Ways That Twitter Can Help You

Twitter is an awesome tool for businesses, but too often people dismiss it as a time-wasting way for celebrities to tell us what they had for lunch. Not so. But even if you don’t want an account, Twitter can be useful. I read this article by Lara Solomon and thought it was too good not to share, so I have summarised it here.

Ways That Twitter Can Help You
by Lara Solomon of Social Rabbit

Twitter is a social media that lots of people just don’t get how on earth it can be useful for business.  To help those people here is a list of ways you can use Twitter without ever writing a tweet (that’s what the messages you write on Twitter are called), or even having an account.

1. For Research     
When Twitter users tweet they often include what are called hashtags in their tweets.  Hashtags are basically a word with # before it.   The reason that they are great is that you can go to www.Twitter.com and do a search on a hashtag and see what people are saying about it.  You can use this for product research, offers, specials, articles, topics etc…

2. Find out what People are Saying about You
Use Twitter to search for what is being said about you, your business or your brand.  Many companies say no, we aren’t going to get into social media now, but what they don’t realise is that even if you don’t get involved it won’t stop people from talking about you!

3. Follow Events
Using hashtags you can follow what is happening at events that you can’t attend.  For example recently I went to a Problogger event in Melbourne, the hashtag for the event was #pbevent. There were a lot of people who couldn’t be there following the twitter stream to find out what was being talked about.  This means you no longer need to know someone there to find out what happened, you can read about it in real time.

4. Find out what’s Popular
When you go to www.Twitter.com you can see what is trending now, ie what are the most popular topics that are being tweeted about. This can be useful if for example you want to write a blog post on a current topic.

5. Advanced Search
If you go to http://search.twitter.com/advanced you can see what was being tweeted on a certain topic in a certain area over certain days.  If you are not sure if your business should be on Twitter, go here and do a search to see if anyone is talking about your industry in your city/country. 

6. Get Breaking News
When events such as the Haiti Earthquake happened, the news was broken first on Twitter with the people who were on the ground, far faster than the journalists.  There were also a number of the relief workers tweeting about their experiences, so you could understand what it was really like.

Hopefully this post has dispelled some of the myth surrounding the thought that Twitter is just people saying “I’m having a coffee!”

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