As a marketing tool Twitter gets much more interesting and useful when you can filter out 99% of the junk that doesn’t apply to your objectives and focus on the stuff that matters.
The basic search.twitter.com functionality is fine for searching things that are being said about your search terms. The advanced search function offers more ways to slice and dice the stream, but still leaves some room for improvement as it only searches what’s being said and where. From a marketing standpoint who is saying it might be more useful.
Now that the search engines are all pretty geeked up over real time search you can create some very powerful searches and alerts combining Google and Twitter.
1) Target by occupation
Let’s say you have a business that sells an awesome service to attorneys. A simple search on Twitter will turn up thousands of mentions of the word attorney, but many of them will be from people talking about this or that attorney or the need to hire or not hire one. That’s probably not very helpful for your purposes.
However, if you cruise over to Google and use a handful of operators from the Google shortcut library (more on that here) you can create a search that plows through Twitter and gives you a list of all the users that have the word “attorney” in their title (username and/or real name) – Click on this search phrase and see what happens – intitle:”attorney * on twitter” site:twitter.com – what you’ll find is a handy list of attorneys of one sort or another on Twitter.
Without getting too technical, this search basically asks Google to look in the title attribute of profile pages on Twitter – obviously you can use any word to replicate this. The * tells Google to find the words “attorney on Twitter” without regard to order or other words – “on Twitter” appears in the title of every profile page so we need that term to make sure we search profile pages only.
2) Target by bio
In some cases searching through the optional biographical information can be more helpful than the username or real name fields. Maybe you’re looking for a very specific term or some of the folks you are targeting only reference their profession in their bio.
Google search to the rescue here again. This time add the intext attribute, the word bio and our key phrase to search bios – So a search for web designers would look like this – intext:”bio * web designer” site:twitter.com. When you look at this list you might notice that none of the people on the list would have been found by searching in their title, as in the first tip, for web designer. Try it both ways to test for best results.
3) Target by location
Location search by itself is simple using the Twitter advanced search tool – if you want a list of people in Austin you would use this in Twitter – near:”Austin, TX” within:25mi and Twitter would use the location field to show you Austin Tweeters.
But . . . let’s say you wanted to target salons in Austin or maybe the whole of Texas – it’s back to Google to mix and match – (intitle:”salon * on twitter” OR intext:”bio * salon”) intext:”location * TX” site:twitter.com – we search the title, bio and location to get a very targeted list of Salons in Texas on Twitter. Note the OR function for multiple queries.
4) New sign ups
Another handy thing about using any of the searches above is that you can also use the exact operators to create Google Alerts. By going to Google and putting in your search string as described above you’ll get everything they have now, but by setting up an alert you’ll get an email or RSS alert when a new attorney (or whatever you’re targeting) joins Twitter – I can think of some powerful ways to reach out to that new person just trying to find some new friends!
5) Keep up on your industry
Some of the best information shared on Twitter comes in the form of shared links. In other words people tweet out good stuff they find and point people to it using a link. I love to use a filtered Twitter search to further wade through research on entire industries, but reduce the noise by only following tweets that have links in them and eliminating retweets that are essentially duplicates – “small business” OR entrepreneur OR “start up” filter:links – this gets that job done and produces an RSS feed if I want to send it to Google Reader. Don’t forget the “quotation marks” around two or more word phrases or you will get every mention of small and business.
6) Competitive eavesdropping
Lots of people set up basic searches to listen to what their competitors are saying and what others are saying about the competition. I would suggest you take it one step further and create and follow a search that also includes what the conversation they are having with the folks they communicate with – not just what people are saying about them, but to them and vice versa – from:comcastcares OR to:comcastcares.
7) Trending photos
Photos have become very big on Twitter and the real time nature of the tool means photos show up there before they show up most anywhere. If you want to find an image related to a hot trend, or anything for that matter, simply put the search phase you have in mind follow by one of the more well known Twitter image uploading services such as TwitPic and you’ll get nothing but images. So, your search on Twitter might be – olympics twitpic OR ow.ly (You can add more photosharing sites to expand the search).
There, Twitter just go way more interesting didn’t it?
Reposted from janchipchase.com
The following notes accompany a presentation titled Future Social to the 2008 LIFT Asia conference and relates to this post. The slides can be downloaded from here 3MB
Watch a video of the talk Nine Trends Shaping the Future of Social Interaction
You’re tired, you’re looking for somewhere to sit and rest a while and you come across the space pictured below. What can you do here? Can you have a phone conversation? Could you take out a laptop? Do you think it’s OK to smoke here? If it’s hot – can you take your shirt off? What kind of services does this space support? Is it the kind of place where it’s OK to talk with a stranger?
What about this person? If you were sitting there how might his presence affect you? And you decision about whether to stay in this space?
But what if you knew more about him? What if you knew that he has very few friends? Or that he got top marks at a very prestigious university? That he has a poor credit history?
How does your perception of this space change depending on what he’s doing? What if you knew he’s a medical student and he’s revising for his final exams? He’s want to be a heart surgeon… and set up a charity to treat kids… whose parents can’t afford treatment. Or actually watching a adult movie? Or that he’s tracking the final stages of an auction on eBay? Or that right now he’s writing nasty comments about you on the LIFT conference web site? Or more likely that he’s multi-tasking and doing all of these things at the same time
As you’re standing there deciding what to do next – how would your decision making process change if you knew he was going to be there for another 4 hours? Or that he’ll be done in the next five minutes?
The rest of the presentation details nine trends that frame how to consider this design space:
- The first is that ever more of life is pocketable – that you will increasingly be able to carry the tools you use to communicate, entertain, that help you understand where you are, what you want to do next – the very stuff of life in other words. As soon as things become pocketable they end being carried and used in a wide variety of contexts. Within what time frame does what stuff become pocketable? How does allow new ways to connect, to what and whom? And what services can they access?
- With the exception of pure play socially driven services it will always be easier to design something for sole use rather than shared use. Even if sharing an experience through one device is preferred there will be numerous situations where people will end up having serial solitary experiences – being together in the same space, doing the same thing but experienced through different devices.A simple example of this is the way that Japanese mobile phone users add privacy filters to their screen – not only does it make shoulder surfing on the Tokyo subway impractical – it makes it more difficult for two people to watch the same movie. Yes there are exceptions to this – notably when it is desirable to save battery life or when sharing is as simple and delightfully close as sharing headphones.
- That so much more of what we carry is or will be connected – with people, services, the infrastructure around us and other objects we carry. Connected things talk – so what they will talk about? Currently the big shift in this space is whether and how we share location and other rich contextual information, with whom, and with what level of granularity?
- Whilst sharing music, video, intimate details is both inherently human and mostly positive – we have to recognise that when the default is to share then it creates significant social pressure on those that prefer not to since the question of opting out of adopting a technology becomes one whether to opt out of society. You can see it today with late adopters who are pressured by relatives or their employer’s into carrying a mobile phone, but the same applies to any mainstream connected technology.
- The connectivity, infrastructure and increasing sophistication of online services enables us to reduce the time between asking the question and having the answer and at some point we’ll have access to automated and real time associations of people, what they do, their history, and based hundreds of millions of lifetime’s worth of data sets a prediction of what they are going to do next. Of course not just want they want you to know, but all the other stuff that leaks around the edges.
- Technology is being adopted at a younger age by kids who don’t’ share your sense of the right or wrong way to use something. How quickly will your technological and social literacy become niche? How long before you are effectively illiterate?
- That the boundaries such as personal and work life that still exist today will continue to erode. For all our intent to maintain these boundaries the discipline it requires is usually overridden by convenience and to some extent social pressures. The photos show a commuter in on the outskirts of Cleveland answering work emails on the way to the office, and during a study in Iran a participant told us about how whilst women need to wear a headscarf in public – there was a significant leakage in that photos were taken in private without headscarf say on a camera phone and that these were then being handed around amongst friends – consequently eroding social norms.
- That the speed of technological change will continue to increase and that for some services the lifetime will be measured in days or hours.
- That pocketable is just a nano-sized stepping stone to becoming invisible – invisible not in the sense of the designer’s nirvana of a seamless experience, but simply that its technically possible to make objects that are too small or hidden for other’s to see. And that with this – the emphasis on social cues and how we plan to use them becomes even more important.
Related research here.
A rather fantastic deck this.
Useful deck this.
Feast your eyes. At least this one doesn’t have that Fatboy Slim backing track.
“You can’t buy attention anymore. Having a huge budget doesn’t mean anything in social media…The old media paradigm was PAY to play. Now you get back what you authentically put in. You’ve got to be willing to PLAY to play.”
– Alex Bogusky, Co-Chairman of Crispin Porter + Bogusky
A few key messages:
1. Over 300,000 businesses have a presence on Facebook and roughly a 1/3 of these are small businesses.
2. Gary Vaynerchuk grew his family business from $4 million to $50 million using social media.
3. Lenovo was able to achieve cost savings by a 20% reduction in call center activity as customers go to community website for answers.
4. BlendTec increased its sales 5x by running the often humorous “Will it Blend” Videos on YouTube.
5. Dell sold $3,000,000 worth of computers on Twitter
6. Obama Social Media Marketing resulted in three million online donors contributing $500 million in fundraising.
7. 71% of companies plan to increase investments in social media by an average of 40% because: a) Low Cost Marketing b) Getting Traction c) We Have To Do It