The rise of Twitter and real-time search has posed many questions for brands, but one that appears to be very common is where the management responsibility lies.
Search, for the most part, is managed by specialist agencies and networks, or dedicated in-house teams. In contrast, social media, and especially Twitter, appears to be mainly managed by in-house or external PR or comms teams.
Google’s integration of live Twitter results into its first results page, however, has linked the two more closely.
While the vast majority of brands and advertisers fully understand the value and impact of search, Twitter is still a massively grey area for many, as we highlighted in our cover story last month (nma 10 December 2009).
But with the two channels becoming very much one, brands will increasingly expect search agencies to demonstrate their understanding of social media.
There are plenty of search agencies that promote themselves as social media specialists − iCrossing, Tamar and I-Spy are three good examples − and I expect that to grow massively this year.
In the past few years, search agencies have struggled to make an impact away from their core activities, with many launching creative or mobile divisions to much fanfare but little result.
I believe they’ll have more success with social media, but the challenge is now whether a brand would be happy for them to run their Twitter feed.