In this article by Simon Kemp, he has been tracking the world's search behaviours.

It was interesting, the other week I was part of a invited panel to discuss search by Yext, if you didn't know they sell capability to get Google like search on your website.  The thing that concerned me about the whole thing was the assumption that search = Google.

If you read on this is just not the case and for 16 - 24 age group it certainly isn't the case.

Search has changed so much since Google was started on the 28th September 1998, and let's not forget that Google was late to the party, there was Yahoo, AskJeeves, etc, but you are not here for a history lesson, you want to know about the future.

Let's get started

How is search changing? 

Simon starts the article by say 

"We’ve been tracking changes in the world’s online search behaviours for some time as part of our Global Digital Reports series, but recent trends indicate that these changes will have even more of an impact on brand and content discovery over the coming months."

In particular, search success will increasingly depend on an understanding of how people:

  • use voice assistants to find information;

  • harness image recognition tools to find ‘lookalike’ products and content; and 

  • research brands and products on social media platforms.

Each of these trends offers exciting new marketing opportunities, but each one also requires marketers to adopt new approaches, develop new skills, and publish new kinds of content."

Google is still used for search

"GWI reports that more than 4 in 5 internet users still visit ‘conventional’ text-based search engines every week, and Semrush reports that continues to be the world’s most visited web domain, attracting tens of billions of visitors every month."

But let's look at social search

57.6% of the world's population, that's 4.55 Billion people are active social media users and they spend 2 hours and 27 minutes, each day on social media.  That's a lot of people, spending a lot of time on social.

"For context, that adds up to more than 37 days per year, or 15 percent of our waking lives."

This is where things start to get interesting, did you know?

"Social networks are now the second-top channel for online brand research after search engines, and amongst internet users aged 16 to 24, they’re already the top channel."

This means that Google is not the first place people go to search, it's social media.

"Overall, more than 7 in 10 internet users between the ages of 16 and 64 say that they use some kind of social media platform to research brands and products.

Social networks are the top social destination for brand research, used by 43.2 percent of this cohort."

"Returning our focus to social networks, more than half of all internet users aged 16 to 24 say that they visit these platforms when they’re looking for information about products that they’re interested in buying.

That figure drops to roughly 1 in 3 internet users between the ages of 55 and 64, but that’s still enough of a share to make social search a compelling opportunity across all age groups."

How can I get social media users to find my product or brand?

Let's look at Simon advice ...

"However, achieving success in social search is quite different to achieving search in a more conventional SEO environment.

For starters, the search algorithms on most social platforms work quite differently to those that search-focused companies like Google use to index and rank web pages.

And to make matters more complex, each social media platform seems to have adopted its own, unique approach to search."

8 things to consider when creating a search on social strategy 

So, if you want to get serious about experimenting with social search, here are 8 things you’ll want to consider.

1. Focus on objectives and outcomes

As with everything else in marketing, your first step should be to identify what you want to achieve.

Specifically, which audiences are you hoping to reach, and what do you want those people to do once they find your account and your content?

2. Account visibility vs content visibility

Success in social search isn’t just about getting your content (i.e. your posts) to rank in search results.

You’ll also want to ensure that your account or ‘page’ ranks highly for pertinent searches.

3. Recency vs. relevance

How much emphasis does the search algorithm place on when a piece of content was published to the platform? 

The ‘visibility half-life’ of posts in social feeds is already something that most social media managers will be familiar with, but how does this phenomenon impact social search results?

4. What gets indexed?

How does the platform’s search algorithm interpret users’ search queries, and what kinds of things does it match them to?

5. How do users search?

Another critical consideration when preparing for social search is how users search for brands and products in your category.

6. Top keywords vs. the long tail

This mirrors a consideration in conventional SEO: do you want to compete for the top 1 or 2 keywords in your category (e.g. ‘head terms’ like “dress” or “coffee”), or might it be better to focus on a broader range of ‘long-tail’ keywords that perhaps attract a smaller volume of searches, but are more specific, with less ‘crowded’ search results?

7. Get technical

Remember that social search algorithms don’t just look at explicit post or account content when indexing potential results.

In some instances, search algorithms may also rely on metadata and other ‘non-visible’ elements as part of their ranking, and these factors may have a meaningful impact on your social search performance.

8. Measure and maximise

How will you identify what’s actually working for you when it comes to social search?

Tracking the impact of your social media search activities can be a lot more difficult than tracking the impact of your SEO activities on Google.


People’s online search behaviours are evolving all the time, especially as new tools and interfaces become more widely available.

This increased diversity and complexity can make search seem overwhelming, but the associated opportunities can quickly justify the necessary investments of time, effort, and money.

So who's social selling?

In case you missed it, the Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch have banned cold calling and have moved all their people to social selling. This isn't some trendy tech company that might have decided to do this on a whim, this is a very conservative financial services company that has made a decision based on data.

But surely cold calling has a better ROI than social selling?  Not according to Merrill Lynch.

"They will also be encouraged to contact prospects over LinkedIn, which has a higher hit rate than cold calling"

The CRO (chief revenue officer), Richard Eltham of Namos Solutions, of one of clients posted a comment on LinkedIn about social selling. See here.

“Social selling is not an option now it is the way of the world and you either learn and execute it or fear getting left behind” 

Kevin Murray who is the Head of Sales at MacArtney Underwater Technology recently posted about his success with social selling here and wrote an article about the transformation that has happened in sales here.

I don't believe you Tim!

If you check out this video of Chris Mason CEO at Oracle reseller Namos, fast forward to 19 minutes 55 seconds. Chris talks about a $2.6 million win from being on social, after completing the DLA Ignite social selling and influence course. 

Here at DLA Ignite we don't do "hints and tips sessions" we don't want you to waste your money. Our social selling and influence methodology will provide your sales team with the stable platform for growth. It is also the only social selling program based on 70:20:10 change management principles which gives your business the mindset change and habit change they need in this digital world.