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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Twitter Search Help

On July 14, 2008 the folks at Twitter announced that they acquired Summize to help power the searching of all those random tweets by users. The downside to having such a powerful user generated website is that there isn't much control over what people say or how they say it. We even ran into this when marketing for the Search Insider Summit last spring when trying to get attendees used to using the #MPSIS branding hashtag in referencing the summit while they had been used to using the #SIS in the past. The move was not only a branding decision, but one that help steer away from any confusion when someone talked about their "sis" (short for "sister").

So how does one search for what they are looking for specifically on Twitter?

The folks at Twitter and Summize have streamlined the process by allowing for some basic operators you can use quickly without having to fill out the advanced search on Twitter. Thanks to Twitter not only can we find tweets about specific topics close to us (such as Drinks in Seattle) but we can now track them in our various applications (I personally like the feeds in Tweetdeck to stay up-to-date)

How does one use these for Marketing?

Track Your Brand - When keeping up to date on what people are saying about your brand you can use the simple hashtag or just phrase search in the handle and keep the feed on your Tweetdeck, or even your Google personal or reader page. Customer Service - One of my favorite examples of how Twitter search is used is from both Comcast and Qwest who are prime examples of how companies are now using Twitter to track what their customers are saying. Most people at one time or another have tweeted that "Comcast Sucks" or "Comast is slow" or even that they are "waiting for Comcast" - Comcast has a handle @comcastcares and the people monitoring it track all of these phrases or key words through Twitter's search. When a new tweet is posted they simply respond to that person and try to work them through their frustrations through Twitter. For Example: @micahn posted "Comcast crawling again...ultimately resulting in @micahn happy again about his internet connection I myself have had great help from Qwest when tweeting "Still no modem from qwest. C'mon guys" they quickly responded with "@SEOGoddess Hi if you DM me your Qwest number/contact number I'll check the modem status for you. Thanks Corey" and sent me a message of when my modem was scheduled to arrive. From customer service to monitoring your brand - even using key terms in your tweets to help people find you and gain quality followers Twitter search can be a powerful tool all around. Below is a quick reference for those of you not sure exactly how these search operators on Twitter work - Enjoy! dog bone Contains both "dog" and "bone" somewhere in the tweet. "tweetup Seattle" Contains the exact phrase "tweetup Seattle" somewhere in the Tweet. vegan OR vegetarian Contains either "vegan", "vegetarian" or both somewhere in the tweet. toilet-paper Contains the word "toilet" but not "paper" in the tweet. #twitlingo Contains the hashtag "twitlingo" which most people will use when tweeting a specific word, phrase, or topic as a group collective. from:SEOGoddess A tweet that has been sent from the "SEOGoddess" handle. to:jandrick Any tweet sent to the "jandrick" handle in twitter. @RealitySEO Any tweets referencing the "RealitySEO" handle (usually replies, #followfriday, or any other types of mentions. "happy hour" near:"san francisco" Any tweet containing the exact phrase "happy hour" and sent near "san francisco". near:Seattle within:5mi Any tweets by people Billy Mayssince:2009-06-28 Any tweets containing "Billy Mays" that were tweeted since the date "2009-06-28" (year-month-day). followfriday until:2009-06-26 Any tweets containing "followfriday" tweeted until the date "2009-06-29". movie bruno:) Any tweet containing the word "movie", and "Bruno", and with a positive attitude. Star Trek :( Any tweet containing "Star Trek" with a negative attitude. twitlingo? Any tweet containing "twitlingo" and asking a question. funny filter:links Any tweets containing "funny" and linking to URLs. news source:tweetdeck Any tweet containing "news" and entered via TweetDeck (more twitter apps)