There are countless social media tools available to marketers. In fact, there’s an abundance of lists of social media tools available to marketers.
I am not going to provide another list, I am not going to present my biased review of which tool is the best for which industry. Instead I’d like to give you some quick, actionable ways to find, expand and ENGAGE with your audience on Twitter.
Twitter Has a Search Function!
For some of you, this is old news. But be honest, are you using it?
One of Twitter’s most valuable tools, search.twitter.com, is completely under-utilized and under-marketed. Just look at the powerful search operators available to us without using a 3rd party utility:
In the above example we have created a query for users who want input (question sentiment) regarding the LED vs Plasma television argument. The words discount and sale were eliminated to hopefully cut through some of the product based noise. Best, quality and picture were added as optional inclusions to add a bit more context to our search.
What Are We Able to Find?
TV advice needed: LED vs Plasma, pros and cons on each?
— Scott Lovegrove (@scottisafool) December 26, 2012
Well, that’s pretty helpful! Scott is looking for advice in picking a television. In this example, I chose to go with a broad date range (I can’t just hand out leads now can I?). You’ll see in our search example that we could have limited our results to recent Twitter activity.
Don’t go rushing in and selling your services. Our goal is to provide value and engage with new users. For example: We could step in and ask Scott some additional questions about his intended usage.
- Do you use your TV for video games or movies more often?
- What is your budget for a television purchase
- What kind of light do you have in the room where the TV will be used?
Scott was asking for help, not for a link to your products or services. If you take the time to learn a bit more about Scott, he may be willing to become a customer all by himself!
How Do I Know What My Customers Are Looking For?
This is a question you should be asking yourself daily. Marketing strategy is something that should include your products, services and elevator pitches but should be based around your customers. There are many ways to research common questions, consumer intent and user habits but these are a great starting point:
- UberSuggest – The free keyword suggestion tool that makes good use of different suggest services
- Quora – Think of it is a better version of Yahoo Answers
- Jelly – Questions asked by people, answered by experts
- Get Creative – There are countless places to find people asking questions online, narrow your searches to match your industry, rinse and repeat.
Move from Searching to Monitoring
Now that you’ve taken the time to fine tune your search strategy and even engaged with a few people (who have a newfound respect for your expertise and willingness to help); it’s time to go real-time. According to Statistic Brain there are about 58 million tweets sent each day. Wouldn’t it be great if we could cut through the noise and find the tweets relevant to our industry?
Say Hello to TweetDeck
TweetDeck, owned by Twitter, is self-proclaimed to be “The most powerful Twitter tool for real-time tracking, organizing and engagement”. No arguments from me, I use it constantly. There are many things that make TweetDeck a great, free, Twitter management utility but I just want to focus on our task at hand: Finding and expanding our target audience.
It’s time to turn your search terms into a continuous stream of potential conversations.
The Power of Columns
“Out of the box” TweetDeck is set up with columns such as your home timeline, notifications and activity/discovery. Having these three feeds appear on one screen is a great timesaver and allows you to stay on top of notifications easily. It is also very easy to set up and monitor multiple Twitter accounts at one time.
Now let’s get our custom search column(s) set up and watch the potential conversations scroll into view!
This is only the beginning! Experiment with other column types that suit your needs. Many users create a list of competitors in their space to monitor activities, others create press lists to keep updated with industry news. TweetDeck provides a playground, it is your job to find the most fun ways to use each apparatus. I challenge you to write a better description!
The Results Are In!
Based on our included/excluded queries we now have a live-feed of tweets that are likely to create an opportunity for conversation. As you can see the first tweet in the screenshot is from a user who is likely in the market for a new TV. While they haven’t directly asked for help, the nature of the tweet hints that they may be open to suggestions.
As you monitor your new feed, pay attention to tweet patterns, this will help you tighten or broaden your search to find only relevant information. This is a great way to cut through the noise of constant product-based tweets. Pay careful attention to conversations that are already in progress, this can be a great opportunity to politely offer your two cents. Remember to have some etiquette, provide value first before trying to close a deal.
How Are You Using TweetDeck?
Try it out for yourself. I would love to hear about creative ways you are using this wonderful tool. We have found great users for some of the paid alternatives but for simple monitoring of “power searches” TweetDeck wins.