- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On September 30, 2015
- Social media
Google and Twitter created a new partnership in February 2015. This deal has implications for all health care marketers.
Prior to this new partnership Google was indexing only a very small percentage of the tweets in Twitter’s “fire hose” and it was indexing them slowly. At this time Google was “scraping” Tweets from Twitter—a slow and computer-intensive process. With this new partnership Twitter is sending all Tweets directly to Google to index, making the transfer of data orders of magnitude faster.
When the new partnership started in February, tweets were only being displayed on Google searches conducted on mobile devices but in August the partnership expanded so searches from the desktop were included.
What’s the latest?
Tweets are showing up in a “carousel-like”display (see examples below) around the middle of search results pages. Many of the Tweets appearing are very recent in nature, which seems to be a direct result of the new partnership. (Twitter data is getting to Google in real time and being processed fast.)
What’s going to be added in the future?
The general philosophy at Google is to test and analyze. Google will be looking at the data to see how engaged people are with the tweets that are showing up in their search results today.
Assuming the results are positive, we can expect this partnership to expand and for tweets to start showing up for many more search terms. Judging by past behavior, the way tweets are displayed on search results pages will also change over time.
Here’s are some thoughts for hospital marketers on what to do about this new partnership:
Takeaway #1: Twitter moves up in your list
For Twitter this partnership draws more people to their platform. Twitter has not been “knocking it out of the park” recently in terms of active users and new user sign ups. This partnership is designed to remedy some of that malaise.
Twitter should move back up your list of social media networks to consider for your social media strategy. Your local community may not be that active on Twitter but if tweets start showing up on Google search they may become very visible to your prospective patients.
Takeaway #2: Use keywords
If Google is now indexing tweets then tweets become another area where you can win by picking the right keywords. When writing tweets consider including your known keywords—the same ones you use on your website/blog.
Takeaway #3: Use hashtags
You can search Google for hashtags. Putting relevant hashtags in your tweets will increase the chances of your tweets being discovered in search.
You may need to spend some time researching hashtags that are relevant to your prospective patients and referring physicians.
Takeaway #4: Use images
Various studies have shown that engagement with tweets increases when they contain an image.
There is evidence that Google factors in engagement (retweets, clicks on links etc.) when deciding how to rank content. It’s likely that Google will rank your tweets higher if it sees engagement with them and it’s likely that tweets with images will get more engagement.
Takeaway #5: Make friends
The most powerful way to get people to engage with your tweets is for you to have friends.
You should build relationships with influencers in your community. When Google sees Twitter users with large active followings retweeting your content it is likely to consider your tweets more important. People that really know are much more likely to click on your links and read your content.
Takeaway #6: Watch this space
This partnership between Twitter and Google is in its infancy. If both parties feel it is working, it will expand. The upshot of that for health care marketers will be that posting on Twitter will rise in importance. It’s worth keeping a close eye on this situation for your future marketing initiatives.
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