Social Search

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Every social media comes with its own search engine. Facebook calls it Open Graph. Twitter even has its own advanced search siteLinkedIn gives you the options to search various categories or everything at once. Google+ is kind of obvious and goes without saying (Ahem…it’s Google).

I have a love/hate relationship with search on most social sites. Instagram is great for searching tags and users, but I can’t search keywords (and it only works on the mobile app. Use for web searched of Instagram posts). Facebook’s search is pretty awful, but has yielded some interesting discoveries in the past. LinkedIn is finicky. YouTube is the most useful for learning stuff, but it’s content gets dated quickly. Vine is getting better, but…

The best use I have found for searching social networks has been when I am not looking for anything specific. I love to get on TumblrReddit orPinterest to just explore. I find the most interesting things…and people. For a brief period of time, I almost feel like a regular person, getting to use the site the way it was intended.

Quora is another site where getting lost in a search query is almost as fun as playing an online game. Another is StumbleUpon, a perpetual home page that makes recommendations (call it “automated-search”) based on the answers to a few questions they asked when you first signed up.

Gary Vaynerchuk has often given Twitter search a lot of credit for his popularity. Sure, it’s not the only thing, but it was his ability to first search-out, listen-to and then respond to individuals that had given him a leg up, not only in the wine world, but as a well paid and respected media consultant.

I used search on AOL many years ago to find conversations: First by thinking about who I wanted to talk to and then exploring where they may be gathering. On a personal note, I often had a date, several nights of the week, thanks to my social search skills. I was working at Disneyland back then and all I had to do was search where the girls of Orange County, California were chatting online. I’d drop in and mention my place of employment and BOOM, I was suddenly very popular (Side note: Girls love to go on dates to Disneyland and I had almost unlimited access to the place).

If that was the case for finding a date, could it be the same for finding business? You bet. First, think about who you want or need to be talking to, where do they hang out online (or do they?  Trust me, they do!), and then drop in and start a conversation.

How do you use social search? Let me know in the comments below!

This post is part of a series. To read ahead, click here.