Entering the social search era: Why (and how) to create searchable social media content

Jun 21, 2024

by Moriah Morter, WP writing intern, and Sarah Purdy, WP editor and online content specialist

We’re beginning to see a change in what it means to “google” something. While search engines still provide superior informative content, consumers and younger audiences (like Gen Z) are also using Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and other popular social media platforms to research the things they’re interested in … including what products or services to buy.

Wondering how to leverage social media to keep your content front and center on these channels? Keep reading!


Where is Gen Z searching?

90% of Gen Zers report that their purchasing decisions are influenced by social media. Instead of reading a static article, they can go to TikTok and watch an endless stream of dynamic and entertaining reels. 

If you’re looking to cater to these younger customers searching on social, some of the most effective places to post are Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, Facebook, X, and YouTube. That said, don’t feel pressured to be active on all these sites, especially if your marketing team is small. The best way to engage is not to be everywhere, but to pick one or two platforms that:

  1. Your audience is active on
  2. Best fits the content you are able to create

Let’s dive into some of the top social platforms and our key takeaways for using them for brand awareness.


TikTok and Instagram

For younger audiences, TikTok and Instagram are the preferred social sites to find information—over 40% of Gen Zers will choose these two platforms over a Google search. Out of all social media sites, Instagram is the number-one choice for consumers looking to find information, while TikTok is currently the fastest-growing platform (with the potential to surpass YouTube’s total revenue). 

While these platforms are both trending search sites, they are distinct in how they function and display content and in what buyers should expect to find.

TikTok is a video platform that offers information in short 60-second clips. Consumers come to TikTok for quick reviews, recipes, product demonstrations, and new trends. The video content on TikTok is highly engaging, entertaining, and current.

Instagram is mainly a photo-based platform, with the benefit of a TikTok-like experience through Instagram Reels. Like TikTok, viewers flock to Instagram for trends, updates from their favorite influencers, and insights on up-and-coming products.

Instagram has been a popular and established social media site since 2010 and is six years older than TikTok. As a result, it isn’t just home to trending influencers but to trend authorities. Powerhouses like Vouge, Adidas, Nike, Starbucks, and other large corporations all have established, regularly updated, and highly trafficked Instagram feeds.  

Key points for TikTok:

  • TikTok works best for large businesses with the bandwidth to create large quantities of content. Plan on posting three times a day to be relevant.
  • Be aware: The sheer amount of content on TikTok will make it difficult to create a significant, memorable impact.
  • You’ll be more likely to succeed if you use popular hashtags, create videos that have multiple parts (like a miniseries), include trending sounds available in TikTok’s music library (be sure to cite the artist in your post information and credits!), participate in TikTok challenges, and follow active TikTok trends.

Key points for Instagram:

  • The goal on Instagram is to showcase ideal moments that your audience wants to experience, whether it is in a photo or a short video clip.
  • Companies that present a strong, consistent brand personality and showcase a lifestyle for audience members to buy into are more likely to succeed. Need an example? Check out Brit + Co’s Instagram account. They’ve perfected their brand personality with a consistently soft and feminine color palette, distinct artistic style, and friendly voice. The result: easy-to-recognize posts for their target audience.
  • To succeed on this platform, post content frequently. In your copy, include keywords your audience would use to research your business and utilize popular hashtags. Have a well-developed brand aesthetic and voice that you consistently follow.



YouTube is the only globally renowned social media site that is tailored for video content lasting longer than 60 seconds. The site is estimated to have 122 million visitors daily.

Topic-wise, business content on YouTube revolves around the same material as Instagram and TikTok: reviews, recipes, influencer testimonials, how-to tutorials, etc. But the emphasis on longer videos means YouTube offers room for extensive explanation and insight. Viewers also have time to build a deeper connection with the video creator.

In other words, YouTube is the best platform if you want to share long-form video content that will really educate your audience.

Key points for YouTube:

  • Unlike platforms that thrive on short-form content, YouTube offers the opportunity to tell a story and build a relationship.
  • While TikTok and Instagram work to convince, YouTube explains. You can give your customers an inside view of how your products work, what happens in your company day by day, and more.
  • To succeed on YouTube, use keywords in your video titles and descriptions that align with the words your audience members would search to find similar videos. Create high-quality content, display eye-catching thumbnails, brand your YouTube channel, and post content consistently.



Pinterest was created in 2008 and is still a dominant player in the social media landscape. In 2023, it was estimated to have 463 million active users and is still growing.

Pinterest stands out among social media platforms because users can share and categorize images into themes like recipes, house décor, DIY projects, or motivational quotes. The digital content you like can be collected, filed, and saved away for the next time you need inspiration.

The attractiveness of Pinterest for businesses lies with the digital lifetime of Pinterest posts. A post’s lifetime is the amount of time it continues to be served in user feeds after it is uploaded onto a social site.  

What about Pinterest? Posts on this platform have a relevancy period of four months! That means your content has a greater chance of being found, seen, and interacted with.

Key points for Pinterest:

  • Pinterest is ideal for brands connected to self-care, beauty, fashion, event planning, hobbies, and home décor and improvement.
  • Content should come from the perspective of helping users and giving them inspiration for their next project, event, or outfit (or for their overall well-being!).
  • Businesses can leverage Pinterest by posting images and videos that link back to their online store or website. To gain traction, make sure to create fresh idea pins weekly, use the Pinterest Trend tool, add topic tags (hashtags) to your posts, and add text overlay to your idea pins.



Released in 2004, Facebook is one of the oldest social media platforms. It is a giant, holding the title of third-most-visited website of all time, trailing only Google and YouTube. The platform currently lays claim to 3.065 billion active users and is still on an upward trend.  

Facebook allows businesses to tell stories in a variety of ways—via videos, reels, photos, and text-only posts. Instead of treating it like Instagram and TikTok (which focus on generating content), think of Facebook as the place you go to tell your grandmother how you’re doing. While it may sound unrealistic to treat customers like your grandma, remember that Facebook was originally invented to reconnect graduated college students. The point of Facebook is to connect with your audience.

To succeed on Facebook, you need to see your audience as your family. Play to the common interests of the people in your business’s audience (your “family”) and give them openings to talk to each other while interacting with your brand.

Let’s illustrate this with an example. The portable action camera producer GoPro has a huge following on Facebook. The company succeeds by sharing clips and photos of GoPro users climbing mountains, skiing, skydiving, and engaging in other adventures. Connected by this content, the community of people who are living the “GoPro lifestyle” has a place to interact on the company’s Facebook page.

When it comes to Facebook, you’d be missing out by exclusively posting pictures of your product. Instead, create content that tells stories and makes your people feel at home with your brand. 

Key points for Facebook:

  • Remember that Facebook is about family. Allow your “family” to connect by building a community Facebook page for your followers.
  • Similarly to Instagram, your content should portray a well-defined lifestyle, brand voice, and aesthetic.
  • Focus on creating authentic, accurate content that is timely and meaningful.


X (Formerly Twitter)

X can best be described as a microblog for everyday people, celebrities, and businesses. Born in 2006 and rebranded as X in 2023, the social site has 105.42 million users in the United States, with 52% of Americans active on the platform every day. Text on X is typically short and sweet, accompanied by photos and short videos. While X isn’t the number-one social site overall, users rank X as their go-to platform to receive updates on current news and events.

If you intend to create content on X, keep that word “microblog” front-of-mind. It’s a place to share thoughts, articles, opinions, and other soundbites for your brand.

Key points for X:

  • Make sure that you are using hashtags and keywords that relate to the events and news you are commenting on.
  • Express your perspective on current events related to your industry, business, and niche.
  • X is perfect for sharing blog-worthy thoughts and perspectives in text-length snippets.


A final note

Whether you’re branching out into new social media territory or rethinking how you currently use a social platform, always stay true to your brand, product, and customer base. Don’t try to change your brand to fit what you think customers might search for on a particular platform.

If you would like to start engaging audiences differently on social media, but need direction or don’t have the bandwidth to tackle it on your own, we’d love to help you out. Feel free to contact the Write Place at 641-628-8398 or send an email to hello@thewriteplace.biz.



Let's Get Started!

Fill out the form below and the Write Place will be in touch to schedule a consultation.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.