The end of December and beginning of January is the time of year when we start to read articles about innovation and progression. “Top things we learned in 2015” and “Industry forecasts for 2016” are common titles to see floating around the interwebs in December and January.
One projection that was mentioned to me in September and I’ve seen pop up again relates to Social Media and SEO. It may be a forecast that you, as a social media user, may not be surprised to see.
The future of search: social media networks have become the new search engine.
Many consumers skip right over Google or Yahoo when conducting a search, and instead type it into social media networks. Some of these scenarios may sound familiar to you:
- If you are watching a tv show or news program, you may turn to Twitter to search.
- Looking for information on how to dry and press a flower? Pinterest is probably your go-to.
- Even Facebook’s home page now has a “trending on Facebook” section where you can see headlines and search for Facebook posts based on certain topics.
- People looking for the best restaurants or repair shops near them turn directly to Yelp.
The list goes on and on – with social media networks out there for any interest or need, it sometimes is faster and easier to just search within the social network itself. And with the advent of mobile apps (some of which are faster than the internet function on a phone), this is becoming increasingly prevalent among consumers.
To make sure you are responding to this growing trend, be present on social media on the channels that best make sense for your company. For example, if you manufacture and sell products straight to consumers, creating and maintaining a Pinterest account which regularly features your products is a great strategy. However, if your company is B2B or sells a service, consider an active presence on another platform such as LinkedIn or Twitter.
The best way to optimize your posts is through hashtags and the content itself. For Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram, be sure to include relevant hashtags in your posts so that users can find your posts. For sites such as LinkedIn and Yelp which don’t utilize hashtags, make sure that you fill out your profiles as completely as possible. This will ensure that you appear in searches for your products or services.
As this trend grows, expect to see better ways of optimizing your content on social media sites. 2016 will be a pivotal year for the connection between Social Media and Search. Businesses can plan on seeing new ways to post that increase your odds of appearing in a social search.
What other marketing trends do you predict for 2016? Leave a comment below and let us know!
Thank you Emily for this article. However I don’t think social media is going to be the best search engine in 2016. How it could be? Most people don’t want multiple search engines, especially people who are not trained internet users. Most people want a single search engine that delivers relevant results, easy to read interface and helpful options to broaden or tighten a search. I don’t think you can have these features with social media. Not yet and not in 2016!