Search: The Real-Time Revolution
Specifically, Mr. Thompson notes that on June 25th, millions of people sought information around the death of Michael Jackson within social platforms, as fans wanted the real-time developments, and not information of the past. These users did not care to deal with irrelevant links to Jackson’s past nor were they looking for videos or samples of his songs - Fans wanted to know what the immediate situation. Rather than digging through SERP’s, and altering search-query inputs, users went straight to the source for information: their peers.
“Google organized our memory, real-time search organizes our consciousness.” – Search guru Edo Segal.
Searching for information is one of the most fundamental aspects of human nature. Thus, it is not hard to rationalize that search is utterly synonymous with online user-behavior. But as technology evolves, search behavior has changed, enabling users to actively turn to the web for the real-time, up-to-date information – information that holds momentary relevance.
What has constituted this change? The issue with the big engines is in the authoritarian model of indexing results - authority takes time. The establishment of building links, performing ongoing SEO, building content, etc. all takes time.
Users do not have time. Well they might, but why wait if there are tools that can get us the most up-to-date info at the drop of a hat? It's social media that has helped alter this landscape.
As we look to sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Digg, to deliver trending information, we see more and more users going outside of traditional search engines. In fact, the medium by which immediate information is sought has now become agnostic - OneRiot has bridged the real-time search gap via mobile.
MediaPost recently released a study that cites 30% of users have admitted to learning about a product on a social site, and 25% have gone directly to an online retailer after learning of a product from a social media experience. Furthermore, eMarketer noted in recent surveys that about 18% of information seeking queries are done within social networks.
As social conversations from consumers continuously “flood,” and subsequently alter the digital landscape, brand/product discussions are inevitably happening at every moment. Brands can no longer ignore their immersion into social-sphere. While social media marketing might be about building brand awareness and consumer engagement, it cannot be ignored as a key medium for brand discovery by your consumers.