Google has seen the writing on the wall and realizes the importance of social media and real-time search for both consumers, as well as for its business customers. Today Google announced that its Google Search Appliance will now be able to provide results from Twitter in addition to the traditional Google search results.
The value of real-time search results, and the power of social media is too great to ignore. Organizations that fail to recognize and embrace social media may find themselves left in the dust. The challenge is to determine how to leverage social media for strategic advantage, and to be more agile in responding to trends and market conditions--not just setting up a Twitter account and a Facebook page for the sake of doing it.
Companies that are sloppy or unprofessional in their approach to embracing social media are really no better off than the Luddite organizations that have shunned Web 2.0 and social media trends completely. There is a tremendous amount of valuable data and information to be gathered from social networks, and companies can engage customers and establish solid relationships through social media, but the tools need to be applied strategically.
Google has provided step-by-step instructions for Google Search Appliance customers to enable the Twitter results function. The Twitter feature can be enabled for all users, or only some users. It can also be configured so that users can choose whether or not to view the Twitter results on a search-by-search basis.