CIM 24 – Why Social Search (& TikTok) is set to be the hottest trend in 2024

Ann Stanley is a regular speaker at the annual conference of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). During the July conference, she shared the latest data and insights on how recent innovations and changes in search behaviour will transform Google forever.

In 2024, social search is set to revolutionise how consumers discover information and products online. Platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and Reddit increasingly challenge traditional search engines, signalling a major shift in search behaviours.

This talk will delve into the rise of social search, its impact on digital marketing, and how businesses can optimise their strategies to capture and engage audiences across multiple platforms. Join us to explore why embracing social search is essential for staying competitive and relevant in the dynamic digital landscape of 2024.

Background on Social Search:

  1. Shift from Traditional Search Engines: Consumers are increasingly using social platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and Reddit for searching information and products, highlighting a shift away from traditional search engines like Google and Bing​
  2. Multi-Platform Search Behaviour: Searches occur across various platforms, indicating the need for businesses to adopt multi-platform strategies to capture traffic from diverse sources. Social search is particularly prominent among Gen Z and millennials​
  3. Impact on Traffic: Social platforms generate significant user engagement, often providing answers within the platform itself, which reduces direct website traffic but enhances user interaction and satisfaction.
  4. Changing Search Strategies: Marketers must optimise content for both search engines and social platforms, leveraging tools and strategies specific to each platform to improve visibility and engagement​

TikTok as a Search Engine:

  1. Growing Marketing Role: TikTok has become a crucial platform for brand discovery and marketing, with features like TikTok Shop enabling direct purchases within the app. The platform’s robust search tools and integration of Google search results enhance its search capabilities​
  2. User Preferences: Gen Z shows a strong preference for TikTok over Google for obtaining information and product searches, making it essential for businesses targeting younger demographics to optimise for TikTok​
  3. Search Volume Data: Tools like TikTok Creative Center and Glimpse Chrome Extension help marketers understand and optimise content for search trends on TikTok. Popular search topics include recipes, new music, DIY tips, fashion advice, workout routines, and beauty advice​
  4. Popular Search Topics: Common search topics on TikTok include recipes, new music, DIY tips, fashion advice, workout routines, and beauty advice, reflecting the platform’s broad appeal.

Impact on Search Engines:

  1. Diversification of Search Sources: With platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, Pinterest, and LinkedIn gaining prominence, businesses must diversify their search strategies to stay relevant and reach a broader audience​
  2. Optimising for Social Search: Marketers need to adapt their strategies to include social platforms, ensuring they capture and engage audiences effectively across all relevant channels.


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