TikTok & Instagram: The New Search Engines
by Loran Ramm, Account Coordinator
Most of us can agree that our first interactions with the internet involved search engines. The early 1994 Webcrawler walked so that the 1998 Google Search could run (shout out to Ask Jeeves. None of us will forget you.) But the internet has grown into a more technologically advanced place since the mid-90s. Entire platforms that once needed to be accessed through website URLs can now be accessed entirely, and sometimes only, through mobile apps. And while many apps’ initial uses were for entertainment purposes, they easily transitioned into more social aspects, and now they are becoming the next big thing in keyword search. This experience is being described as social discovery.
What is social discovery? Business Insider’s “Social Discovery: The Serendipity and Science Behind the Social Internet” describes social discovery as “algorithms to help us find people, products, and places” (1). The perfect example of this can be found with Facebook. It is a platform that initially started out as a tool to connect people to people, but it has grown to provide other services that pertain to the human experience, such as shopping and events. Social media is allowing people to experience each other and the world around them from a metaphysical world and into the physical world.
In the article “The Social Discovery Survival Guide,” the American Marketing Association (AMA) goes into a deep dive on how social media platforms, specifically TikTok and Instagram, are navigating the ever changing world of marketing. In a post-pandemic world, consumers are doing more research on the things they buy and the adventures they want to experience before they pursue them. The AMA encourages “brands seeking to engage customers at every moment in their journey, this means opening your strategy to include optimizing social channels with this shift in search behavior in mind” (2). And while searching on social media is not a new phenomenon, AMA believes these are the top three focuses on how to successfully grow increased reach through social media searches:
- Social reach
- Influencer content
- Social word-of-mouth referrals
They believe that the data pulled from these social channels can create an impact in advertising priorities that will lead to higher chances of visibility from paid social media ads and influencer partnerships (1).
Trends are ever fleeting, so don’t wait to jump on this one!