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Be Careful What You Say on Facebook & Twitter...

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Posted Nov 04 2009 03:49 PM

In case you haven’t heard this already, Google and Microsoft (Bing) both announced that they will be displaying tweets from Twitter and status messages from Facebook in their search results. Now for the most part I know that most of us already exercise caution in what we put out there, but I honestly believe that there are going to be a few “less cautious” people that are going to be caught off guard when all of this comes to fruition. You probably know exactly what I am talking about too, it’s not just the expletives and profanity, but I think that element is going to be the most fun to watch and read about.

For as long as I have been working in this industry, I have always worked under the assumption that anything I put out there is going to live forever. I also try to keep in mind that there could come a day where my clients or my mom might actually read my tweets or blog posts. I think that a lot of us in this business long enough already know this, but I am concerned as to whether everyone has come to this realization yet…

Your Social Brand Reputation is More Important than Ever!!

Honestly though, I think that the biggest result that we will see from the search engines incorporating these “social nuggets” into their search results is going to be even more emphasis placed on social media by corporations. Especially in the realm of customer service and dispute resolutions. I think that companies will realize quickly that their customers bad experiences are showing up in Google and Bing (CEO’s and Marketing / PR People are always googling themselves and their companies in their spare time, after all the perception falls broadly on their shoulders).

One recent situation came up with a friend of mine who had his luggage lost by one of the major airlines and it took a few days for him to get the airlines to work with him. This all played out on Twitter, and for the most part I think all of Central Arkansas heard about it (and rightfully so, good for him! I even retweeted him a few times myself). Granted, the airlines that I am referring to already has a Twitter account, but I think they could have jumped on this opportunity and handled it better and more efficiently than they did. Well, take this into consideration, not only is this bad experience going to live forever inside of Twitter, but now it’s also going to be archived w/ two of the most widely used search engines in the world.

In case you missed what I was trying to say through all of this, here it is in the nutshell; Your brand’s social reputation was already important, but now it’s a lot more important than you can imagine!! I recently did a presentation related to this topic, you can find that here along w/ my slides…

How’s All of This Going to Be Rolled Out?

Honestly I don’t have all of the details. I do know that each of the search engines are probably going to have their own policies for including peoples social content. I suspect it will be some sort of opt-in model, but that’s probably still up in the air right now. I also envision the social networks themselves adding another layer to this equation, probably an opt-in model in this case as well. You will likely see a checkbox in Facebook and Twitter that will say something like, “include my status updates in search engines” or something along those lines.

My Prediction for Facebook and Twitter

I honestly don’t think Twitter is going to have near as many concerns going into this model that Facebook is going to see. For the most part I don’t think that Twitter users look at Twitter with the same concerns that they do Facebook. I think Facebook users think that they have a lot more invested in Facebook (20 year old school yearbook photos, baby pictures, vacation photos, relationship statuses, etc.). All of this to say that I think Facebook users are going to be a lot more guarded on this issue once they figure out what’s going on. You just thought the Facebook terms of service issue was a biggie, wait until someone’s inappropriate status update shows up in Google underneath their employer’s listing… Whew!!

My Predictions for Google and Microsoft (Bing)

I think that both of these search engines are going to see some positives for adding this content to their search results. I am anxious to see how it is presented, I have some ideas as to how they could do this if anyone from either of these companies wants to give me a shout…

I also think that by doing this that search engines in general are become even more useful and relevant than they were before. Unless of course, you are looking for Kanye West’s concert dates, they are going to located on page 100 or so, tucked neatly behind all of the “you suck” tweets he got after the VMA’s.

Link to my original post: http://www.cottonroh...cebook-twitter/

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