Adapting strategies to consider social searching

June 21, 2024 Posted by Maisie Lloyd Round-Up 0 thoughts on “Adapting strategies to consider social searching”
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Maisie Lloyd
Digital Content Specialist

I'm passionate about recording the world, but most of all driven by creativity and collaborative environments. My experience revolves around the production of digital content, pertaining to graphic design, writing copy, and video and audio content.

Social searching is defined as the retrieval of information on social platforms instead of using traditional search engines. The method of searching is quite common amongst younger searchers and is a quick and easy way to find information without leaving any social platforms. Platforms like TikTok and Instagram now provide a new opportunity for trawling the web for information.

Previously search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing, were established as the main places to search the internet. Hybrid search methods are proving that marketing strategies aren’t just about making your website SEO (search engine optimisation) friendly.

Why are people social searching?

A study held by HubSpot identified that 29% of millennials and Gen Z searchers have a preference for social searching over traditional means like Googling. It’s important to understand what’s prompting the migration of searching to ensure strategies evolve alongside searchers’ behaviours. Social platforms provide searchers with a new way of accessing quality information in a video or image format.

In 2023 we covered a study held by Her Campus Media, which determined that 74% of Gen Z were using TikTok search. The study highlights the clear preference for short-form content around younger generations. Short-form videos provide users with information in a relatively fast-paced manner, which nurtures the short attention spans of Gen Z and millennials by providing instant gratification.

Unlike Google, TikTok and Instagram algorithms work entirely differently. Google considers a handful of factors like the quality of the content, the search terms used, the authority of the website as well as many more technical aspects.

Whereas TikTok, Pinterest and Instagram algorithms use engagement metrics such as shares, comments, likes and saves to determine what content is displayed. As well as making considerations around the user’s preferences, and behaviours surrounding content consumption.  This way of displaying information to users allows for a more personalised search experience as the algorithm tailors results to their specific needs, previous interactions and preferences.

How to adjust your marketing strategy for social search

Adjusting your strategy to accommodate social searching will ensure that content is available to your audience on more than just Google. Positioning content to those on social media and those on Google will create an opportunity to gain engagement.

One of the many factors contributing to social search’s popularisation is user-generated content (UGC). UGC allows users to authentically contribute to discussions surrounding brands. Establishing a rapport in a consumer-brand relationship is fundamental in creating trust and will help shape the sentiment around the brand.

The external forms of validation can be extremely beneficial to the way your brand is perceived. That’s not all though, it can also provide those searching with quality real-life examples of experiences around products, services, and brands. Some of the most effective forms UGC of for building trust are utilising testimonials, peer validation, reviews, and endorsements.

Creating visual content requires forethought, content shouldn’t be made for the sake of making it. Your content should have intent, whether that is to educate or entertain. Make considerations around your audience, the duration of the content, the amount of information included and the structure it is provided in. Producing content for social algorithms starts with creating useful content for your audience. Generating engagement with your existing audience is the most effective way to establish your brand’s online presence, this data then demonstrates to the algorithm this content is valuable and will likely show it again.

Consider teaming up with influencers and creators as it can help raise brand awareness and illustrate the reliability of the brand. One of the main benefits of collaboration is the content that is generated. This can be effective when looking to drive engagement on content, especially on a platform like Instagram where you can make collaborative posts.

The last and one of the most important ways to adjust your strategy is to upcycle any old content, reformat it and give it new life across your socials. This allows a brand to breathe life into old or failing content. Doing this can help save resources and time spent on producing new content which can be especially handy over busy periods. It can also help increase engagement and expand the audience consuming it.

We’re interested to know if you use platforms like Instagram, Pinterest or TikTok to find information or if you prefer more traditional options like Bing and Google.

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