Hands down one of my favourite uses for Twitter is to find people that are looking for my services. I’ve landed contracts and established connections that could lead to future gigs.
This can work not only for a consultant like me, but really for any small business that is looking to find and interact with potential customers online. With Twitter, you can do this quickly and efficiently. Did I mention that it’s easy and free?
All you need is Twitter search…
Twitter lets you monitor conversations that contain certain words. Think about the words that your customers would use to describe or look for your business. These are your keywords, and you can look for them on Twitter.
As with any search, the more specific you can be the better. Broad terms will yield tons of results. Narrower terms lead you closer to your ideal searcher.
If your small business serves only your local community, then you will definitely want to be adding a local limitation on what you’re searching for. This ensures that you’re only monitoring for people that want your service in your area.
A local strategy is also a good idea even if your products or services could be used by anyone worldwide. People are becoming more and more interested in connecting with local businesses. Plus, many keywords are simply too general and would give you more results than you have the time to monitor. Adding a local dimension to your search helps to narrow things down considerably, and allows you to reach out to people that live in the same area as you.
If you use Twitter itself to do your tweeting, you can do this by searching for your keyword plus your city name. This will grab anyone in your local area (based on the location provided in the Twitter profile) that uses the keyword in a tweet.
If you use a social media tool for Twitter, you may have other options. I’m a huge Hootsuite fan, and they allow you to add your location to your search results, so that you will only search for tweets that are sent from someone in your local area.
How to save a search in Twitter
The video below shows you how to search from within Twitter…
Monitoring searches on Twitter gives you a great way to connect with others, and gain more visibility for your small business.
By spending just a little bit of time each week looking at your Twitter searches, you will most likely find some opportunities to jump into the conversation, and even promote your services. Someone that is actively looking for what you do will appreciate you reaching out – it makes their life easier after all. And if they’re not interested, they will simply ignore your tweet. No harm done.
Twitter search also allows you to connect with other individuals and businesses that work in your industry. A solid way to boost your connections and get some networking going.
I don’t do Twitter
If your small business does not do Twitter yet, and you’re not sure if it’s the right tactic for you, getting an account to monitor searches is a good way to start. This can help you decide if there is value in Twitter for your business. If your industry is not on the Twitter radar and no one is talking about what you do, there are most likely other internet marketing strategies that are better suited to your goals.
If Twitter search is part of your online communications arsenal, share how you’ve used it to help your business. If it’s new for you, get searching and let us know how it goes.
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