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Tap the Power of Twitter to Search for Business Intelligence and Prospects

Learn to tap the power of Twitter search around your brand or business to gain insights on your market and to identify prospects.

This is the first of a three-part Twitter research tutorial, in pictures. I’ve created screen shots that relate to my nonprofit, SCORE Chicago, to use as examples.  SCORE, “Counselors to America’s Small Business,” offers free business counseling and inexpensive business workshops to entrepreneurs and small business owners. One of our most important keyword phases is “business plan Chicago.”

Twitter Search

To learn who it talking about business plans near Chicago, I can run a search. I might use the Advanced Search Form or search query terms Twitter specifies. Here’s my search for tweets with our main keyword in the Chicago area:

Business plan tweets near Chicago on Twitter

Using advanced Twitter search features like the one above, you can find relevant tweets by date range, keyword, location, even mile radius of a zip code.

Business Intelligence on Twitter

What can you learn from these searches?  You have the Twitter names of specific people in your area or niche — potential prospects — should you choose to engage them in conversation.

And they are talking using your keyword phrases.  The questions they have, the frustrations they express, the needs they describe are useful business intelligence that should inform your product offerings, your marketing messages and your business strategy.

SCORE Chicago could monitor these tweets and politely offer advice and help in response.  If our organization were to download the free Tweetdeck tool, we could also save and rerun this search daily.

Keyword Caveat

You might have noticed that I did not use “SCORE Chicago” as an example.  Well, our business name is problematic for simple Twitter searches.  It picks up sports scores (Chicago 8: Altanta:2), the Chicago radio station “670″ the SCORE, and even a certain gentleman’s club out by O’Hare.  Fancier social media monitoring tools, like SM2, are capable of more sophisticated filtering.

But for basic, ear-to-the-ground monitoring, Twitter is happening now, and growing fast.  Are you and your business listening?

Related Posts

Twitter Research Part 2: Twitter Hashtags for Business Intelligence and Prospects

Twitter Research Part 3: Twitter Emotions and Questions for Business Intelligence and Prospects

How To: Use Twitter’s Advanced Search Features Mashable blog

Viral Tweets: Rand Fishkin on How To Get Re-Tweeted

52 Links on Twitter for Business, with Brief Descriptions

Who’s On Twitter?  What Happens When You Shake Hands With Your Followers?

Peg Corwin, SCORE Chicago
View more posts by Peg

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