Twitter’s deal with Google opens up the web to Ag’s message
Much has been written about the recent deal inked between Twitter and Google that will allow the search giant to include tweets in search results.
Obviously the public nature of tweets lends itself to search and imbedded social media results within each Google search – much like ‘image’ or ‘news’ searches are currently displayed – will add tremendous value to the space. No doubt that any marketers still fence-sitting about the value of Twitter will now be forced to jump in.
For Ag users, the deal has significant impact on the scope and reach of our online message.
- While Twitters explosive growth has been more than enough reason for agriculturalists to adopt the platform, it has its limits. Twitters traffic is roughly 14-18 million visitors per month, however eMarketer estimates that there are only 6 million registered users. This represents only about 3.8% of people on the Internet.
- Google’s social search feature will help break down the barrier between the Twitterverse and the rest of the internet. No longer will Ag related RT’s and tagged tweets simply bounce around inside the #farm or #agchat bubble. They will have direct access to the general internet public.
- Twitter users now have greater power to directly and organically impact search results. This means that despite large SEO budgets directly controlling search rankings, individual users will have the ability to logroll content and deliver what’s really important.
- Twitter will continue to become less of a destination and more of a presence on the web. (3rd party clients, search)
The deal should have an impact on the way you tweet. If Ag professionals don’t change the way they use Twitter to reflect the newly broadened horizons opened up by Google, they will be missing out on having impactful and insightful messages reach a larger set of eyes on the broader internet. Users should consider several areas that they can change and ‘tweak’ the way they use the space.
- More focus on relevant search terms beyond hashtags.
In order to improve search rankings and visibility, bloggers focus on using of common search terms in their writing and reuse them often. Twitter users should now think twice before shortening valuable search terms and /or relying on hashtags too much. Use terms that the general public will use when seeking information on a specific topic. We may like to use animal wellbeing, but the public is searching for animal welfare.
- Trending topics have the potential to greatly influence search results.
Ag users have shown that they can successfully influence the conversation on Twitter. The recent trending topics #oink and #moo were successful in focusing a broad conversation about Ag within the space. Users should expect trending topics to break out of the space and return results within a Google search. Supporting documentation and information should be in place before any organized attempt to trend a topic.
- Social relevance will be more important to a successful Twitter campaign than before.
Engaging and more importantly ‘real’ Twitter personalities will become more important now that tweets will reach the broader web. We already know that consumers have virtually no trust in corporate (read, lifeless) blogs. We also know that users feel that same way about Twitter accounts that do nothing but promote a groups latest news release. Tweeps should remember to give their stream some life from time to time, and organizations should consider developing companion accounts that compliment the organizations feed with personal tweets.
With a little forethought, Twitter users will easily cultivate a strong following on the web and even among those who have never visited the site. Real time updates and conversational topics will become central to internet search. Ag users have the ability to continue to leverage the power of Twitter to reach millions of viewers with our message and engage with them on a more personal level. It will simply require a re-thinking about the way we use the tools currently at our disposal.
Thanks to @Mica_MON and @RayLinDairy for adding to the conversation and bringing up the following points. I had not thought about this at all and I thank them for their thoughts. You can find their entire posts in the comments section.
@Mica_MON – “I also think there are lessons for us in the types of people we engage on Twitter. What conversations are going to be useful for the broader Internet user to learn about agriculture? When we get into a heated exchange with an organic/local/food activist are we communicating in a professional manner? Do those converastions provide the type of information/knowledge we want people to have?”
I would agree wholeheartedly. I would also add that the potential for Ag users to look bad in the eyes of readers when engaging in these types of exchanges increases exponentially due to the nature of the medium. Unlike comments on blog posts, Twitter conversations are not threaded and therefore the opportunity for searchers to take tweets out of context is greater. Users should try to embed a message or grow a relationship with every conversational tweet and make their comments as clear as possible. If you can, incorporate questions into answers and make good use of “Re:”
@RayLinDairy – …we in AG need to get back in the relationship game. With SM we have gone too far to the propaganda/politics side and need to readjust.
This goes somewhat to the previous point, and there is not time like now to readjust. We as Ag users should re-evaluate who we have conversations with and what those conversations are about. I think both crop and livestock users can all identify several @’s on the opposite side of the aisle that are no longer worth engaging with, especially now that our words are open to the entire web. Focus more on casual users as opposed to agenda users. Build relationships and have conversations that you wouldn’t mind your preacher reading!