What Social Search and New Domain Extensions Could Mean for Start-Ups
Brands like Google and Amazon have plans to launch their own dot brands in the next two years. More marketers should follow their lead as social and search become more connected.
Social networking has created its own search language: the #hashtag. Rather than relying on search engines, people in the social sphere decide what’s hot and throw a hashtag in front of it. If it clicks, more people put that hashtag in front of it, and then it becomes a trend and a way to search or get noticed on social networks.
This phenomenon is founded on natural language based upon what the originator decides is the trend. While it can take months for a search algorithm to find you, social search can happen instantaneously, creating a big opportunity for start-ups who want to get noticed fast. Emerging companies can quickly create trends in the social sphere of our digital worlds without having to check if that hashtag phrase is available – a stark contrast to how they used to first have to find a domain name to launch their digital presence.
Today a hashtag, Twitter following, and YouTube channel can launch a business. And while social search certainly isn’t going to replace traditional search or the need for some type of more solid online presence, the phenomenon suggests that Internet celebrities alongside regular people and big global brands, alongside unknown start-ups have new advantages in this ever-changing digital landscape.
The new domain extensions coincide with this shift toward more options, natural language and new opportunities. No longer chained to the old school approach of searching for a Dot Com and building out a business from that one Web address, start-ups can now build in new channels to drive their business. They can create hashtags and start trends, build content on YouTube, find likes and a following on Facebook, and build out their business opportunities in new and unique ways in the online space.
The Internet has just expanded dramatically. There are now hundreds, soon to be thousands, of new options available for start-ups to use as domain names more categorically related to how they self-identify and what they stand for as a company mission. Just as they can start up any campaign, trend or idea they want in social search, they can also now find more innovative and unique names, landing pages and digital spaces to build out their ideas and build their followers.
I know everyone is still very married to Dot Com, but the expansion of the Internet is real and it’s exciting. The start-ups around the world will get it and this shift will spur innovative activity. With powerhouse companies like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, IBM and American Express – as well as big media companies like ABC, HBO and Showtime – all launching new Dot Brands in this space over the next year or two, it is just a matter of time before consumers see this as the hot new thing in surfing the online experience.
Let’s consider a few new possible domain names that could also be social trends and launch new ideas, businesses or communities in a powerful way. Any of these can create the trifecta of social trends, an app and a strong online community to anchor the digital world.
Consider AntiAging.Solutions or Beautytrends.Today. Perhaps Caitlyn Jenner and the Kardashian clan want to showcase their secrets for looking young forever. This simple digital address is memorable and could be used to build out social #antiagingsolutions trends, and become a portal for sharing beauty secrets and selling products.
Similarly, Alzehimers.Solutions could become a portal to share stories and find solutions to the disease highlighted in the recent award-winning movie, Still Alice. It’s an easy way for a blockbuster film to spur business ideas and create social trends. Cold.Solutions could also become a hotspot next winter to share the latest and greatest solutions for fighting the common cold, sponsored by all of the drug manufacturers who want to help us fight those colds. It could be a great online business and an easy trend to start at the right time of year.
If you’re looking for some of the new commuter jet services popping up around the world, Commuter.Flights could be the perfect source. Or if you’re looking for what airlines fly direct to a specific city and don’t feel like searching through a barrage of information that all include connecting flights, try FindDirect.Flights. Both of these can easily translate into social search language, as well as an anchor web site to build out a new concept.
Crowdfunding.Works could be a great portal to connect investors with start-ups, while Start-Up.Life could become a social network for entrepreneurs. Both also resonate in the #hashtag-driven social sphere. Add an app to it and you have the trifecta of digital experiences.
FreshFromThe.Farm can respond to the growing desire for locally grown, healthier food that supports our local farmer. It’s hard to know where to look, but this new trend could be anchored in a website that provides a directory and products to buy products known to be fresh and preservative-free. Likewise, GermFree.House could be a campaign for brands like The Honest Company to trend socially and build out a microsite focused on how to keep a germ-free house.
Maybe you want to start a trend about life philosophies and do something that makes a difference. Names like Grateful.Life, MakeItGreat.Today or HavingItAll.Life play well in the social search mode and serve as a landing page to build out content, shared stories and a safe community of people who share that philosophy. Southern.Life or Summer.Recipes can also become social trends and places to find a community, or just great recipes for the summer.
Natural language is replacing the “What’s available in Dot Com?” approach. Instantly creating new social trends in tandem with the new domain extensions, the opportunities for entrepreneurs are endless. While some prefer the status quo, for start-ups, the status quo is almost always that catalyst to break free and find a new way. It’s just now that there’s a whole new set of possibilities to name that business and build something unique.