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Social Media is the New Search Engine

Published by Spinutech on April 22, 2024

The line between social and search is more blurred than ever

Optimizing organic social content to rank higher within social platforms is nothing new. We were researching hashtags and keyword usage as far back as 10 years ago.

But the line between social and search is more blurred than ever — and if you’re not incorporating SEO recommendations into your social media strategy, that’s a mistake. 

Nowhere is this more apparent than platforms like TikTok that are now equipping marketers with features and tools that push users harder down a search rabbit hole.

What are these features and how can you leverage them? Follow us down the rabbit hole.

TikTok is Making It Easier Than Ever to Search

If you’re skeptical that social is the new search, consider that Google’s own data shows 40% of young people (ages 18-24) are primarily using TikTok and Instagram for discovery purposes. These social media platforms are stealing market share from Google Search and Maps.

TikTok has begun to lean into this by adding suggested search phrases used often by other viewers of the same video. All users have to do is click the suggested phrases to search.

The platform has also introduced a new analytics element called “Creator Search Insights” that provides creators with data on what users are searching for in TikTok, enabling them to better tailor their content to align with the interests of their target audience.

In the past, social media posts from TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms were not indexed by Google. But now they’re being included in search engine results pages (SERPs). Google has also added a new section within its business listings, allowing businesses to display recent social posts from their profiles in a section of their Google Business Profile.

How to Blend Your Social Media & SEO Strategies

To effectively leverage this blending of social and search to your advantage, you have to understand your audience. You need to know what phrases, hashtags, and topics they are commonly searching for, and who the top influencers are in their orbit.

Don’t make the mistake of simply incorporating those key phrases into your captions and hashtags. You should be integrating them into your actual videos, as well. If your goal is to create the kind of content that your audience wants to see, use your audience research for ideation.

You’ll also want to work closely with your SEO and content strategists to develop blog content related to the topics of your social content, mentioning or featuring or social videos. Google still has a soft spot for blogs, so this is a perfect opportunity to expand your reach.

One more thing: Don't forget about your profile bio. For example, Instagram takes keywords from within your bio into account when determining how your content will rank in search results.

Discoverable Social Content is the Future

Today, brands whose social and SEO strategies operate in silos are putting themselves at a disadvantage. Users are searching within social platforms more than ever to discover new products, services, experiences, and peer reviews. It’s not enough for your social content to simply be “engaging.” It should be “discoverable” now, too. Embracing this new way of thinking will help your brand see business results directly from their social SEO efforts.

If you’re free to chat, we can get down to the business of driving those results.