To begin, a story: Cassandra has to look up craft ideas to help the visual portion of her project on one of Jane Austen’s novels. Before she even realizes Google as a possibility, she has already scouted out Craftsy, Etsy, and Pinterest for techniques and ideas, and stopped by the Twitter and Facebook of several British Museums and literature societies. Searching YouTube on how to make dioramas, she has her entire project completed in a matter of hours, without ever using a standard search engine.
Not surprisingly, there are a lot of people out there on the Internet that have difficulty distinguishing between their social networking websites and actual search engines – and who can blame them, really? With social media sites and apps pumping out powerful search functionalities of their own, it’s not surprising that users aren’t making the distinction.
Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook – almost any information you could possibly want is available in one form or another on some social network by just punching in a keyword or two. You want a recipe for butternut squash enchiladas? Two to three words on Pinterest, and you have more words and pictures on the winter gourd wrapped neatly in tortillas and smothered than you ever thought possible. You want the latest news on Tyler the Creator’s latest television show, up to the second, in 140 characters or less? Twitter’s Discover section was recently replaced by the Tailored Trends section, and is getting easier to search and navigate every day. You can cross-graph search Facebook and find out what pictures your boyfriend was liking when you were away on vacation without internet. The world is now a magical, terrifying place where scads of information we never knew we wanted in the first place is now at our fingertips.
It’s not hard to guess what the biggest search engine in the world is. It might even be how you found this blog, right? If you guessed Yahoo, you’re wrong. If you guessed Ask Jeeves, I’m going to wonder how you got your time machine, and wonder if you could please let me borrow it and take me back to 2002, because I miss Livejournal and AOL Instant Messenger.
If you guessed Google, well, you probably have at least a basic grasp on the current landscape of the Internet. My point to all of this is that it’s pretty easy to guess the biggest search engine in the world – the runner-up might be a little more difficult (and no, Bing, it is definitely not you, no matter how many Xboxes you try to give away).
YouTube, which is mostly considered a social video hosting site, is the second largest search engine in the world. It processes 3 BILLION searches a month. That’s bigger than Bing, Yahoo, AOL, and Ask combined. Nearly half the people that are on the Internet use YouTube, and 100 hours of video are uploaded to the site every minute.
To anyone focused on increasing social engagement rates, this shouldn’t be surprising. Video is currently one of the top ways to get someone involved with your social media posts. On any social network, from LinkedIn to Facebook to Twitter to Instagram, video is the way to engage people and get them to click through to where you want them to go, whether that’s to your product page or to a landing page.
This is especially true when it comes to engaging those ever-evasive Millenials (and yes, I mean evasive, not elusive), as well as their successors, the newest generation we’re going to have to worry about marketing to—Digital Natives. Digital Natives are the up-and-coming generation that was born after 1995 who don’t know what life was like before the Internet. Visuals, especially video, come before everything else for them. They’re a large reason for the popularity of sites like YouTube and Vimeo. In 2012, 64% of teens listened to the majority of their music through YouTube.
Back to our story: Cassandra turns in her meticulous diorama on Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies. The tiny zombie sculptures and fake guns she ordered off of Etsy go hand-in-hand with each other. With tips from Craftsy and links she found on the British Museum and literature society Twitter pages, she sewed small, time period appropriate costumes, covered in just the right amount of fake blood splatters, with a recipe courtesy of Pinterest. The diorama box held up just right, thanks to the YouTube tutorial. She took pictures of the whole thing, and posted them to Instagram, much to her mother’s chagrin.
Need to figure out your search and social situation? Talk to us at Intelligent Demand. We can make sure you’re not hidden when and where you need to be seen.