Why TikTok is Gen Z’s Search Engine of Choice

Social media is taking on a new shape as half of Gen Z users turn to it for their online searches instead of traditional search engines. Is your business prepared for this shift? Read this blog to learn more about this phenomenon and how to prepare your business.

Why TikTok is Gen Z’s Search Engine of Choice

Gen Z continues to be the lead trendsetter in the digital marketing world. Recent studies have found that at least half of Gen Z prefers to use TikTok and Instagram to make online searches over search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. 

This blog explores why Gen Z is turning to social media for searches and how your small business can prepare for the shift. 

Why Gen Z Prefers TikTok over Google

Google has already admitted that TikTok is a rising competitor in the search space. TikTok's video format in search results, the inherent trust baked into social media and the delivery of more relevant and personalized results, have made TikTok as the preferred platform for conducting online searches. 

TikTok isn’t the only social media platform experiencing this shift; Instagram is also a popular “search engine” for things like restaurants, salons and fun things to do on the weekends.

Here’s How to Prepare Your Business 

 If your business isn’t on TikTok or Instagram, now is the time to create an account and start posting. 

Social media can no longer be considered “optional” or “nice to have” in your business’s digital marketing strategy. With TikTok boasting huge conversion rates (Her Campus Media reports 72% of Gen Z users report buying a product after seeing it on TikTok), social media is gaining tremendous purchase decision power. 

 1. Create Video Content 

Static images on feeds, stories and reels have taken a backseat to video content. TikTok is a video-based platform, and Instagram is becoming video-based as well. In order to compete and leverage TikTok and Instagram’s buying power, your business must post compelling video content.  

If you don’t have an in-house video team or access to professional video equipment, don’t let that stop you. TikTok and Instagram both have native video editing tools, and phone footage is a great place to start. 

 2. Utilize UGC Content

User-generated content (UGC) is among the most trusted types of advertising on TikTok and Instagram. 

UGC is typically video content that your business pays social media creators to make. Your business can hire UGC talent through a talent agency or by finding talent directly. Once talent is chosen, your business mails them the products for them to test, review and make a video about. 

It’s recommended to provide your talent with a pre-approved script so that the most important specs of the product or service are highlighted. Additionally, you can decide if you want the talent to edit the footage or if you want to edit the footage in-house.

UGC talent typically films in interesting locations or uses aesthetically pleasing backdrops and camera equipment to make compelling yet natural videos. If you don’t have an in-house video team or the resources to hire a professional creative agency, UGC creators are an effective avenue for high-performing Instagram reels and TikToks.

UGC talent can post the footage on their feeds as a sponsored post, but the videos will be most effective when used as part of a paid advertising campaign built by your company. 

3. Hire Influencers and Micro-Influencers

Influencers and mico-influencers benefit your business by advertising your products or services to their audience. TikTok and Instagram influencers can have millions of followers, while micro-influencers typically have ten thousand followers or less. 

When you hire an influencer to promote your product, you're investing in their audience's trust and leveraging the influencer's reach.

While you can provide the influencer with a script and a shot list, it's crucial to remember that the influencer's personal brand will also shape the content. Therefore, selecting influencers whose brands align with your business's brand is essential. When your brands match, you can trust that the influencer’s audience will respond positively and authentically to the product since they are already in-market. 

To learn more about Influencer Marketing, read our blog How to Use Influencer Marketing to Build Your Brand.

4. Use Hashtags Strategically

#TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, #FYP and #ForYouPage are consistently among the top hashtags on TikTok that drive buying decisions. Adding these three hashtags alone to your product posts will greatly increase the post’s exposure and conversion rate.  

Similar to keyword research, research relevant hashtags for your posts to ensure your product gets served to the appropriate audience. 

5. Adhere to Video Post Best Practices  

Both TikTok and Instagram have specific guidelines for their video content. Make sure that your videos follow these best practices:  

  • Your video is within high-performing time constraints.
  • Your video follows community guidelines.
  • Your video uses hashtags, text overlays and compelling messaging.
  • Your video has a clear call-to-action.
  • Your video uses trending audio.

Final Thoughts

Implementing these five strategies will prepare your business to be found and chosen in social media searches. 

Gen Z and TikTok have forever changed how businesses sell and capture attention online. In today’s market, attention is the currency and video content is the lead magnet. For help getting started with video content, read our blog How to Grow Your Social Media Impact with Video Content.

RevLocal can handle your business’s social media content. Social media is a skill and strategy all its own, and our social media experts understand the ins and outs of a high-performing social media presence. Learn more about our social media plans here or contact us today for a free consultation.

Join the Club

Subscribe to our email list to get the latest digital marketing content delivered to your inbox each week!