Social Media Channels Are Search Engines, Too

by | May 16, 2017 | Social, Social Media

Nowadays, people don’t just go to Google and Bing to look stuff up; they also use social media channels to find what they’re looking for. Neil Patel makes this point in his Quicksprout article on why social is the new SEO: “We need to understand that search engine optimization includes the search that happens on social media search engines.”

This works in a couple of ways: First, if you’re active on Twitter, it’s entirely possible that people will discover your organization’s new evangelization initiative after searching for evangelization-related tweets with Twitter’s search engine. Likewise, if you produce beautiful visual content (photos and videos) you can benefit from making your content visible in Pinterest and Instagram by using hashtags and properly categorizing their pins.

If someone wants to check out your organization, they’re likely to open Twitter and Facebook and do a quick search to see what kind of presence you have on each channel. YouTube, and, of course, Google+ are also search engines.

instagram search

(See the recently revamped Instagram search engine)

Here are some impressive stats that illuminate just how much people are using social media to search:

  • As of 2010, Twitter handled 19 billion search queries a month (that’s more than 5x the queries handled by Bing!).
  • In 2012 Facebook said it got around one billion search queries per day.
  • As of March 2010, YouTube got roughly 3.7 billion search queries a month. Also, 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, making it one of the largest content repositories on the web.

Takeaways: Vincentian organizations should expand their concept of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to include not just the traditional search engines––Google and Bing––but also social search engines.

When searching for something of interest on Facebook or Twitter it’s not uncommon to see several different profiles pop up, and it’s not always clear which one is the real deal. Social media and web leaders in the Family need to ensure that it’s super easy for users to identify their official social profiles.

This may mean deleting duplicate accounts and/or clearly labeling each social account so that users understand what purpose they serve.

(excerpted and adapted from 5 Things You Need to Know About Social Media & SEO)