When it comes to Twitter, there is a wealth of information that is at your fingertips, as most everything on Twitter is public record. For businesses, this can mean a wealth of market research, lead generation, and reputation monitoring can be done with the use of simple and advanced Twitter searches.
Organizing Your Twitter Searches
Most Twitter searches (ones that involve only keywords) can be created and monitored directly in Twitter management tools like HootSuite. Alternatively, more specific queries (especially ones that are location based) will need to be performed on Twitter’s advanced search page and saved either as browser bookmarks or in RSS feeds.
Top Twitter Searches for Business
Here are some great searches to use for your business.
For reputation management purposes, you will want to have searches for your company name, brand name, unique product names, and names of key people in your company. These can be managed in HootSuite or other Twitter management applications.
Sometimes, your reputation management searches will result in some good ideas from your customers, such as a recent tweet by a random Twitter user mentioning that they wished Olive Garden delivered, and since they don’t, that user was opting for pizza delivery instead. You should also can create search queries for your industry. For example, if you’re a fashion retailer, you could create a search for “new designer sunglasses” and see which shades are being discussed the most – these would be ones that you would want to carry (if you don’t already) and maybe include in your next corporate blog post.
You can easily use Twitter to spy on your competitors. If your competitor is on Twitter, you can do a search for their @username and then monitor what people are saying. For example, if someone mentions that @yourcompetitor’s price is too high for a specific product that you carry, you could reply to that person and say that your store sells it for less. Or if someone mentions that @yourcompetitor’s service takes too long, you could reply that your service team turns requests around faster. The possible uses of this information is endless.
Location Based Research
What if you are a local business? This is when you will want to turn to Twitter’s advanced search and use the local options. You can perform searches such as dentist near:85255 within:50mi ? which would result in anyone asking a question about a dentist, and limit the results to users who have identified themselves as living within a specific distance of a particular zip code or city. Granted, you will to sort through random Twitter chat, but you may also see some users who ask their followers if they know of a good dentist in the area. This would be a good time to reply, maybe with a first time patient discount offer.
Your Twitter Searches
Do you use Twitter search for business? What other queries do you find useful to monitor that could be applied to any niche or industry?
I really don't use Twitter search much for my small business. I would like to use it for a few competitors but the reality is there just aren't that many competitors in my niche on Twitter. Not to mention most of the ones that are, all have their streams set to private. In my opinion for a business to be set to private is ridiculous.