If you’re a small business owner who also tweets, Google’s got a new service you may be interested in to help you simplify the process and to give you more data about its results. Who doesn’t love more data? And Twitter!
Let’s start from the beginning.
Google started this week off the same way it started last – by announcing a slew of new products and features. The big story this time around was a brand new Google URL shortener to help SMB owners to share content on the Web. Unlike popular shorteners like TinyURL and Bit.ly, Goo.gl isn’t a standalone service. It sits inside Google Toolbar and Feedburner so business owners can share content they find (via Google Toolbar) or share the content that they create (via Feedburner) directly. If you’re interested in sharing content using the latter approach, well then you’ll also want to meet Socialize.
What’s Socialize from Google?
Socialize was designed to work with the new Google URL shortener to help small business owners promote their blog posts while still logged into Feedburner. Besides just making it easier to share content, Socialize will also SMB owners get better analytical data to show them how many clicks they’re getting, how long people are engaging with the content, etc. If you’re Bit.ly, it’s basically your worst fear. According to Google, Socialize will allow you to not only tweet posts directly from Feedburner but you’ll be able to add hashtags, filter around keywords, set a limit on how many tweets you send, and even write additional text to surround the link.
To get started, you need to be using Feedburner. Once you’re set up and have claimed your blog, you’ll be able to log in, access the Socialize option (located on Feeburner’s Publicize tab) and sync it with your Twitter account. From there, you’ll have the ability to customize exactly which items are sent to Twitter (filtered by keyword) and how you want it to look using all the options mentioned above. Once you’ve got it customized, hit Save, and the next time you post a blog entry it will automatically be sent to Twitter. If you’ve ever used Twitterfeed to promote posts, it’s essentially the same set up. Only Goo.gly pretty much kills that service.
Yesterday’s announcement makes it easy for small business owners to not only use Twitter to promote content but to get comfortable looking at the analytics behind it. Its one thing to tweet a post to your hundred followers, but it’s another to be able to analyze the clicks, to see the engagement and to be able to benchmark whether numbers are going up or down. Was this information available before? Yes. But Google getting on board helps to legitimize what services like Bit.ly have long been doing (especially if you’re a hesitant small business owner) and lets you manage everything from one dashboard. The simpler the process, the more adoption we’re going to see, which means social media analytics for everyone. A very cool add from Google here.
To learn more about using Socialize or getting set up with Feedburner, you can check out their respective Google pages. Feedburner’s long been considered a discarded Google product, but hopefully the new Socialize feature means that Google will once again give it the respect (and technical support) it deserves.More in: Blogging, Google, Twitter