Tweets in 10 – Twitter Search and Why It’s Important

Posted by Heather Villa, CMA, MBA, MSM on February 23, 2011 in: Twitter Tips & Tools

When a non-Twitter user asks me why I have embraced Twitter as a communication method, I’m quick to point out that I think there are two reasons Twitter is MORE than a communication method; that it’s an entirely new way of engagement.

To say that Twitter is just another communication method is to suggest that it is equivalent to writing a letter or writing an email or picking up the phone – as if Twitter might be a fourth alternative. But I disagree (and I’m not the only one who thinks this, by the way).

The two reasons that I’ve embraced Twitter are because:

  1. I enjoy real time person-to-person engagement.
  2. I can search the real time web for up-to-the-minute information.

In these newsletters, I’ve generally been focusing on how you can more successfully connect with people in a real time, person-to-person engagement.

But in this ninth TweetsIn10 post, I would like to talk about Twitter search.
Go to http://search.twitter.com and search for something. Anything. Whatever you want. Your city or town. Your favorite movie. Your favorite hobbies. Your industry. Your big-name competitors. The results you get from that search is real time… and not just a real-time dry repeating of the facts, but a real-time discussion of the facts with thought and context.

These results are what people are talking about right now. If there’s a big news story happening, it’s being tweeted about from a thousand different viewpoints. If there’s a major playoff game taking place, every good play and every bad call is being announced, discussed, and analyzed… as it is happening.

That is a transformational way of thinking about our connection through technology to the rest of the world.

  • Once, we waited for the daily paper to come out to read about events of the day.
  • Once, we tuned in to the 11 o’clock news to watch thirty second sound bytes of the events of the day.
  • Once, we waited until Google performed an update to find the latest and most relevant website on a subject.
  • Once, we clicked to news sites and viewed the content they gave us when they chose to report on a topic.

But now, we get the information as it is happening. We see topics as they are trending. And, we see it through the unfiltered lens of the common person and not some news agency.

Now, just to clarify, I’m not against the news industry, they definitely have a role to play in delivering insight and in clarifying the facts. But the real-time aspect is huge. Sure, lots of people are quick to point out that this news isn’t necessarily accurate. On the other hand, I’d counter that content created through the traditional news industry may be more accurate but isn’t necessarily timely. There is some give and take and neither option is perfect. But I’d rather have a thousand different viewpoints of right-this-minute news – and rely on my own ability to discern which viewpoints are most likely to be trusted – than to wait until someone else reports the news later. That is very cool.

Lest you think I’m just ranting about the value of real time news, let me now talk about why this is important to you:

Real time connects you to your audience in a way that is unlike anything your business has ever experienced:

  • You can change your website copy to be the most relevant based on current events based on trending topics and the latest news.
  • You can shift supply lines when you read about the bad weather that is blocking your vendors from delivering raw materials to your factory. Just search for information about weather and road conditions in areas where that is critical to the operation of your business.
  • You can immediately address any concerns that your customers might express as soon as they express them. Just search for your business’ name.
  • You can modify what you sell and how you sell it based on what’s going on in the world and, specifically, in your clients’ lives. Just keep an eye on the news and search for problems and issues that your clients face.

Twitter search should be a regular part of your business research and you should be consistently viewing trending topics in Twitter so you can react immediately.

Bonus Tip:  Monitor Your Brand

Make sure that at the very least you monitor your brand or product via search. This assures that if anything is said negative or a customer or client needs help that you can respond right away using real-time search tools.

Heather Recommends:

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