Recently, Google and Twitter announced a new partnership that willgive Google access to tweets posted on the social media platform, giving them the ability to embed those tweets directly into relevant search results. For the average user, this is great news--now, when performing a search, you'll be able to see some top tweet results in addition to typical news and links to information that you're already used to. It means you'll have greater, more immediate access to real-time updates, and the world will grow to be just a little more connected as a result.
The partnership is mutually beneficial for the companies in play--Google will get to improve their user experience, while Twitter will get some extra visibility from online searchers--but it's also beneficial for your company, as long as you know how to address the change.
There are several strategies you can adopt to take advantage of this new deal:
1. Beef up your Twitter profile. First things first. The new change means that more people are going to be seeing your tweets, and more people are likely to scope out your Twitter profile to learn more about your business. If your Twitter profile looks skeletal, or worse, if you don't yet have a Twitter account, now is the critical time to get your presence straightened out. Include the web address you want people to follow, optimize your company description, and think carefully about your profile and background photos. These little details make a big first impression on potential customers visiting your profile, so don't skimp on them.
2. Tweet about current events. Next, start tweeting about current events--at least the ones relevant to your industry. Some of the most popular searches involve recent happenings, and while the details of the tweet arrangement haven't yet been revealed, it's highly likely that tweets relevant to current events will make it to the top of the search results pages. Incorporate trending hashtags appropriately into your regular social content, and read the news on a daily basis to see how your company can respond or expand on those recent events. Also be sure to include keywords relevant to those events, or hashtags, so Google can easily tell what you're talking about.
3. Tweet answers to common questions and problems. Chances are, tweets aren't going to appear for broad, information-seeking queries, but for niche problems, they'll probably be very popular. For example, specific questions like "how do I change a bike tire" could populate tweets with content addressing that question. These types of answers will also be somewhat rare, so you'll have less competition than you will while posting about current events. Start working in these answers to common questions in your regular post schedule, and the more specific you can get the better. Also include a link to a more detailed explanation on your website--you'll enjoy the extra traffic.
4. Focus your content around a niche. This has been a solid SEO and social strategy for years now, but this partnership makes it more important than ever. The broader your company is, the harder it's going to be to turn up in searches. Narrow down your focus to one or two key areas of expertise, and optimize all your content to focus on that niche. You'll reduce your visibility in peripheral searches, but your relevance for that particular niche will be utterly unmatched. Doing so will make your niche tweets the only ones around for searches related to them.
5. Get involved on other social platforms. This partnership is currently only between Google and Twitter, but Google has made a number of moves to acquire or integrate with other social platforms and apps. It would make sense for Google to form similar alliances with other social media companies in the future, so the sooner you get involved with those platforms the better. Establish a presence on up-and-coming platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, even if you don't use them as frequently as your other social hubs. You'll be grateful if and when Google decides to incorporate them into its search results.
This partnership is scheduled to take effect during the first half of 2015, but don't wait until this change goes live--you can start implementing your new practices now to build a routine and establish a baseline, which you can then use on an ongoing basis moving forward.
It's also worth noting that the details of how tweets will be embedded into search results are still being ironed out. There may be surprising ranking factors that make some tweets more likely to appear than others, so keep an eye out for updates and news once the feature goes live and make adjustments accordingly. The better you're able to adapt to these changes, the better positioned you'll be to gain new visibility, new traffic, and new customers.