Lucy Henning

In the ever-evolving landscape of social media, TikTok has transcended its origins as a short-form video app to become a dynamic discovery engine.

This transformation not only signals a shift in user behaviour but also offers brands unique opportunities for innovative digital marketing.

In this blog, explore how TikTok is reshaping user behaviour, the platform’s emergence as a discovery engine, and draw comparisons between TikTok and the long-established search giant, Google.

The algorithm advantage: How TikTok drives search and discovery

TikTok’s journey from a video-sharing app to a discovery engine is marked by its sophisticated algorithm, which tailors content to individual user preferences. According to insights from Goat Agency, a leading influencer marketing firm, TikTok’s algorithm excels at delivering personalised content, creating an immersive experience that keeps users engaged.

The traditional social media browsing model involved passive scrolling through a feed of content curated by friends and followed accounts. Unlike traditional social media platforms, TikTok’s algorithm facilitates content discovery beyond the confines of a user’s follower list. Users can easily stumble upon content from creators they don’t follow, providing a more expansive content experience.

TikTok’s search functionality has become a pivotal feature, facilitating user-driven content exploration. Users are increasingly relying on TikTok’s search bar to find specific content, explore trends, and engage with a diverse range of topics. This behavioural shift positions TikTok as a discovery engine, where users actively seek out information, entertainment, and inspiration.

TikTok vs. Google: The similarities and differences

Comparing TikTok to Google might seem like comparing apples and oranges, given their distinct purposes and functionalities.

Google, the search engine giant, is the go-to platform for users seeking information, answers, and a vast array of content across the internet. TikTok, meanwhile, is a relatively newer entrant that has rapidly evolved into a discovery engine within the social media realm.

Google excels in delivering comprehensive search results based on keywords, utilising algorithms that prioritise relevance and authority. Users turn to Google for a diverse range of queries, from researching information to making purchase decisions.

In contrast, TikTok’s strength lies in its immersive and algorithm-driven content discovery, where users actively seek out trending challenges, niche content, and entertainment within the platform.

While Google remains the cornerstone for traditional information retrieval, TikTok has introduced a more visually engaging approach to content discovery. TikTok’s search functionality is driven by user behaviour changes, encouraging active exploration and participation.

The platform’s emphasis on real-time trends and user-generated content sets it apart from Google’s algorithmic indexing of the entire web.

Why brands should adapt to TikTok’s search-driven landscape

Understanding TikTok’s evolution into a discovery engine underscores the importance for brands to optimise their content for search. Implementing relevant hashtags, participating in trending challenges, and creating content that aligns with user queries can significantly enhance discoverability.

TikTok’s real-time nature demands that brands stay agile in integrating trending topics into their content strategy, aligning with popular challenges and hashtags to maximise visibility and engagement.

With users actively seeking content on TikTok, brands should adopt this user-centric approach. Creating content that resonates with the audience’s interests, needs, and desires is crucial for establishing a meaningful connection.

By embracing TikTok’s search-driven nature, businesses can position themselves at the forefront of a new era in digital marketing, where user engagement is not only encouraged but actively sought after.

Don’t just follow trends, set them!

As TikTok continues to redefine the social media landscape, brands that navigate and harness its discovery engine capabilities will find themselves on the frontline of innovation and audience connection.

Our social media experts are on hand to help your business go viral and dominate the FYP. Talk to us today to find out more about our social media advertising services and lead the charge in digital innovation!

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