On February 4th, Twitter announced a new deal with Google that would allow Tweets to appear in searches as soon as they’re posted. This drastic increase in access to the 500 million Tweets that Twitter’s 284 million users post every day will allow Google’s results to reflect the real time nature of the platform that has made it a driver of news, commerce, and conversation. It’s a change that could have implications on the strategy of every marketing department.
For Twitter this increases the penetration of Tweets into the minds of non-users, a huge marketing possibility that Dick Costolo has been keen to highlight in recent months. Google benefits by having instant access to a bank of content that grows by approximately 500,000 words every five seconds. For marketers, this development sees even more of Google’s 40,000+ searches every second leading to Tweets, which could have a considerable impact on both your Twitter and SEO strategies. To help you incorporate this partnership into your marketing strategy, here are 10 questions that you may wish to think about so that your business is ready.
1. Will Our Precisely Targeted Campaign Still Be Relevant With Everyone Else?
Minutely targeted campaigns could suddenly appear to millions of people that you weren’t targeting. They could misunderstand, misinterpret, or simply dislike the message you’re trying to send out. You may need to question how much your campaign’s Tweets are likely to resonate with Google users who haven’t been targeted on Twitter. Alternatively, you may decide that it doesn’t matter if your campaign doesn’t resonate with them.
2. What Could The PR Impact Of Other Users Tweeting About Us Be?
Good customer service could lead to evangelical supporters who also come up in searches. On the flip-side, a disgruntled customer Tweeting about you may now come up on page one of Google when people search for you. You need a strategy for this, and effective customer service on Twitter will help.
3. How Does This Change Our Offline Marketing?
If a hashtag is on a billboard, people may now search for it on Google, with your Tweets coming up. Does this mean that hashtags are something you should feature in your offline marketing if they aren’t already included? Or, so that you can keep in control of the conversation, is it time to switch from hashtags on your billboards to your Twitter handle, which can’t be hijacked.
4. Where Does Real Time Tweeting Fit Into Our Strategy?
Real time marketing is already touted as one of the biggest advantages of Twitter, when those Tweets come up in searches straight away, there’s another reason to get involved. This could be something your brand can take advantage of, and if so it’s worth considering if you need systems in place to identify the right real time opportunities.
5. What Is The Current State Of Our Twitter Feed?
If your Twitter feed was placed in front of the world right now, would you be happy with it? Because that could soon be what happens when people search your brand. You may find that it’s worth taking a look at your current Tweeting and assess what’s working or any changes that need to be made so that your Tweets are something you’d be okay with people other than your followers seeing.
“I’m incredibly proud of the content we put out there on Twitter, and it’s pretty exciting to think about it having an extra SEO benefit now too. If Google is starting to favour Tweets appearing in its searches then we’re in a really good place because we’ve worked hard to build up a high quality Twitter presence. Ultimately, if the partnership between Twitter and Google allows more people to come into contact with the content we produce, then it’s another great reason for us to continue our investment in social.”
Joe McEwan, Head Of Digital & Communities, Innocent Drinks
6. Do We Need To Edit Our Twitter History?
What did you Tweet three years and 92 days ago? You might not remember, but it could now be more visible in searches. Search your brand with a mix of potentially unflattering phrases to see if any old Tweets come up, and consider whether or not you need to delete them before someone stumbles on them. The offending Tweets don’t necessarily have to be offensive, but could position you in an outdated manner that doesn’t accurately represent your company any more.
7. Does Paid Media On Twitter Become Earned Media On Google?
Promoted Tweets could potentially be optimised for SEO to drive a greater ROI from your Twitter Ads spend. This is probably worth factoring in when deciding where to spend your marketing budget.
8. How Does This Affect The Relationship Between Our Social And SEO Teams?
It may become more important to keep communication up between the two areas so that your Twitter activity can assist the SEO teams in driving search traffic to key pages. To help get ready, internal directives could be put in place to optimise this relationship if they aren’t already.
“Users of social media sites and search engines are in a different mindset most of the time, but what is important for the respective teams to understand is how social can be used as an activation channel. If a company wants to increase its search rankings, it’s probably going to have to build link, and for people to link to something they need to know it’s there. Basically to get links you need to do cool stuff, and social media teams are as good at promoting cool stuff as anyone else in the business. Social advertising is now as effective as outreach for getting links most of the time, so it’s important that social and search teams are sharing calendars and keeping each other up to date in a business.”
Stephen Kenwright, Head of Search, Branded3
9. What Messages Will Resonate With Users Who Aren’t On Twitter?
Your Tweets may hit a large offline/non-active audience. Will your Tweets work with an audience who aren’t on Twitter, or are they too niche to what’s happening on Twitter? For example, a specific hashtag that’s trending on Twitter but not related to a newsworthy event may not make sense to someone who isn’t aware of the current Twitter trends. It may be necessary to weigh up whether you’d rather take advantage of the hashtag or not miss out on the Google users who are potentially coming across your Tweets.
10. How Will Our Tweets Be Displayed On Google?
While you may not be able to find this out until after the changes have been implemented, it’s worth setting up some alerts for news articles about the partnership so you can find out the answer to this question as soon as possible. Then you can think about how you can visually optimise your Tweets for Google. Will images show up? Will hashtags and links be clickable? Will Twitter cards load fully? The quicker you can answer these questions, the quicker you can take advantage of them.
The precise details have yet to be announced, but it’s still important to keep an eye on the situation and anticipate how to respond to certain outcomes. What has excited you most about the possibilities of this partnership? Have you made any preparations for it? We’d love to hear all of your thoughts in the comments section below.
This post originally featured on SocialBro.