Social media platforms continue to shape the way that younger generations interact with the world around them today. An internal study by Google showed that 40% of 18–24-year-olds are now using social media as their primary search engine. These consumers now prefer using Tik Tok and Instagram over Google search to find information. 
Tik Tok is known for its viral dance videos and pop music. But for Gen Z, the video-based app is increasingly becoming a search engine too. Instead of reading through pages of Google search results, users simply scroll though only a few short videos, getting the information they were searching for in a matter of seconds. 

Social Searching 

“Social searching” is a term used to describe using social media platforms as a search engine, as opposed to searching on Google. 
Searching for information on Tik Tok is often more interactive than typing a question into Google. Instead of receiving walls of text, Gen Z consumers discover recommendations from Tik Tok videos to pinpoint what they are looking for. They can then verify the accuracy of the suggestions made in these videos based on the comments posted in response. 
Young people are not only using this to look for products or businesses, but also to ask questions about how to do things or find explanations for what things mean. For example, users might search for key words to find out about travel destinations, hotels, or restaurants in specific areas. Users are also using the app to search for less typical questions such as conspiracy theories, cooking recipes, or celebrity news. 
However, it’s not just Tik Tok that Gen Z are turning to. Tik Tok’s rise as a discovery tool is part of a larger transformation in digital search. While Google remains the world’s dominant search engine, more people are now turning to Amazon to search for products, Instagram to stay updated on trends, and even Snapchat’s snap maps to find local businesses. 
So, what does this mean for digital marketers and how can brands make sure they’re not being left behind? 

1. Optimise for social searching 

Marketers must optimise their content for social media platforms if they intend to lean into the social searching trend. Using visually appealing content, creating a descriptive caption using key words, using Alt text, and geotagging posts can all improve your discoverability. 

2. Influencer marketing and user generated content 

This can all be paired with Influencer marketing and user generated content to maximise engagement and clicks. Brands can direct influencers on what to cover to ensure content can be easily discovered when searching for key words. Equally, you can encourage your current audience to create and share content related to your products or services. This not only fosters community engagement but serves as social proof, demonstrating real-life experiences of your services or products. 

3. Social listening 

Keeping up with social searching requires continuous monitoring of social media conversations and trends. Utilise social listening tools, such as Hubspot or Hootsuite, to track what users are saying about your brand, industry, and competitors. By paying attention to these insights, you can tailor your marketing strategies to meet the evolving needs of your audience. This helps to ensure you remain relevant in the eyes of your consumer. 

4. Incorporating social commerce 

Over 1 in 5 accounts followed online are companies and brands that users are considering buying from. To capitalise on the social searching trend, brands are seamlessly integrating e-commerce capabilities with their social media presence. Brands can add direct links to buy their products to their videos and posts. This makes it easier and quicker for consumers to find and purchase exactly what they are looking for. 
No matter what your business is, social media should be a big part of your marketing strategy. Social media is increasingly becoming a place where consumers look to find information. So, brands must start adapting their social media strategies for social searching to continue to reach their target audience.  
If you are unsure how best to implement your social strategy, call us on 01604 698 948 or email us on and we’ll arrange to meet for a coffee. 
Share this post:

Leave a comment: 

Our site uses cookies, including for advertising personalisation. For more information, see our cookie policy. Accept cookies and close
Reject cookies Manage settings