It is a lot of a small business person, unfortunately, that one never has time to concentrate on absolutely everything. Something always has to give while you deal with, well, the realities of life: customers, tax returns, stock control…

Which is why it might be tempting to sort out the basics for your website and leave it at that. Most business owners these days understand the importance of SEO, and how it can be a valuable tool in bringing you more customers – but many will draw a line there. Social media? That sounds like a step too far, a lot of faffs and a sharp learning curve.

Well, the time may have come that SEO and social media are merging. Google is said to be in talks with Twitter over the inclusion of ‘tweets’ in their search results. For Google, it’s a relatively quick and easy way to ensure that their Search product is practically in ‘real time’. For you, and your business, it’s a move that means you really can no longer afford to ignore social media.

This has been the week in which we have seen journalist Jan Moir castigated by thousands via Twitter when a story she filed happened to light the incendiary rage of Twitter users. Now imagine that, instead of her name, a complaint about your company ‘goes viral’ on Twitter – and that, as a result, the top Google result for your company name is not your own website, but a representative sample of tweets criticising you.

If that sounds like a nightmare, be aware that the flip side of the coin is not only a happier one but a more likely scenario, too. The chances are that the mundane daily tweets mentioning your business are, at worst, tangential, and at best, offering praise. Even the former could boost your trade (“Just got a coffee from Jenson’s” can have a knock-on effect. People are very suggestible).

If you haven’t had the time yet, now would be a good moment to search Twitter and see what your customers are actually saying about you. If you don’t like what you see, it’s looking like you have a short period of grace to put it right before Google and Twitter seal their deal. And if you’re too busy with customers, tax returns and stock control, come to Notting Hill Web Design, where we’ll happily turn things around for you.