If you’ve been looking for a reason to use Twitter for your real estate business, you may have just found one. In a deal reported by “Bloomberg Business” last week, Google has gained access to Twitter’s “firehose stream” of data. This means that Google will be able to immediately find and index tweets, allowing them to appear in search results faster than ever before.
Google and Twitter have yet to announce the details of the deal. It’s likely that tweets will now be available in Google searches via one of two pathways: either included with other links to content from around the web on search results pages, or shown as a sort of “live stream” option for up-to-date information through the Google search platform. Twitter’s goal is to engage non-users with its platform using Google. If those users find a tweet through search results, they’ll likely be prompted to register for a Twitter account when they click the link.
So how can this integration affect your marketing and search results? If Tweets begin appearing in Google searches and you’re an active Twitter user, this could be a boost to your search engine optimization (SEO) and lead to more traffic to your Twitter page. Tweets with links to relevant, local content, including your website, could now reach people outside of your Twitter followers. That means if you’re already active on Twitter and effectively directing followers to your website, you can grow your area of influence without spending any additional time or money. That’s about as common as a unicorn in the marketing world.
If you still view social media as just an outlet for sharing what you had for lunch (or #brunch) instead of a valuable addition to your marketing strategy, the news of the Twitter and Google collaboration should make you think again. Social media has evolved in a big way. Tweets are no longer just a personal play by play of your life; they’re a broadcast for your business and an opportunity to make valuable connections with people in your community. Think about it: If Google trusts tweets as a legitimate information source for users of the search engine, there’s probably a portion of your potential customers who are using it as an information source, too.
As this deal continues to unfold, there are some actions you can be taking right now to maximize your position.
1. If you aren’t using Twitter yet, give it a go. If you’re currently focusing your social marketing on other networks like LinkedIn or Facebook, you’re in luck. Many social media management systems make it easier than ever to handle multiple social networks at once. Plus, Twitter is an excellent, up-to-date information source on the real estate industry and your local community. It’s more than just a place to spread your knowledge; it’s a great place to pick some up, too.
2. Check your profile and content to ensure you’re routing people to your website. In your Twitter bio at the top of your profile, there’s a space where you can add a website. If you haven’t set this up, you’re missing out on one more opportunity to direct followers to your site. From a browser or the Twitter app, just go to your profile and select “edit profile” below your cover photo. From there, you’ll see a space to type in your website URL. This will show up as a clickable link for anyone visiting your Twitter page.
Your content can also work to drive traffic back to your website — but it’s important to maintain a balance. If your Twitter page is a constant stream of “just listed” and “just sold” tweets, you’ll have a hard time growing your following. Try linking to websites of local businesses, events and your blog. A good mix of helpful, local content is your best bet for traffic.
3. Double-check before you hit “tweet.” If content is being indexed and showing up in search results, it’s more likely than ever to be seen. This is one more reason to think twice before you Tweet. Since your Twitter page is a representation of not only yourself, but also your brand, you should take caution against posting anything rude, compromising or overly personal. It seems obvious, but it happens more often than you’d think. With Google’s instant access to Tweets, be sure to err on the side of caution when sharing.
As the details of the deal get worked out, you’ll see SEO and marketing sites all over the Internet post theories and strategies to get the most out of this update. According to Twitter CEO Dick Costalo, changes will not be seen for several months, so the earliest we will likely see the collaboration come into full effect is the middle of this year. That’s plenty of time to start preparing!
If you’re currently using Twitter for your business, how do you think this integration can help your marketing strategy? And if you’re not utilizing social media, do you think this partnership is a good reason to consider it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Erica Tafavoti is an inbound marketing expert at PipelineROI, real estate’s first complete inbound marketing platform. You can follow her on Twitter at @PipelineROI and on pipelineroi.com/blog.
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