As Twitter results become increasingly commonplace on search engine result pages, there’s no time like the present for in-house marketers to help spice up unpaid search efforts with some Twitter action. As brand names are quickly claimed, the marketer who hesitates may be lost.
There are lots of wonderful branding and customer communication benefits to Twitter that make it a worthwhile addition to any marketer’s efforts, but here the focus is on the greatest benefit Twitter can bring to unpaid search efforts — to capture more real estate on the search engine results page. Increasingly, Twitter results are popping up in several forms on Google and Yahoo, making it essential for marketers to start tweeting to claim this valuable top of the page space.
Brand name as a Twitter username
Key to appearing in search engines as a Twitter result is to make sure the Twitter name matches the brand name being searched. In the example below, Kijubi’s brand name is their Twitter name, creating an ideal matching situation for search engines. Modified Twitter names to do not seem to trigger the same result, even when very close to the brand name.
If the brand name is already taken as a Twitter name, there are a few possible avenues of recourse. Twitter itself will allow you to register a trademark squatting complaint and may turn the name over to the rightful trademark owner. If the account holding the brand name is not actively tweeting, there is a rumor that Twitter may recirculate names that are inactive for more than six months.
An increasing variety of applications are available to connect Twitter and Facebook. At the most simplistic level, using the Twitter application will update Facebook status, an easy way to keep Facebook content fresh and relevant. More complicated integrations like Involver, add a Twitter tab to a Facebook page. As Facebook pages become more public and prominent as search results, this again presents an opportunity for marketers to capture more search page real estate by leveraging Twitter to keep their Facebook content relevant to timely events and consistently refreshed.
Additionally, some sites are integrating live Twitter feeds into their own web content. Gap Adventures showcases a near real-time Twitter feed of their various official company tweets as well as tweets at and about Gap Adventures by other Twitter users. This strategy has a double benefit, many Gap Adventures Twitter fans will likely check the Gap Adventures hosted Twitter feed to see all the Gap Adventures related tweets as opposed to solely visiting Twitter, which does not aggregate all these Twitter content streams as elegantly. Additionally, Gap Adventures scores an extra result link on the search engine results page with their Twitter page for queries like “gap adventures twitter” instead of solely the Twitter.com page appearing as it does for many brands.
The future of Twitter results in search
Google, Yahoo and Bing have all reached agreements to feature real-time tweets from Twitter. The open question is how will this integration play out on the search engine results pages? At this point, the brand name feeds and news trends seem to be the bulk of the active search engine integrations, but the future may hold results that look more like the Greasemonkey script for Firefox:
If Twitter results become a more standard part of the top search engine results, it will definitely pay for marketers to be actively tweeting to increase their exposure. Marketers who can secure their exact brand names and a robust library of Twitter content early will surely be at an advantage.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.