Shaken & Stirred - Influential Brand Profiling and Positioning

Do people really use social media more than search engines?

Statistics show that over 4 billion people are active on social media in the world today. This means that a very large number of people make use of different social media platforms for various purposes. Some people use social media to watch funny videos, while others use it to communicate with their loved ones or to stay updated regarding the news.

Search engines have been helpful in people’s lives, especially in providing information on what we need. However, nowadays, most people resort to social media for information about everything. Aside from the fun aspect, social media platforms house a lot of useful information about current trends in an easier-to-access and more relatable way. Also, people can search for recommendations for food, restaurants, fashion, news, movies, fun activities, and even innovative technology products to use. Due to this, there has been a constant increase in users who believe every piece of information needed can always be found on social media.

According to Google, around 40% of people from the age of 18-24 years prefer to find answers to their questions through social media platforms, such as TikTok, Facebook and Instagram, rather than using Google. Below, we look at some of the many reasons for this.

Relatable and straight to the point

Social media has made it easy for users to find information quickly, especially by breaking down long information into easy-to-understand bites. People no longer need to read multiple articles or be redirected to different pages before they have all the information that they need. Media platforms allow the sharing of information in the form of relatable blogs, videos and audio, and most people like to interact with what they can relate to, which is one of the reasons they opt for social media platforms.

For instance, there was a viral trend on TikTok where creators discussed how they don’t “Google search” but rather “TikTok search”, highlighting that what may take time to find on a search engine can be found in seconds with a search query on the TikTok app. Many even call these social media platforms their own “Google” because of their efficiency.

In addition, most active social media users are young and have short attention spans, which is the reason they use social media as a search engine. When they search for answers, most social media platforms have content that provides straight-to-the-point answers.

Unbiased comments

Social media allows people to share their opinions about every piece of information through comments. These comments are from different people around the world, including both positive and negative comments. Regardless, reading them helps a person develop a bigger picture. For instance, a person who has been unsure about trying out a product or patronising a business can learn what others think about it. If the majority of the comments are saying something bad about it, this could save the reader from wasting money. This also builds trust and encourages people to search for people’s real opinions on social media before making a purchase or working with someone.

On the other hand, some search engine results can be quite biased in feedback especially when they are paid publicity, making it less authentic.

Discover new things

In some cases, before brands, businesses and information are added to search engines, social media platforms already have people talking about it. This is another reason people turn to TikTok, Facebook and Instagram to find out about the latest things, because they will always find relevant blogs, videos and comments on what they are searching for.

This has helped many new brands and influencers to grow thanks to the content they put out. Also, social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram allow these brands to be humorous and real with their marketing content. When a lot of people engage and enjoy it, they will often repost and share it with their friends. This means that anyone interested in the brand has direct access to their page and can check out what they offer and patronise or work with them. In this way, more people discover them and search for them on social media.

Due to the high number of people using social media to search for what interests them, many of these platforms have now become real-time search engines. Recently, TikTok overtook Google as the most popular search engine in the world. This indicates that people have found more relevant answers to their questions on social media than on search engines. Without a doubt, relatable social media content is relevant.