Social and search collided last fall after Twitter announced a partnership with Google. Available only in the US and on mobile devices and desktops, posts from the Twitter “firehose” – a stream of 9,000 Tweets posted each second – will be indexed, archived, and available for view as you Google search.
Basically: if search and social smashed into each other at warp speed, this Twoogle (Gwitter? Twiggle? #ugh) mash-up would be the result.
As of now, only Tweets from big name brands and celebrities pop up on the search engine. Lucky us, we’ve got a little more time to map out what this means for business – but just a little. Twitter is nothing if not “RIGHT NOW!!” media, so they’re bound to expect the same zippy response from its users. As we say here around the office: “Adapt or die.”
Our pros and cons of the new frontier:
- Accessing replies made easy: Tweets appear in real time in a Google search. That’s great, that’s cool… but so do their responses. Consumer comments are just as clickable as the Tweet itself.
- Pro: Nothing beats a solid testimonial. A rave review can say more in 140 characters than you can in your entire web content.
- Con: Clients with ruffled feathers can play foul on your Tweets. Those nasty responses will break free of the Twitterverse and surface on the homepage of the Internet. If you don’t already, be sure to have a PR strategy coiled and ready to spring into action.
- Organic reach will explode: Work your SEO key word wizardry just right and you may land yourself on Google – free.
- Pro: Each message blasted from Twitter won’t just reach your followers. Unsuspecting browsers – thousands, maybe millions – noodling around on Google can read your stuff, too.
- Con: I say again: thousands and millions, man. Each Tweet must be able to stand alone. Consider crafting each Tweet with a call to action to snap up viewers both dedicated and deliberating.
- “Forever” got longer: Everybody knows that what you post online is permanent. For better or for worse, your old Tweets will bounce around again…and again… and again.
- Pro: Remember that sweet post from two years ago that got 200 Favorites? So will everyone else when Google drags it back up. Relive the glory days and see your most popular Tweets get a second wind.
- Con: Remember the meatheads of Jersey Shore? How about Black “Friday”? Now that Tweets are indexed in Google, your pop culture shout-outs will pop up as main page news looong after they’ve slunk down your News Feed. Same goes for any old Tweets that you’d like to, ah, forget.
- Optimization reigns supreme
- Pro: Specific and niche-y businesses have the upper hand here. Consumers Googling specific words and phrases will be better linked to your Twitter posts than a more general search (and isn’t the point of business to show how you’re different?)
- Con: If consistency across your platforms wasn’t a focus before, it should be now. Pay extra care to incorporate the same words and phrases in all your media outlets for Google’s algorithms to work their magic.
- Media on media on media: That winning 140-character copy of pure genius won’t be the only thing to double dip on Google. Any Tweet’s accompanying image, link, or button will come out to play, too.
- Pro: People love pictures (and infographics and videos and GIFs and…). A post with a pic is 39% more clickable than a naked one. Google goers, therefore, will pay more attention to your decked-out Tweet.
- Con: In the media Big Leagues, Twitter’s the benchwarmer. With 232 million users next to heavy hitter Facebook’s 1.19 billion and LinkedIn’s 364 million members, Twitter bats peewee. Less users à less interest à less likelihood of clicking a Tweet, no matter how pretty.