Beyond Google: The reality of today’s search landscape
In the early 2000s, web search was mainly limited to search engines and online directories, but the landscape has changed.
SEO professionals need to think beyond Google and search engines and focus on overall search presence to improve clients’ visibility on various platforms, including social media, where a significant share of web searches happen.
This blog post will discuss why brands need to go beyond traditional search engine optimization (SEO) and focus on a more holistic approach—search optimization—that includes social media platforms, online directories, and other sources of web traffic.
Social Search: What it is and Why it Matters
What is Social Search?
Social search refers to the ability to search for information or content on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and others. This allows users to find relevant content, users, and conversations based on keywords, hashtags, location, and other parameters.
The results of a social search can be tailored to individual user preferences and can differ from traditional search engines. According to Gartner, social search allows users to disambiguate search results effectively.
Why Social Search Matters for Brands
Showing up in social media search results is becoming increasingly crucial for brands. Here are 12 reasons why:
- Investment in Search Functionality: Social media platforms are investing significant budgets in improving their search functionality, which will likely result in enhanced social search results over time.
- Increased Social Media Usage: As more people spend time on social media than search engines, social search use is on the rise.
- Gen Z’s Social Media Habits: In the US, Gen Z users spend approximately 5 hours weekly on Instagram.
- Refined Results: Social search results often have filters such as hashtags, services, companies, jobs, events, and people, making results more refined and targeted.
- Local Business Discoverability: Social platforms also focus on making local businesses more discoverable through social search.
- Reflecting Word of Mouth: Social media search results show user interactions and reflect word of mouth through comments, likes, shares, follows, and conversations.
- Trust in User Opinions: Studies show that people trust the opinions of other users (such as clients, customers, and suppliers) more than what is displayed on business websites.
- Relevance and Engagement: Unlike search engine results that focus on optimized web pages, social search focuses on relevancy and engagement.
- Less Spam: Since social media search results are derived from the posts and interactions of social media users, there is less spam in the results compared to typical search engine results.
- Increased Value of Quality Content: Quality content becomes more valuable when users discuss products, services, and brands on social media, and these conversations appear in social media search results.
- Providing Influence: While search engine results generally provide information, social search results have the potential to be influential.
- Ease of Adoption: People of all ages can quickly adapt to new trends in social media, but adapting to advanced search engine techniques can be more challenging.
Searching on Social Media Platforms
Searching on social media platforms is essential to any digital marketing strategy. To get a better idea of what each platform offers, let’s explore the search features of some of the most popular social media platforms.
The Future: Search Optimization (not just Search Engine Optimization)
The future of search lies in optimization, not just in search engine optimization. Brands must prioritize their social media presence as social media platforms constantly invest in improving their search functionality.
With more and more users spending time on social media rather than search engines, it’s crucial to understand and leverage the search features on these platforms.
Don’t fall behind; take advantage of this opportunity now. Trust the experts at BlakSheep Creative, Louisiana’s leading digital marketing agency, to help you optimize your search presence and stay ahead of the curve.
Contact us today to learn more!
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about search optimization on social media platforms:
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