that requires businesses to present the faces behind their company?
In 2022, customers said they would spend more buying from a trustworthy brand. Therefore, even though social media may not be your primary platform, it can still be a good one to use in order to make a good impression on your audience.
Search engines are no longer purely for search
Is it really so weird that social media is gaining popularity as a search engine when Google has evolved to resemble a social network more? Google started to shift its business practices substantially a few years ago. And switching from text to visual was one of these shifts.
Have you ever noticed that Google searches nowadays provide more visually appealing results – videos, pictures, and reviews that include photos? Google now reveals authenticity to you rather than a wall of text that nobody wants to read.
Social media is evolving
Conversational search is becoming increasingly popular, and AI technologies are taking over the internet. Today, social media is already becoming a search engine in its own right. You’re not alone if you feel overwhelmed or exhausted due to the evolving online landscape.
Therefore, while you’re busy optimising your website for SEO, it helps to also focus on bettering your reach on your social media platforms.
The age of influencer marketing
With the dawn of social media, advertising has also evolved. Gone were the days of advertising purely on billboards, newspapers and magazines. These days, advertising has become more effective on social media, especially with brand collaborations with social media influencers and celebrities.
Social media influencers wield significant power over their followers’ opinions and behaviours.
Therefore, influencer collaboration is the way to go if you’d like to cast a wider net on your target audience reach.
Utilisation of social engagement and backlinks
With the spread of digitised information, public relations has also evolved from mere press releases and articles published in newspapers and magazines into digital PR pieces that can be converted into quality backlinks for SEO.
Like traditional PR, digital PR aims to raise brand awareness by helping brands enhance their online identity and visibility.
This is done by pushing higher social mentions, backlinks, and referral traffic. Engaged audiences are likelier to share content, mention and link back to a website, contributing to a natural backlink profile and increasing the website reach.
Is it time to change your strategy?
In order to continue thriving, many companies will have to keep up with online trends. They must utilise social media and Google’s new features to stay competitive. And those who are worn out or overwhelmed by the constant changes of online algorithms? They must ‘force’ themselves to adapt to the new features.
Therefore, even if learning a new style of conducting your business might not sound like fun, it is the only way you can advance further. Fortunately, you can always pay a young and savvy digital marketing company – like us! – to guide you through the extremely addictive yet changeable world of social networking.
Do you need to know more about how you can utilise social media to get your business ahead of the competition? Get in touch with us and learn how!