Twitter is one of the mature social networks on the block now.
It’s been Facebook and Twitter for the last 7-8 or so years. The two companies have found their own niches and uses for social media users and now they are very much part of the regular online experience for many people.
The most common uses of Twitter are to find information. The other reason is promotion.
And like all social networks, Twitter is a place to make connections with others. With social media, it’s a way to connect with people that share similar interests. For businesses, it’s a way to connect around interests as well, but usually that interest is related to what the business is selling.
But there is another way to use Twitter that I think can benefit both individuals and businesses and that’s Twitter Search.
Twitter Search is simply using the search function on Twitter for various reasons.
Here are 10 ways to use Twitter to get even more out of the social network.
1. People Sharing Your Website Pages, Posts, Etc.
You can track referral traffic to your site from Twitter, but something I like to do at least from a curiosity mindset is to see who is sharing content from my website on Twitter.
You can easily see who is sharing your content if they mention you when they tweet, but sometimes they’ll just share a link from your site along with their own title or intro to the content.
In that case you won’t know that they’ve shared it, but you can by typing in your base URL into Twitter search. Type just your main URL like xyzsite.com and you should see any URLs from that domain shared including blog posts, etc.
You can use this information to see how often people are sharing your content on Twitter. You can also potentially find new people to connect with; chances are if they share your content they would be interested in connecting or perhaps they’re an influencer.
You can also search for specific URLs like specific blog posts to see how people are sharing specific items on Twitter.
2. Track Influencers
I like to track influencers in various industries on Twitter by using lists to follow what they’re sharing and what they’re updating, but I also like to track how people are discussing them on Twitter.
People often mention influencers without using their Twitter handle in the tweet. They just type their name.
You can track this information by searching for the name of the influencer. But take it a step further by putting the name in quotes. This will eliminate weird results.
For example, if you search for John Smith you’ll see all tweets that contain both John and Smith anywhere in the tweet. If you search for “John Smith” you’ll only see tweets with those two names together.
3. Track Competitive Brands
Using the same method as the previous point you can also track the number of times people are mentioning the competition. You can see who is mentioning them, how they’re mentioning and more.
You can use this information to see how people feel about your competitors. You can also see if they have potential influencers and partners that maybe you could reach out to and see if there is opportunity for you.
4. Track Mention Columns
It’s easy to track your own mention column, but one thing that is often interesting is tracking the mention columns of others.
You can easily do this with individual tweets by clicking on the update from the person. This will show the full thread of replies to that individual tweet.
But sometimes Twitter users will reply or mention someone or a brand on Twitter without responding to a specific tweet. You can find these by adding the @ symbol in front of the person’s username into the search bar.
For example, you can search for @dayneshuda to see those mentioning me on Twitter.
5. Check Popularity Of Other People’s Content
There are two reasons you would want to check on other people’s content:
First, you could be looking at the competition and seeing how often people are sharing pages from their website on Twitter. That will give you an indication of where your stand compared to what they’re doing.
Second, you could be looking at the type of content you should post. It always helps to know what content is popular. Then you can build on that topic with your own content.
Use the same search for URLs as mentioned above when researching other people’s content.
6. Check Popularity Of Your Guest Content
If you’re looking to build your online brand or profile a guest blogging or guest podcasting strategy is a good route to take.
Let’s say you publish a guest post on an industry blog. It’s good to rack the success of that post in various ways including how people might be sharing the post on Twitter.
Enter the URL of the guest post in Twitter search and you’ll see who is sharing the post. They won’t always mention you when they share it so this way you should see all the shares.
From there you can respond to them maybe thanking them for sharing it, asking them what they liked most or connecting in another way.
7. Hashtags & Keywords
This is the obvious one that most people don’t know about. There are a bunch of different ways to use hashtags and you can often use them by clicking on a hashtag you see or one that you create in your own tweet. There are also trending hashtags and other items on the main Twitter feed you see when you login.
But you can search for hashtags you think exist or that you’ve heard about. And you can do the same with keywords as well. Type them into the search bar and I like to look at the frequency to see how popular they are compared to related hashtags and keywords.
I like to do this to see what hashtags and keywords I should be using in my own tweets. When you’re trying to reach the right audience and the most people in that audience this is a good strategy.
8. Official Accounts
I like to try to mention people and brands in some tweets and other content including blog posts. When you do that you want to make sure you’re using the right Twitter username.
I’ve been there using the wrong username and it’s embarrassing.
It’s pretty quick to search Twitter for official usernames now. You can still be tricked so look for the verified icon or look in the profile to see if they mention that they’re the official brand or person. You should be able to often tell.
9. Local Events And Tweets
Now we get into the Advanced features of Twitter search. There are a few cool things, but we’ll talk about two for now.
The first is that you can search for tweets based on location. This way you can search for things like hashtags or keywords just in specific areas that you want to target.
A local business like a restaurant could definitely use this to see if people are talking about eating specific foods, at specific restaurants and more in their area.
10. Archive Search
Also on the Advanced search is the archive search that lets you search specific date ranges. If you’re wondering what you typed in a few years ago you can search for that and you can do it for others as well and for keywords and hashtags too.
There are even a few more ways to use Twitter search, but these are some of the most useful that I’ve found. I use them just about all the time to keep track of things on Twitter.
Twitter is a great online tool. It’s great for connecting with new people, for promoting yourself or your business and for following the most up-to-the-moment information online.
But don’t overlook its search functions. It’s a great way to dig deeper into all the information available on Twitter.