Sometimes, it's hard to see the business benefits of social media, especially for small businesses. There's always that nagging question in your mind; is anybody actually reading this?
However, a new announcement from Google changes the landscape completely.
In a new deal with Twitter, tweets will appear in Google search results page (SERPs). What's more, tweets will appear in real time as they are posted, making search results for tweets almost instantaneous.
Twitter in Numbers
The numbers involved are mind-numbing: Twitter has 284 million users worldwide who tweet an astounding 500 million tweets a day. That means that Google now has an additional 500,000 words to index every five seconds.
Twitter - First for News
This deal turns Twitter into a valuable source of news for Google, and a key indicator on what is trending (what people are talking about). So, if a news story breaks that is relevant to your business, and you tweet about it, your tweet could appear in SERPs in a matter of seconds. If your tweet also includes a link back to your website (say, to a blog on the subject), then suddenly you've got more traffic to your website as people click through to read your blog.
Carefully Does It
However, this increased exposure for tweets also means that your tweets are far more visible than before. You may need to write your tweets with a much broader audience in mind, and be careful that your message is clear and can't be misconstrued in any way.
In the past, any negative comments posted on Twitter could only be seen by Twitter users, and dealt with within that environment. Now, the whole world can potentially see that one tweet from a disgruntled customer. So, your business needs to monitor Twitter for references to your business, and ensure that you respond and solve issues as required.
Is Your Twitter Past History Up To Scratch?
It's worth spending some time to take a look at your history of Twitter activity and check if past posts say what you still want to say. Maybe you've changed your business focus, or no longer stock certain products because they no longer meet your standards. The good news is that you can delete any Tweets you're not longer happy with, and keep your feed clean, relevant and on message.
Happy With Hashtags
Hashtags are a terrific way to label your tweet as part of a current story or trending discussion on Twitter, but they may not mean a lot to the outside world when they find them on Google. Once again, it's a case of balancing the content you put into your tweet such that it makes sense whether read inside Twitter or on Google.
What WILL Tweets Look Like In Google?
Simple answer - we don't know yet. Will images appear alongside the tweet text? Will links within tweets be clickable? We just don't know yet, but we'll let you know as soon as we do!