I will openly admit that I am a Twitterholic, there is just so much that can be accomplished with Twitter that I can’t help myself! In our workshops, trainings, and consultations I try to stress how useful and actually essential a platform such as Twitter can be for a business – and today, like most days, I saw that power in action.
On my personal Twitter account BridgetAyers I generally share Tech, Web, Design, Social Media, Marketing, and Business focused tweets. I find this information all over the internet, with a good majority of it coming from my Twitter buddies – you know that old adage “birds of feather….”. Yesterday I retweeted a buddy’s recommendation of a new blog commenting tool Disqus “RT @joshcanhelp Trying out new Disqus commenting system on my blog… very cool! http://disq.us/50x” I checked out their site but I was not using the tool myself. Josh is a great tech guy so if he says it’s cool I can trust that.
Well, that all changed today, becuase you see Disqus saw a reply tweet from Josh asking me if I use Disqus and they sent out a tweet “@BridgetAyers Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about our system. @disqus” I have to give them big kudos for this, if they had not sent me a tweet I probably would have forgotten about them quickly. If you look at my comment section I have installed their plugin.
So let’s break down how Disqus is using Twitter from a business standpoint:
1. Brand Monitoring
2. Building Brand Awareness
3. Reaching out to Potential Users
4. Relationship Building
5. Customer Service
A Few tools you can use to accomplish this:
Monitoring Your Brand
Tweetbeep is equivalent to Google Alerts, it gives you the ability to monitor your brand, your company, your name, and your industry. It saves you time because it sends all of this information to your email inbox (or folder) to be cataloged and analyzed on your time schedule.
Tweetgrid is a powerful Twitter Search Dashboard that allows you to search for up to 9 different topics, events, converstations, hashtags, phrases, people, groups, etc in real-time. As new tweets are created, they are automatically updated in the grid. No need to refresh the page. This tool allows you to really dive deep into your industry, target market, and brand research.
Monitoring Your Brand and Managing Twitter Relationships
Tweetdeck Is a real time saver – it allows you to organize, categorize, and monitor your finds. The wonderful thing about this application is that it is a one stop shop, you can organize, monitor, search, and respond all without opening your web browser. You can also use this application for research by grouping your Twitter contacts, watching keywords, and engaging your network in relevant conversation. They have also recently added a Facebook interface, now all they need is the multiple account function and they will be the best out there.
Seesmic Desktop Seesmic Desktop is setup very similar to TweetDeck, however the “main pane” within the system allows you to click to view your replies and DMs within it without taking up extra space which could be used for viewing your groups. Definitely a handy and space saving feature. Seesmic falls has an issue with groups though, it is difficult to add people to a group. You can only add a person to a group if you catch their name in the timeline. Which, can make it difficult/time consuming to effectively build a group. Seesmic does allow for multiple twitter accounts though, so it maybe worth the group frustration.
Finding the Influencers
TwitterGrader will show you your ranking in your city, state, and country. It will also show you active and influential Twitter users that you may find benefit in establishing a relationship with. You can search by location, name, or keyword.
Twitpwr monitors the influence/power of its users through url tracking. It’s not always about how many followers you have it is really about how frequently your followers share your message. This tool can be a great source for finding those Twitterers that have active and frequent retweets
WeFollow is a user powered directory of Twitterers listed by category/keyword, with the most influential listed first – of course! Twitter can help you get noticed outside of Twitter if you know the right people and/or websites.
Twellow is the yellow pages of Twitter. If you want to be found the yellow pages is a logical place to start right? It has some very useful features and is adding new ones to keep up with the changing needs of its subscribers. As a research tool you can use the Directory to search by category or location, you can use Twellowhood to geographically target and research statistical information (United States and Canada only at this time), and you can use Twellow Pulse to monitor conversations in up to 20 categories.
Twibs is a Twitter Business directory, where you can list and find businesses based on location, keyword or category, and by monitoring the main page tweets.
TwittGroups is a place where you can create or join a group of people interested in similar things and view the Twitter Search results for that group. You can do this with search.twitter.com or Tweetgrid.com using the hashtag # feature, but if you need some assistance in the group department this is a site that will get you started.
TweetWorks – Like TwittGroups is a platform to create and join groups. Groups can be public or private, which is a plus. Another good option is the ability to post messages just to your group or to the group and the public Twitter timeline at the same time. Currently there is a limit to the number of private groups you can create or join but eventually there will be a premium account with an unlimited option.
Building A Twitter Community
With just a couple of these tools, consistency, and a relationship driven focus you could turn Twitter into a business building asset. Disqus took a few extra minutes to send a tweet out to me so I decided to try out their comment feature on our blog (I will let you know what I think in a month or so) and highlight them in a post. Not bad for one tweet!
I would love to hear how your time on Twitter has benefited you, your business, or cause! And please feel free to share any advice and/or tools that you think would benefit relationship building on Twitter.