“OK, Google,”  “Hey Alexa,” “Siri…” These are three phrases that are becoming commonplace in our everyday language. Voice-controlled personal assistants are making us type less and speak more. When we want to search up popular Italian restaurants, we just have to ask our trusty pals Google Home, Alexa, or Siri. While we know that this new practice is greatly impacting search engine optimization (SEO), we’re learning that it’s slowly starting to creep in on the way we use social media. Keep reading to find out how to optimize your social media content for voice search.  

The Rise of Voice-Controlled Personal Assistants

Voice-controlled personal assistants were a hot gift last holiday season for good reason. They give you accurate answers in seconds while you’re multitasking in your home. A recent Google survey concluded that 72% of people who own one of these devices use them as part of their daily routine. The survey also found out what information these owners want from brands – 52% want information about deals, sales and promotions, 48% want personalized tips and information to make their lives easier, 42% want information about upcoming events or activities, 39% want to find out business information such as store hours, and 38% want access to customer service or support. What does this all mean for brands? It means that this is the information that should be easily available on their website and social media profiles for voice-controlled personal assistants to find and deliver.

The Voice Search Craze

The voice search craze may seem like a fast-burning fad, but analytics experts say it’s here to stay. ComScore stated that 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020. If you’ve been hesitant to jump on the voice search bandwagon, now is the time to take the leap so you’re on the right side of change.

The shift to voice search is also a natural one. Instead of frantically typing phrases into search engines, hoping they understand, you can now simply ask voice-controlled assistants a question like you would ask a friend. The operation of these devices is also improving with the speech recognition word error rate at 8% and going down. The top four reasons why people use voice search is because it allows them to multitask, it’s faster to use than other devices, it gives information instantaneously, and it makes life easier. Like all new technologies, there is a new-found convenience. It doesn’t mean we’re getting lazier, just smarter. It also creates the opportunity for less screen time and more family time.

SEO professionals have already had to adapt their strategies to cater to this new way of searching and it’s time for social media marketers to follow suit.

How it Affects Social Media

Social media is already being incorporated into voice-controlled personal assistants. For example, Alexa can read out your Twitter feed so you don’t have to stop to check your phone while making dinner. If your current social media posts include cryptic online lingo and shortened phrases, it’s time to optimize them for voice-controlled assistants by being more conversational. Twitter even doubled their word limit so there are no excuses now.

As mentioned above, people are now searching by asking questions. A social media strategy to combat this is to create content that clearly answers “who,” “what,” “where,” “why,” and “how” questions. That way, a voice-controlled assistant can easily find the answer to the user’s question and deliver the correct information about your business. Having this type of content on your social media profiles will also encourage engagement because it gives answers to your target audience’s most common questions. Additionally, it forces you to sound more like a person and less like a business, which is the key to connecting with your customers. It’s a win-win.

The relationship between voice and social media will only get stronger in the future. Users will soon be able to post and navigate on their social media networks through voice, making the Internet one big voice-activated conversation. Say goodbye to phrases like “YOLO” and “TTYL” and hello to full sentences – finally! The top two tips for social media marketers to rock the voice search craze is to type like you would talk and to give clear answers to your audience’s questions. It’s really as simple as that!

We want to know what you think about voice search! Do you use it? How do you like it? Comment below!