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For most location-based businesses, local search engine optimization (SEO) is either a mystery or a constant uphill battle. Sometimes, both.

Designing an SEO-optimized website and developing a marketing strategy which is conducive to good visibility can be time-consuming, costly, and difficult to maintain.

In the past, we have explored how having a diversified presence across the most popular review sites can give a business strategic advantages, such as showing up more often when shoppers conduct market or category-based search engine result pages.

In a similar vein, we have explored how social visibility can further diversify how potential customers find businesses. Up until recently, when someone conducted a search associated with your business name, business category, or category region on Google, there was a good chance of generating results that may have included news stories, reviews, Facebook and Google+ posts.

Absent from the equation? Real-time tweets.

tweet-my-online-reviews

Delivering real-time results

Twitter has become the go-to source for real-time information, often reporting events before the press does. For this reason, having access to their feed was key for Google to be able to serve the most updated and relevant information.

Unfortunately, the very act of crawling the Twitter feed to pull real-time tweets resulted in great pressure on Twitter servers, resulting in a halted relationship. For almost four years, Google was unable to access or serve tweets in real-time via their search engine, but thankfully that has come to an end.

Thanks to a deal cut between Google and Twitter, Google will now have direct access to the Twitter Firehose without having to crawl their website, thus being able to serve real-time tweets as part of the search engine results pages (SERP).

For small businesses looking for ways to push their visibility and engagement, this is fantastic news. The combo of Twitter’s strength with real-time, relevant, user-generated information is ideal to help small businesses leverage their review content by making it available to search engines through a social share.

Here are a few ways local businesses and marketers can use tweets to develop their brand reputation:

Tweet-Based Customer Care

It is estimated that approximately 19% of Americans have Twitter accounts. The more Twitter becomes a household name for both businesses and customers, the more a business will be able to leverage the tool to improve their online visibility.

The number of escalations, customer remediations, raves, and rants will most likely ramp up in the next decade, furthering the importance of learning how to maximize the opportunities available to improve customer experience, and ensure your customers and potential customers are exposed to positive, real-time messaging that makes your business an attractive proposition.

When you engage with your Twitter following while handling public communications, you need to keep your online reputation as a first priority when deciding on the way you will respond to specific customer interactions. You only have 140 characters to connect with your customer, or to convey an absolute turndown that will impact not only the customer tweeting to you but also those exposed to the tweet. Take advantage of every character, and make sure your words are shaped around your brand and are constantly shaping how the wider Twitter readership perceives you.

Ability to Push Review Snippets via Twitter

Now that the Firehose is on, it is time to maximize and amplify review site content by strategically sharing your best reviews. Easy peasy if someone has something great to say about you. Why not tweet about it and multiply the likelihood of getting found via Google?

(Read more: Squeezing More Juice Out of a Positive Review)

When crafting your teaser, make sure you select keywords that are advantageous to your marketing strategy, and always utilize an online tool designed to shrink your target URL in order to get the most out of your 140 characters. Let’s take a look at a great example:

Snug Café in Madison, Indiana, receives a five-star TripAdvisor review. The review is definitely worthy of a share. Snug’s manager wants to share it via Twitter to highlight how customers appreciate their quality and service. While he is unable to tweet the whole review, he has multiple options that can help him share the content of the review, among them the following

  • Take a screenshot and share via image
  • Transfer the content to their own website, and share a link to their website
  • Mention some of the highlights of the review, and point directly to their TripAdvisor profile

Snug’s manager decided to do a visual share, pointing to a photo of a review featured on their blog.

There are hundreds of ways to achieve the same objective. As long as the business has clear objectives, shaping a tweet to align their customer experience and SEO goals should be a breeze.

Keyword-Based, Strategic Tweets

Careful and intentional analysis of your online reviews across a variety of popular review websites can give you insights as to the type of vocabulary a potential customer is likely to use when searching for a business just like yours. Track and utilize keyword strings that match the vocabulary used by your customers, and craft tweets that mirror their language patterns.

Keyword-rich tweets are highly likely to show up in search results in response to customer queries that have high conversion rates.

Trend-Responsive Tweets

Is there a festival in town? Is a relevant and fun hashtag trending? Don’t miss out on the opportunity to ride the wave. Engage by tweeting timely and relevant information, or even running a promo. For example, if you are in a town that is hosting a festival, then why not include their hashtag? Here is an example:

” NapaTasty: #bottlerock2015: Looking for a table? We have two opening in 15 minutes. “

-or-

” NapaTasty: #bottlerock2015: We are running a two-for-one bring festival batch! “

As you can see, a little marketing creativity paired with a strong online reputation and review management strategy is the perfect approach to maximizing the newly forged Google and Twitter partnership.

When engaging in a real-time strategy, every tweet counts! Don’t miss out on the opportunity of page domination through social engagement. You have what it takes to make it happen.

Kevin Kent

Kevin is the Director of Finance and Operations at ReviewTrackers. Every day he finds creative ways to solve business owners' problems and identifies key issues to help them achieve top results.

Discussion

  1. Alan Alan

    Well, twitter can be really helpful with SEO, I was never aware of that. Thanks! There are lot of tricks to be learned in this business.

    Reply
  2. Patricia Gill

    Twitter is a great way to engage not only with SEO and google but with people who share the same interests with you, or are interested in products like yours. You can start following people who follow your competition and some of them will follow you back.

    Reply
  3. Karen Garcia

    I suppose that in the next decade, or less, twitter is going to take over all facebook’s users. Facebook is becoming way to complicated and twitter offers you easy and effective way to get in touch with your customers and build true loyalty.

    Reply
    • Melanie Johnson

      I doubt that Tweeter will ever steal the crown from Facebook, because Facebook has so many fans that no other platform can compete with it, no matter how much easier and better it is. People stay on Facebook because of their friends and family. I know few people who swore never to join Facebook, but in time they gave in because in these days everyone needs a Facebook account.

      Reply
  4. GQmeansGeek

    This is an opportunity that every small business owner must take chance off. Completely free marketing and SEO it’s great. You just have to post regularly, make a good choice of keywords and viola, you are there.

    Reply
  5. floresparati

    I’ve tried using twitter couple of times and it’s all confusing to me. No wonder only 19% of Americans use it. But, now, since you mentioned this, I believe it’s worth learning to use it.

    Reply
  6. Jonah

    If this turns out as something good, I see Google actually buying twitter and finally shutting down their useless Google+ network.

    Reply
    • Runs With Scissors

      Really? Google+ is shutting down? Let’s celebrate that. I just hope that they will not ruin Twitter.

      Reply
  7. moolahmachine

    This is great news. Now, you can simply tweet anything about you, and the people will be able to find it.

    Reply
  8. Veronica

    Twitter as a SEO is great, it is viral most of times which makes finding potential customers a win win situation.

    Reply
  9. NicMoon

    Most of the big companies and celebrities use twitter to brand themselves or say brand recall. It is a great platform of find visibility.

    Reply

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