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May 23, 2023 //  //       //  Opinion

Glow Up Your Brand with Social Discovery

Social media has always been a tough nut to crack for brands since its rise nearly 20 years ago. And its ever-changing nature has certainly been the cause of a few ill-timed migraines. 

I remember sitting in my parents’ living room signing up for “this new Facebook thing” way back in 2005, proudly typing in my new college email address that brimmed with possibilities and exclusivity. 

Lest we forget, early users of Facebook were only college students. And as I studied the blurry photos tucked away on my pink Razr phone for an acceptable profile picture, I could have never imagined how quickly this new technology would evolve. 

Social has since moved out of dorm rooms where conversations centered primarily around recently updated relationship statuses and into board rooms where conversations focus on how millennials like me have killed off traditional advertising, taking down printed ads and jingle-heavy commercials - RIP Mentos’ The Freshmaker - just as easily as we took down everything from diamonds to postcards. 

The latest trend to make board room execs go for the Excedrin bottle cannot be tied to the millennial mayhem of the last decade. Pause as I breathe a sigh of relief. Gen Z are now the ones holding the proverbial hatchet. This time though, they are not fully killing off advertising but expanding the places where brands must engage. 

Social Discovery: Wake Up on This Next Big Thing 

Part of what makes social media so challenging is its inherently evolving nature. Brands can be up on the latest trends one minute and then be the epitome of cheugy the next. In such an ever-changing channel, it can be hard to keep up with the latest “big thing” a brand should do. 

This latest “big thing” is not something that will come and go as easily as the day’s favorite TikTok song. Social Discovery, or social search, is more than a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment but a real shift in user behavior that has become de rigueur for brands to embrace if they want to be successful. 

A simple text search, while still the top way people find products and information, is no longer the main source of truth. Brands now must treat their social channels as they would treat their websites, optimizing social for the masses who require multiple ways to search for a product or service. Case in point: the average Gen Zer conducts 100 searches on social media each week. 

Brands who sleep on this growing reality will find themselves playing catch up in the long run. 

An Improved User Experience: No Cap 

Like most new trends coming out on social today, it can be hard to pinpoint why something reaches peak popularity. With Social Discovery, that is not the case. There are clear signs why people have begun to prefer searching on social.  

The simple truth is social search can provide a better experience for people. User experience often gets overlooked when thinking about how best to connect with customers, but it’s one of the most important factors driving behavior. Make things easy and they’ll love you forever. Make things hard and they’ll burn your logo in effigy. 

Social Discovery makes things easy. Want to know what a hotel looks like? Static pictures on a brand’s website might offer some clues, but a video tour of a room, the pool and the sauna provide a fast, vivid picture of what you’re getting for your money. 

Curious about how the latest smartphone stacks up against its current model? A video from a popular influencer will be far more effective in selling someone on its finer points than even the best CNET review. 

Social Discovery also adds an extra layer of user “reviews” as previous customers create videos of products and services on their feeds while discussing their experiences with brands in real time. These are dreaded “online reviews” taken to the next level and can be genuinely disrupting if not handled well. 

Getting Started with Social Discovery

Take Note of Your Assets

When beginning your Social Discovery journey, start by assessing your existing social channels. Have an Instagram account? Great. Post occasionally on Facebook? Love that for you. Not sure about this whole TikTok thing? Yeah, I get it. But TikTok is one of the primary channels where people find businesses, so it will need to be a channel you add to your marketing arsenal. 

Glow Up Your Social Presence 

Once Facebook started to really become a thing, it became almost a red flag not to have an account. “What are they hiding?” “Why are they being so anti-social?” For businesses, this line of thinking now holds true for those who don’t have a social presence, particularly on spaces like TikTok. Consumers want to see brands engage in the digital world, especially if they offer easy ways to view and get to know their products. 

Tell Your Own Story 

Don’t want an angry Debbie Downer to be the only form of content about your brand on popular social channels? The only solution is to create your own content, or have an influencer do it for you, telling your brand’s story in a way you want instead of relying on the goodwill of TikTok or Instagram users. Believe me, that goodwill only goes so far. 

Creating your own content not only sets your brand up to have a broader story than just user reactions, but it also helps balance any negative stories so you have a larger tapestry of content that users can experience. 

Influencers Hit Different  

Social Discovery and influencers go hand in hand, providing brands with much needed authenticity, while also saving them time from having to create tons of content themselves.  

Just imagine, a brand’s latest watch may look great on the model it hired for its website. But put that watch on the wrist of a popular influencer, and the game is truly on. 

Bring on The Squad 

The Social Discovery Squad is here to help businesses find the best ways to optimize their channels for social search. No matter where you are in your journey, we are here to help you cross that finish line with grace, aplomb and maybe even a small sense of youthful pride. Now go keep being the GOAT we all know you to be. 

Want to learn how the Social Discovery Squad can help? Reach out to us at 

Sarah is a Content Marketing Director at Allison+Partners. She helps lead content marketing efforts for A+P’s Marketing Innovation Team, taking a personal, data-driven approach to building strategies and initiatives that meet the specific needs of clients and their audiences. She has nearly a decade of experience in content marketing, working with clients across a multitude of industries from B2B software, insurance and healthcare to beauty, travel and retail.  

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