What if I told you that tweets will now start appearing directly on Google’s search results page? Well hang on to your hats, ladies and gents, because just this week, Google announced that they’re partnering with Twitter to do just that.
Now some of you skeptics might be thinking, “So what? This doesn't affect me." But it does. You already know that most online shoppers begin on a search engine, probably because you do it too. But did you know that social discovery commerce is on the rise? Just last year, ecommerce orders coming from social media grew to a staggering 202%, with 14% of it coming from Twitter.
Now, imagine if we combine Google's power of persuasion with social media's impulse to buy. What happens? Higher ROI for your customers, a simpler conversion path, and happier customers.
Let me give you an example.
Just the other day, I was looking to purchase a Groupon for Valentine’s Day. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted, so I did a quick search on Google. This is what I got:
Nothing really caught my eye though – I didn’t want to go on a getaway and the "Valentine’s Day Coupons" were not specific enough, so I just closed the page since I didn’t feel like combing through all the Groupon deals at that point.
But what if I saw this tweet instead at the top of the results page?
Huh. Win the ultimate date night? Yes, please! So I click on it, and I’m taken to this page:
Two brilliant things just happened:
- I am more willing to buy a Groupon, because I won’t have to wade through all their deals. I can now browse deals based on who the deal is for.
- Now that I know this contest exists, I’ll probably enter it.
My online shopping experience just became a hell of a lot easier, Groupon just got my business, and they got me to engage in their Valentine’s Day campaign, leading to what I mentioned before: more sales for the business, a simpler conversion path, and a happier customer (that's me).
Now do you see why this Google-Twitter partnership is a big deal? There is great value in having tweets appear directly in search results.
So without further ado, let’s dive in.
What does the Google-Twitter partnership entail?
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a Google-Twitter partnership. In 2009, Google launched Realtime Search, which pulled information from Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and news sites in real-time directly onto Google’s search results page. However, Google dropped the project in 2011 and the deal with Twitter was allowed to relapse.
This new partnership between Google and Twitter is similar to the one they struck in 2009. Twitter will provide Google access to its data in real time, thus allowing tweets to appear in search results as soon as you tweet them.
While we’re still a couple of months out from seeing real-time tweets directly in our search results, I can say this for certain: Google’s partnership with Twitter will severely impact brands, particularly their digital marketing strategies. Here’s why:
Brands will get greater exposure on search
Although Google already indexes tweets and other social media posts, it doesn’t happen instantaneously. However, the real-time component of this Google-Twitter partnership benefits businesses for one simple reason:
Regardless of whether they’re already a customer or a prospect, people who don’t have a Twitter can still find your business, thus widening your brand reach and exposure.
Let’s go back to my Groupon example. I don’t follow Groupon on Twitter, and even if I did, I don’t go on Twitter enough to actually see that update. However, if I saw it on search results, I’d not only be more likely to buy a Groupon but I’d also follow Groupon on Twitter to see more promos like that.
Additionally, ranking well on Google can be incredibly competitive, depending on your industry. However, having a strong social media presence may be enough get found organically on Google.
Real-time marketing will be more important but also riskier
Your tweets will no longer get buried on people’s Twitter feeds. As a result, consumers can find your deals and promos much more easily and at the moment they’re considering making a purchase, making them more likely to buy impulsively.
However, while real-time marketing can definitely increase brand engagement and sales, we’ve all seen brands blunder on social media (and if you haven’t, here’s the best social media fails from last year). Now that real-time tweets will begin appearing on Google, the chances of a social fail going viral just skyrocketed.
This partnership extends the tweet’s lifetime, so if you make a Twitter faux pas or say something you might regret in the future, it might appear in search results - and stay there.
Therefore, if brands want to avoid bad press, they really have to think before they tweet in order to ensure that anything they post aligns with their brand values.
While businesses currently use social media mainly for branding purposes, Google and Twitter’s partnership will change the role that it plays in the marketing funnel. Similar to your blogs, your social posts should include the keywords and search queries that you want to be found for. Therefore, your social media marketing and SEO strategies should be integrated in order to create a holistic online presence.