Search engine optimisation (SEO) is most often associated solely with Google, Bing and Yahoo. But it must not be forgotten that search engines also exist with the dominant social media platforms (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ etc) and, with the growing significance of social media, these are becoming more important (indeed, there is a growing specialism in ‘social media optimisation’ (‘SMO’). Twitter search, in particular, just received a massive boost.
Formerly, you could only search within Twitter for tweets up to 7 days old. If you wanted to find anything older than that within Twitter, you couldn’t (although there are other platforms that show older tweets, such as within Google itself – although that was much better a few years ago when Google and Twitter had a better relationship; see also Topsy).
Now, Twitter is allowing users to search back much further than 7 days. They announced this in a recent blog post:-
“As we roll this out over the coming days, the Tweets that you’ll see in search results represent a fairly small percentage of total Tweets ever sent. We look at a variety of types of engagement, like favorites, retweets and clicks, to determine which Tweets show”.
As Danny Sullivan on Search Engine Land notes, Twitter’s advanced search feature is, at least at the moment, more proficient in helping you find what you’re looking for. But even the basic search feature is apt at revealing the more prominent tweets from months, if not years back. See the below screenshot for an example showing tweets from January 2012.
Twitter for Law Firms, Lawyers and Businesses
What can law firms, lawyers and professionals learn from this? There are a few points to note:-
First, tweets are becoming more timeless. Your tweets will show up much longer and have the potential to be found in search within Twitter months if not years down the line, provided they are somewhat popular, measured mainly by retweets, comments and favorites. So, if you have been tweeting a stream of useful legal or practical information for the past year and it has been well received – great. You’re more likely to found by people searching Twitter for relevant terms. Google will, for most of the foreseeable future, remain the absolutely dominant search engine, but it’s always good to have other branches to rely on.
Second, people can, in practice, still take a screenshot of your tweets then publish to the world elsewhere. But, if you don’t delete tweets (and it’s advisable that you generally don’t), then they can be found by people searching Twitter. This is more of a defamation or professional practice warning – don’t think that because your tweet is over a week old that it carries little significance.
Third, it’s a useful reminder that Twitter’s search capabilities are evolving. The more time and effort put into networking there just now will pay dividends further down the line. For those users who have been on Twitter for several years now, you’ll know what I’m talking about – the look and feel of Twitter has been developing for some time now, with one of the most significant changes being the roll-out of new Twitter in September 2010 (see Mashable’s history of Twitter update from inception to 2011: http://mashable.com/2011/05/05/history-of-twitter/ )
Learn more about Twitter and Social Media for Business
Want to learn more about Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media channels for business? Check out our article here: http://www.moorelegaltechnology.co.uk/social-media-for-lawyers.html