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The age of the hashtag – How following search streams and keywords can help you seize business opportunities on Twitter

Written by Adam Bullas, October 10, 2013
 | The age of the hashtag - How following search streams and keywords can help you seize business opportunities on Twitter image 2

The age of the hashtag – How following search streams and keywords can help you seize business opportunities on Twitter

Why consider Twitter?

When I talk to friends that aren’t yet on Twitter, they tend to respond with ‘Why would I want to know what some celebrity has had for breakfast’. Although this may be the case with some accounts on Twitter, there is a vast ocean of potential within Twitter waiting to be dived into.

It’s almost a misconception that Twitter is just a micro blogging site for people to share pointless musings relating to what they have seen on TV or similar. There are people out there that are literally crying out for your expertise via Twitter and this holds the potential to convert to business by connecting problem to solution.

Hashtag, keyword and search monitoring

Continuing with the ocean metaphor, you are looking to go fishing but need the right tools for the job! This is where tools such as Hootsuite come in. You can use the online tool for free which will allow you to get set up and start hashtag or search stream monitoring.

Let’s say you are a graphic designer, you can configure streams in Hootsuite via the search query field. Into the box below you could, for example, type ‘need a graphic designer’ to list tweets with these words in. You can even choose to display local results if you wish by clicking the target icon to the far right of the search field as seen below.

Hootsuite streams

Once you have completed your search query, you will click the ‘add stream’ button and this will then close and you will be left with the stream with all of the latest tweets matching that specified query. Someone may be asking for help to which you can follow and drop them a friendly tweet offering help, maybe even link them to your previous work.

Don’t spam users with sales tweet after tweet

Setting up stream monitoring doesn’t mean send every user in the stream a tweet trying to sell your product or service – it gives you an opportunity to follow a circle of potential clients establishing and building relationships that can increase the chances of future business.

Sending unknown users helpful tips relating to whichever subject you are monitoring rarely goes unnoticed and can help establish you or your company as the go-to experts on the subject. After sending a friendly tip, you could also follow them and possibly ask for a follow back giving you exposure as your future tweets will then appear on their timeline.

When an opportunity arises and your product or service directly benefits the user, then you can go about offering your services ideally once you have already established a connection on Twitter.

Brand monitoring – see what your customers and other people are saying about you

You can also use this same method to monitor your company name on Twitter. Once you have configured this using the method described a moment ago, you can see what your customers are saying about you and show that you care by replying to, re-tweeting and acknowledging their tweet. This can also result in a higher chance of repeat business by asking them to follow you. That way they will see all of your future public tweets and when they need that product or service, chances are they will come back to you. In addition, it helps develop trust as everyone likes peace of mind knowing that there is always someone to talk to online should they have any problems or queries.

Image credit – melenita2012

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