It’s time to get social
As you’ve probably heard, on Monday Google announced that real-time search has arrived. Real-time results are being “rolled-out” gradually over the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for them next time you do a search.
Real-time searches will appear in a “latest results” box on the SERP. Live streaming content is pulled in from blogs, forums, social bookmarking sites as well as Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. If you want to see what real-time might look like for a search on your brand, you can test out real-time search using this link.
Most importantly, from a social media perspective, it means that the ‘new’ real-time element is likely to bring social media content to the forefront of search. A brand’s social media activity (or lack of!) will have a direct impact on the Google results page. In a nutshell it means there’s going to be a whole heap of “screen real-estate” that will be much less controllable with traditional SEO methods (though of course new ones will be developed!). If somebody does a branded search for your brand’s products and finds less-than-favourable messages from Twitter or a blog, how is that going to affect their purchase choices? It’s no longer going to be enough to simply optimise your website and presences, you’ve got to be completely on top of what people are saying about you.
But do you know what people are saying about you now, so that you’re ready for action when the results turn up fully in the UK? And do you have a social media strategy in place for 2010, to make sure you are ready to respond and improve the relationships with your consumers when things go wrong?
Don’t get caught behind the eight ball. The time to get a social media strategy sorted is now!