Please note that some of the names and identities in this post have been changed to protect the innocent. Or at least the indolent.
The question comes up more often than not with Twitter: “What the hell do you use that for?” Or the more succinct statement: “What a waste of time.” Yes indeed, like most social media sites you can spend time there doing all kinds of non-productive or boring or silly activities.
On the other hand Twitter has proven, for me and others, to be a fruitful source of leads, information and eventually sweet, sweet moolah.
Let’s take the case of a person I know who always searches for mentions of his company’s name with Twitter Search (formerly Summize.) He recently saw a post recommending his company and one other in response to a query about the best resources in his industry. He tracked down the original questioner, responded, thanked the person who recommended his firm, and opened the door to a potential new client.
Then there’s a woman I know who works for a broadly diversified public relations firm. She follows her client’s Twitter feeds as a matter of course. She saw a post from one of her clients asking for help in finding media outlets in a southwest city. This is something her firm could be doing for the client; in fact they have an office in the very city in question. She was able to Twitter the client and get things back on track – turns out the client didn’t realize that my friend could do that for them.
There’s another friend I know in retail electronics who always knows what one of his best customers is going to be looking for by quietly following their feed. Lots of articles posted about high end receivers or flat screen monitors? He’s ready when that customer arrives onsite once a month to see “what’s new.”
Simply put social media monitoring can pay off. As a long term strategic tool you need to know what people are saying about your brand as well as your competitors. Twitter Search makes it easy by allowing you to subscribe to an RSS feed.
At the end of the day, information is a good thing, especially when it is actionable.
I know there are more Twitter success stories out there – let me know your success story in the comments here or on Twitter – I’m @nmallin.