Twitter this. Twitter that. People talk about Twitter a lot. If you look at the most popular posts at OPEN, a lot of them are about Twitter. And yet, the real gold is in using Twitter Search. Let's talk about that.
Twitter Search is Your Friend
If you want to know where to find the gold, go to http://search.twitter.com. Start with the simple things. Type in your company name. Type in a product name. Type in your city name. Type in your competitor's name. See anything? What do you see? See any opportunities?
In the few years that I've been showing people this one little facet of social media, people always find something that raises an eyebrow, that leads to a distraction, that leads us off to pursue something that needs doing. If you didn't pause to try what I recommended, go ahead. I'll wait.
Twitter Search is how to understand and use Twitter.
Use a Smarter Twitter Client With Search
If you have the rights to load software on your machine, use something like Seesmic Desktop or Tweetdeck to view Twitter. If you can't load software, check out Hootsuite or PeopleBrowsr. This is what the power users are using. Now, for the search part.
These apps all have the capacity to save searches. Put in a few of the searches you've tried that you want to keep tabs on. Note how you can leave a column with those search terms up and running all day. Pow: you've just lit up your own listening station for the Twitter channel. What can you do with that?
How Are People Using Twitter Search?
Hotels and restaurants are using it to find new guests. Software companies are using it to recommend products at the moment that a new customer might need them. Media companies are using it to find stories. Service providers are using it to help find new business. It's tax time in the US. Rest assured that the smarter tax services are using it to find new clients.
How can YOU use it?
This is Just One Tool in the Deck
But let's consider this a good place to start on understanding how to use these social networks for your business needs. We'll cover some other ways in forthcoming posts. Let me know if this rang any bells, and whether you need more.
Chris Brogan is co-author of the NYT/WSJ bestselling book, Trust Agents. He is president of New Marketing Labs, LLC, and blogs at [chrisbrogan.com].