Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on February 3rd, 2010

The Upside of Real-Time Search

Real-time search, if you don’t already know, fuses social media content and search engine results in ways no one could have imagined two years ago.. except Google – who is quietly but feverishly giggling amongst themselves over this masterful move like Japanese schoolgirls sneaking into a Cheap Trick concert.

Twitter and Facebook feeds are now streaming into Google’s search results page, challenging valuable real estate that businesses and brands have fought diligently for. Some businesses see this new search feature as a threat, while others an opportunity. For companies like Apple, you can see how the iPad will follow in the iPod's footsteps to success, if their branding message continues to grow, sans the hygiene joke.

But as more and more of the Web operates in real-time, businesses need to keep up with the digital Joneses and compress this lump of opportunity coal into a diamond field of brand messaging and mastery. Wipe that frown off your face, Mr. Second-Cup-of-Coffee, and let’s look at the upside of real-time search after the jump..

Increase the Reach of Your Messaging

If your brand is big enough, there could be a conversation about it happening online at any given moment. If your brand is near the point of constant conversational critical mass, a social media real-time blast can push it over the top. No matter if your brand has an online buzz or not, with Facebook and Twitter appearing in the search results, brands and businesses have an incredible opportunity to share their messaging and create conversations with a broader audience on the social web.

Social Equity Growth

I don’t know any business who doesn’t welcome the idea of growth, even if its by means of social ‘webbery’. Build Facebook fan bases and Twitter followers with strategically and authentically engaging messages at optimal times of the day. As more people allow strategic messaging to blur into their social networks, e-Socialites are savvy to the idea of allowing certain amounts of branding ingredients into their daily bread.

Increase Conversion Potential

Correct me if I’m wrong: People trust Google. When content gets listed on Google’s front page, people tend to click through. By actively participating and strategically posting content, you’re potential for conversions and up-selling increases with every social media message.

With Power Comes Consequences

Today’s digital landscape calls upon businesses and brands to be ready to engage with people online in real-time. But with the power of real-time results comes a loss of control over the messaging. If your brand is Toyota, chances are right now that you aren’t too happy with the current conversation online.

Keyword Optimize

An important element in strategic messaging and posting online is keyword optimization, in which research can be done using the Google Keyword Tool. Your brand’s primary keywords should be included in the strategic Facebook status update or tweet. That way it can be properly indexed and you gain extended exposure for keywords in the search results.

Thoughts? Feelings? Emotions?

Does your business see real-time search as a threat or opportunity? Was this post useful for you, or did you think it was rubbish? Please leave a comment below with your thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

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