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August 8, 2011 / jasonpinto

Putting in the Work: Searching on Twitter

Over the past several weeks, the marketing world has certainly been abuzz with news and positive reviews of Google+ (present company included).

And while I continue to be a major fan of how Google+ works, some have perhaps gone overboard with their forecasts on whether it will replace/kill social networks that currently rule. Maybe those forecasts will come true. But here’s the danger — we could become so enamored with the potential of one channel that we start overlooking the power that another channel currently offers us.

Twitter and the Search Feature

Many people view Twitter as a great channel to distribute content. And while that can be true, many people fail to recognize that Twitter provides a greater ROI when it’s used to engage with others and build relationships.

But how do you exactly find people to engage with on Twitter?

While there are third-party tools that can help you find specific people, Twitter’s built-in search feature (and the capabilities provided through its API) can help companies to find people based on what they are talking about.

Not only does Twitter Search allow you to find in real-time people who are talking about specific topics, but it also allows you to narrow the results down based on location.

Twitter Search Image -- QR Codes near New York

Business and Twitter Search

Can your business benefit by using Twitter’s search feature more often?

If you are unsure, check out what http://reach.ly/ does! Yes, they’ve built an entire service around providing hotels with leads and prospects that may be in need of that hotel’s amenities. Those leads are found partially based on what people tweet about.

When it comes to your business, you certainly would need to identify if your customers and prospects are on Twitter. From there, you’d want to identify which terms those people would be talking about that would indicate they may be in need of your company’s products and services.

From there, it’s a matter of putting in the work. That work may include:

  • Searching for the appropriate terms on Twitter
  • Researching the people who are using those terms
  • Putting in the effort to connect with them
The connecting process may mean simply following them or adding them to a list. That act alone may get the person to notice your own Twitter page; thus, the “work” there involves ensuring that your Twitter stream and bio includes content that would be relevant to a prospect and consumer.
Of course, to truly push someone into our sales pipeline, we may need to do more than that. We may need to take time to reach out to them via Twitter and attempt to engage in conversation. We may need to put on our sales hat and attempt to offer help in the form of advice or (gulp) our company’s products and services

Moving Forward

Yes, it’s important to pay attention to “what’s next” in the worlds of marketing and communications when it comes to technology and tools.
But no matter what the channel is, true value will only come if we are willing to put in the necessary work.
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