Google and Twitter Sitting in a Tree…
March 31, 2015
Image courtesy of Andreas Eldh.
If there is one thing that is constant in the ever changing landscape of the digital world, it’s that the Internet loves a good partnership. In the past few months we’ve seen unions between Twitter and Meerkat, Twitter and Foursquare, Twitter and Periscope, are you picking up on the trend, here?
However, the partnership that we’ve been keeping a close eye on is the Twitter and Google deal, that was announced this past February.
For those who don’t know, Twitter and Google are “exes”, if you will. Meaning this isn’t the first time the duo has partnered up. Their last official partnership ended in 2011 for undisclosed reasons, or as some may say, “irreconcilable differences”. The 2009 deal was similar to what Google and Twitter are promising now, integrating tweets into search pages. Fast forward six years and the partnership is announcing tweets showing in search pages –– but now in real time.
So, how exactly is Google going to accomplish this? The search engine now has access to the stream of tweets known as “firehose”, which sprays nearly 9,000 tweets per second. Back in the day, Google used to crawl Twitter in order to highlight specific tweets in the search results. Unfortunately, this didn’t work out very well and the partnership fell apart. But now, with complete access to firehose, Google can now crawl Twitter at an appropriate rate, without having to worry about a server meltdown.
The rollout is expected to take place in the next few months, and while we may not know the specific launch date, we do know that the SEO and social media integration will now be more important than ever.
So what does the partnership mean for your marketing efforts? Here are five important things to keep in mind:
1. SEO Strategies Will Apply to Tweets
One of the most important changes to note is that Google will now start to index tweets. However, just like your web pages, not every tweet will show up in search results. Content is king in Google’s world and if your tweets do not contain the correctly optimized content, they won’t be seen.
The best way for brands to capitalize on this is to ensure integration between their social and search teams to create a cohesive user experience across all channels. Optimizing tweets to contain high-value phrases will be key.
2. Tweets= Ads
With the integration into Google search results, Twitter’s organic reach is going to be booming. While you may not be utilizing Twitter ad campaigns, there is no better time than now to leverage this new reach by treating each tweet as an ad or landing page. This means including call-to-actions and links in your tweets so consumers are encouraged to take a specific action. Simple branded tweets will no longer be effective, a happy medium between branding and call-to-action will be vital in grabbing your customers attention and clearly relaying what you have to offer.
It is important to mention that consuming yourself with a sales mentality could turn off your current loyal following. Twitter users are looking for brands who are able to effectively communicate a combination of promotional and branded tweets. Don’t overwhelm your followers by coming off at strictly sales-focused.
3. Monitor Twitter Engagement in Real Time
Real time search results means that anything and everything your followers say about your brand will have the ability to become more visible through Google. The downside to the Twitter-Google mashup is that any negative exposure to your brand will not be filtered out by Google. Because their algorithms focus on keywords and content, it is possible that someone bashing your brand via Twitter could have their tweets show up in a Google search, depending on the relevance of the search query.
So what does this mean for brands? Monitoring Twitter engagement will be more important than ever. Negative exposure on social media is inevitable and how you respond to the negativity will make all the difference. Tackle the comments head on. That way, when other users come across these statements, they will also see your engagement and know that the brand has done everything in their power to make the situation right.
4. Earned Media is on the Rise
Simply put, earned media “refers to publicity gained through promotional efforts other than advertising”. This means that word of mouth, Facebook comments, Twitter mentions and replies, reviews and a variety of other unpaid media recognition, is all valuable to your marketing strategy. Earned media is one of the best ways to establish brand credibility and awareness. And the best part? You’re not paying for it!
Since your tweets are likely to end up in Google’s search results, the impact of your overall search visibility will directly affect your organic reach. Knowing that your exposure on social media is likely to increase, make sure your website is optimized properly for an increase in traffic.
5. Think Before You Tweet
If there is anything that we can all agree on about the Internet, it’s that once you’ve put something online, it’s never coming down. The digital world is forever and just because your tweets were pushed down the feed, doesn’t mean they can’t be accessed all day, everyday. Relevance has been advocated by marketing agencies for years, and since brands can’t control which tweets will show up at the top of Google, evergreen content should become a priority.
The goal of Google search is to provide valuable content in real-time, and what better way to do that then to partner up with Twitter. There is no doubt that this new endeavor will have a substantial impact on marketing strategies moving forward. While some of us may be skeptical due to the failed partnership in 2011, the new-and-improved union is sure to leave it’s mark on the way search, social, and marketing will coincide in 2015 and beyond.