Thursday, March 11, 2010

Twitter: Short Cuts to Get the Inside Scoop

What is one of the best uses for Twitter? To listen to what your potential customers are saying and learn their needs, and then fill them! Use Twitter to research? Yes. Twitter is a series of conversations people are having, they are posting articles and comments about articles. They are talking about their needs and concerns. People are complaining and they are rejoicing.

Is anyone talking about you? Find out by searching for your name. In order to search, use the search feature on the right hand side of the Twitter website page on your account. A hashtag # followed by your keyword will accomplish this quickly. And while you are listening, keep your ears open for sales leads. Is someone frustrated with the lawn service they use? DM (Direct Message) them the name of a good lawn service you use (locally of course), or place the message for all to see like this:

@Someone’s Name here great lawn service recommendation XYZ Lawn Care

When @ Someone’s Name sees your post, they will say

@ Your Name thanks so much for lawn care recommendation!

Share useful information, answer people’s questions; make recommendations about services or products you use. These are all great. However have you ever tried to read the steam of tweets? Everyone has something to say and many times several times per day. (The ideal is to post at least three times per day.)

I use tools such as TweetDeck or my new favorite HootSuite to help filter the flood of twitter information that comes into my account. This device helps you to prioritize the channels so you can watch several at the same time. Another wonderful feature it the ability to post to a multitude of accounts. For example FaceBook and LinkedIn. You can connect to these accounts and when you post you select one or all of these accounts to receive your message.

In HootSuite

You can add categories to follow. My screen is divided into four categories with the following headings?

1. Regular Twitter Stream: What people are saying in real time

2. Mentions: I check to see if people are talking about me

3. Direct Messages: In box: These messages are to me about a specific thing, or generally. Many people who put their messages on automatic say something like: "Thanks for the follow, check out my value free product ABC. Cheers."

4. Direct Messages Out Box: These are the messages I have sent others. One nice Twitter feature is the ability to follow the trail of messages. Its hard to remember what you said to whom!

This tool allows you to post messages at a later time. You can schedule your messages for several times a day in advance which really helps! The best way to earn a friend is to be a friend. Remember the key? Relationship marketing. Share information on a regular basis, help to give value to others through education in the form of answering questions, or sharing a good tip of the day. This allows others to learn about you and establish a rapport. You will be viewed as an expert in your given field. When someone needs to buy they will consider you first.

Remember, all work makes Jane dull. Use humor, only if you are funny. If you are not, find a good joke book, a book of quotes or create some quotes of your own. And remember, no one is interested in what you ate last night or where you are going! In fact recently burglars have used Twitter to monitor people's actions. When they leave home, the intruder knows. So, be warned... keep the banter light, the details of your location limited and best of all, give value to your followers. You will be glad you did.


Sandi Eveleth said...

Great article, Felice. I, too, love Hootsuite and have the iPhone App for it as well. Great explanation of how to use and benefit from Twitter. It's a great tool when used correctly.