Twitter jumped into the 2017 holiday season with something new for its 330 million users: the gift of more gab. As of early November, it officially doubled the character limit for a tweet, jumping from 140 to 280 characters.
Reactions so far are split on whether this is a good thing, with some already mourning the loss of creativity forced by the 140-character constraint. However, there is a major hidden benefit to Twitter’s new world of wordy: the way it affects your search results page.
Since August 2015, when someone Googles a term associated with a Twitter account, the search results have included a dedicated space for actual tweets from that account. That’s a win for companies, brands, and people who care about their online presence. It means their voice is right there on the search results page, in a section whose contents they completely control.
With Twitter’s newly doubled character count, we wondered if Google would come along for the ride. Would the Twitter box on the search page double in size? Or would it just cut off the tweet after 140 characters?
The answer? For Twitter boxes featuring the wordier 280-character tweets, the actual box has grown to accommodate the greater length.
This is an incredible branding gift from Twitter and Google, offering even more space in the search results for a brand (or company, or individual) to control and to tell their own story. This is the kind of space brands pay money to have on the search page.
Brands should welcome this gift with open keyboards. They have learned how to be creative in 140 characters; now it’s time to embrace the new challenge to be engaging, yet still pithy, in 280.
What’s more, companies can reap the benefits of a longer Twitter box on the search page without being needlessly wordy all the time. The box works as a carousel, allowing the searcher to scroll horizontally through a few recent tweets, beyond just the first three showing. We discovered that if any of the tweets in the box – even the ones not initially visible – are longer, it lengthens the whole box.
In this new era of Twitter 280, brands have the opportunity to offer deeper thoughts, or even just thoughts that are longer winded. That’s their choice. But now it pays to be wordy – without even having to pay.
It’s summer and as I sit at my desk, my thoughts turn to ice cream. Double dipped ice cream, to be specific. For the last couple of years, Google’s been showing recent activity on Twitter for relevant searches. This is a gift to businesses which certainly understand the value of having their own voice on the search page. A single scoop ice cream cone, if you will.
But now Google is giving them a double dip.
Google has recently opened their previously experimental “Posts” feature to all verified businesses in Google My Business. With this feature, businesses can insert their own brand voice into the knowledge panel, the information box on the top right of the Google search results page for their brand. Brands are forced to keep their posts fresh, with posts expiring after a week.
(Not an ice cream example, but chicken sandwiches are yummy too.)
The knowledge panel contains the basic information about the local business and the section below it is where new Google posts appear.
While naturally useful for smaller businesses with physical locations, larger businesses can take advantage of this feature too, by creating posts attached to their corporate headquarters. They can also choose to do posts for each of their physical office locations. In either case, this is a great new platform to engage with stakeholders of all types.
Go ahead and double dip. Post complementary content on Twitter AND Google Posts. Tell your audience about your new flavors, invite them to download your app, or suggest they try your new service. Go ahead and do all three! Accept Google’s gift of more owned content. Let them hear YOUR brand’s voice, all right there, on the search page.
The Holmes Report partnered with Five Blocks to analyze the social media footprint of the Influence 100.
By a large margin, LinkedIn is the most popular network for this group. Twitter shows solid usage as well. Facebook presence, on the other hand, is significantly lower. YouTube came in at last place.
Interestingly enough, 15% of the Influence 100 have no social media results of their own ranking on page 1 of Google.
“Early in 2015 Twitter and Google struck a deal, and as a result you’re likely to see more tweets showing up in Google search results. Exactly how this will play out and how it will impact SEO remains to be seen.” Miriam Hirschman explores the possibilities in a post at Search Engine Land. “What isn’t in doubt is that being active on Twitter is more important than ever.”
How might Google use data from Twitter, and what impact would that have on the search results?
Miriam Hirschman discusses this on Search Engine Land.