TikTok becomes the «new Google» for Centennials.

A recent study has shown that 40% of Centennials prefer to use TikTok and Instagram for searches, rather than relying on search engines like Google. This phenomenon is known as «Social Search.» Brands that do not keep up with this trend risk falling behind, as the use of social media for search purposes continues to increase among consumers. To ensure staying up-to-date with this trend, digital marketing specialists must adjust their strategies and invest in Social Marketing. This will help brands become more visible on social media platforms and reach their target audience.


Some of the main reasons for using social media are to find content and research what to buy, especially among Centennials. Short videos and bullet-point infographics are the new way to share knowledge and are quick to create and digest for reading or watching.

Young people have grown up consuming content on what to wear, how to create a routine, and where to eat without having to search for any of these things. It’s no wonder that we have collectively realized that almost anything can be found on social media.

Research shows that 50% of young people aged 16 to 24 use social media to search for brands instead of search engines, and each month, more people visit social media than search engines.


As new ways of using social media are established, brands must keep up. Fortunately, Social Search is one of the easiest trends to implement.

57% of social media users are more likely to claim that they have learned practical life skills on social media rather than at university. Brands should seize this opportunity to position themselves in front of their target audience.

As people increasingly use social media as a search tool or create searchable content, it solves a relevant problem on channels like TikTok and is more critical than ever for brands seeking to increase their awareness and followers in 2023.

More than 1 in 5 followed accounts are businesses and brands that users are considering purchasing from, and this metric can increase if brands strategically utilize Social Search.

Some ways to optimize for Social Search include using alt text on creative assets, geo-tagging posts, and creating descriptive captions.


From our perspective as digital marketing specialists, we can see that Social Search has become more prominent and could be one of the major trends of 2023 overall.

The most impactful way Social Search can be used is when combined with influencer content to help maximize clicks and engagement.

This would also make it easier for brands to direct what they want their influencers to cover so that the content can be easily discovered when searching relevant keywords, reaching the target audience.

This also makes it easier for social media users to find exactly what they’re looking for and get direct links to the products or services they need much more quickly and easily.

While TikTok may be thriving as a faux search engine, the concept of Social Search began before the platform existed. Pinterest is a social media platform that revolves around pinning items on boards for the public to see, so you can correctly imagine that social search is massive on the platform.

So, while TikTok may be getting all the attention around social search, don’t forget that it was always an understated, long-term growth concept.

We believe it’s important to remember this if you wonder whether the sudden rise of Social Search as a buzzword will fall as quickly as its popularity increased. We believe the concept of Social Search from Pinterest, combined with the hype around social search from TikTok, is just the beginning of a new way of using the internet.

Something additional to consider: after Centennials, we have Gen-Alpha, also known as ‘iPad kids,’ and it’s quite safe to assume they will search on social media channels long before they realize Google exists.

If you want to analyze Social Search and what your company should implement, contact our experts.