Google, as the #1 search engine, may have seemed irreplaceable up until now, but there appears to be a growing shift in where the younger generations are choosing to type their search queries. While Google isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, this is still a matter that affects businesses that rely on Google and SEO to get their names out there and end users who may not realize how trustworthy this new source of information is. In this blog, we’ll take a look at the implications of this switch, both positive and negative, for businesses and consumers.
The Business Side – Social Media SEO
By now, you’ve heard us say it a million times – SEO is essential for businesses. It assists with general user navigation on your website and helps to make sure your business shows up in Google search results. But what happens when the search results aren’t on Google anymore? With social media becoming the new search engine, businesses' use of social media is more important than ever.
Social media SEO is the art of optimizing your profiles to reach customers who are searching for terms relevant to your products and/or services. In the past, optimizing your social media might have meant using it to connect with customers and foster engagement. Now, it means utilizing it to acquire new customers.
To do so, posts should be the best quality they have ever been to entice users to click on them in the search results. However, even getting your post into the search results is reliant on the caption. Similar to blog posts or website content, captions should now contain keywords and even hashtags that users might be searching for. Additionally, to turn those page visits into conversions, be sure to include your website in your social media bio!
The Consumer Side – Amplifying Misinformation
According to HubSpot, 31% of consumers now use social media to find answers to their questions. Millennials and Gen Z tend to prefer this option because it has not yet been optimized for businesses. While the Google search results page is filled with sponsored sites and keywords to get you to click, social media is more likely to provide unbiased answers from transparent, authentic people. This feels like a more reliable and accurate answer for many.
However, this new way of searching does not come without its issues. Social media is one of the primary platforms where misinformation often spreads. While Google may have sponsored sites, their search results are more likely to be evaluated for factual information and reliable links. Of course, there are still scammers and fraudulent activity on Google, but it’s a little bit easier to weed through. It can be much harder to tell the difference between an authentic answer and deceptive misinformation on social media, especially with the rabbit holes that social media algorithms tend to create. While social media search engines can act as valuable tools, users should be cautious about how quickly they believe the answers they get.
When social media has this big of an impact on your business’s performance, you want it in the best hands possible. Here at unLOCKEd, our marketing experts are on top of the newest trends and have the experience to put them into action (and so much more!) Contact us today!
Author: Sarah Murphy