Sunday, March 11, 2012

Finding Folks Who Need You on Twitter

I've not posted anything for a while, I've been busy with things over at Just Search, so I thought I'd share a quick tip for using Twitter. I'm often asked about conducting Twitter outreach, and here's something you can do that doesn't involve a lot of expensive custom tools.

I use this trick with Hootsuite, having the searches running all the time to look for engagement points for clients and making a point to reach out using these every day. It's really simple, and it's a conversation starter that genuinely leads to interaction, connections, and ultimately sales or donations. Twitter is a weapons-grade listening device, it just takes a few simple tricks to make it easy to use.

Weapons Grade Listening Device

Go to the Twitter search box and try this. Run a search with "-filter:links" in it, that'll search for things with the keywords you use but without links. This is kinda important for what we're going to add next as we're not interested in people 'providing links', we're looking for people who want help, need support, and are looking for info.

Next try typing a few phrases (and add your keywords) like this, and don't forget the -filter:links in your search (I believe using '-http' also works). This'll show the people who are looking for folks who need help or are asking questions about your Twitter accounts subject matter:
  • where can I get 'keyword' -filter:links
  • how to 'keyword' -filter:links
  • anyone know 'keyword' -filter:links
  • what's the best 'keyword' -filter:links
  • how do I 'keyword' -filter:links
  • need help 'keyword' -filter:links
Give it a go. Different phrases will work better for different topics, try your own. Try adding some regional words for better targeting. For me, this was a proper hallelujah moment. Oh, and if you ever need to, 'filter:links' will pull back tweets ONLY containing links. Let me know if you find this useful, and I'll post more stuff like this if you do.

Have a great weekend.


Compare Holiday Money said...

I've just tried this and I think it is excelent.

I am a tweetdeck user and this works just as well in tweetdeck as it does hootsuite.

I am now just setting up our most popular webmaster tools site searches as twitter filters.


Social Mediologist said...

Hi Nick,

I find using the advanced Twitter search even more powerful.!/search-advanced

Can do all that you mentioned and also allows for specific location search, positive and negative sentiment and a few other cool search capabilities. I find this to be a great outreach tool.

What I like about what you have suggested though, is that you can set up streams in Hootsuite that feed you the search continuously. Helps keep it front of mind.

Great tip!