T1 – Using Twitter For Business Development

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Twitter is often misunderstood as a business tool.  It’s estimated that at least 40% of people on twitter never tweet at all but instead just read what others publish.  We believe that biggest benefit of twitter to the average business person; to research or curate material that will be useful to them or their stakeholders.  This video focuses on just that.

After you have signed up for twitter the first thing you will be prompted to do is follow people. To begin with, and if nothing else, you should follow your clients.  Increasingly companies and the people within them, have chosen to use Twitter as their favoured communications channel.  If you ignore them on twitter you may be viewed in a negative light.  In any event you will be missing out on any client related information which is never a good idea.

By following your Prospects and any Intermediaries you can easily develop a strong foundation of e-rapport which is ideal to build upon. 

Industry Leaders are excellent to follow as you can get useful information that you can use to send on to your connections – this is what curation actually is.

Following your Suppliers means that you can keep up to date on any offers and deals going on although you will see later that this may not be necessary.

When you follow someone new, look and see who they are following, if they find them useful then you may also like to follow them.

But sometimes you can be following a lot of people and it becomes easy to miss things so …

Lists are essentially places to group people together for ease.  So you could have a group based on a certain topic; such as Social Media, technology or news; your clients so that if they have multiple accounts you can keep them all in one place and, as you can add people to a list that you aren’t following you can also have a competitors list to keep an eye on the competition.  This means that when you need a blog or information on a certain topic you can go to that list and find out the information quickly.  You can also follow other people’s public lists.  These are lists that people have put together for themselves but they have made them public.  To find someone else’s list you must go to their profile and select lists.  IF they have any public lists simply click on the one you are interested in and click on subscribe, if at a later date you wish to unsubscribe you simply go back into the list and unsubscribe.

To actually create your own list, go to the cog at the top of the page and select lists.  From here scroll down until you see ‘Create List’.  This will open a box and you give the list a title and a description if you wish, this is more important for public lists.  Then you will need to choose if the list is to be private.  I would recommend that you have your lists as private unless you are making a list with the express purpose of other people finding it.  You then simply click save list.  You now need to add people to your list.  You can search by peoples handles, you can search your following list and if you find someone suitable you click on the figure of a man next to their name, go down to where it says add or remove from list and then select which lists you wish to add them too.  You can add them to as many lists as you wish, to remove someone from a list you go back to the figure, choose add or remove from list again and then deselect them from which ever list you choose.  You can also search for people to add, either specifically by typing in their handle or by typing in a topic and seeing what twitter gives you.  You don’t have to be following someone to put them in a list, so it means that these people wont clog up your feed but you can still easily gather information from them.  To view the tweets in a list, again to the cog and select lists, scroll down until you find the list you wish to view and click on it.  When the list opens you will see all the tweets within.

Another way to use Twitter for curation and research is searching, it allows you to find people, blogs and recent news that you and your stakeholders are interested in.  Whilst Google works on past data Twitter all about what is happening now, so it is the most up to date of all social media.

–  You can search using Hashtags, they allow you to keep up to date with trends and events, so if you are going to an event you can see if it has a hashtag in order to target the people you want to meet before you go (similar to getting the attending list from the event hosts)

–  You can also search using keywords, this allows you to see what is currently trending in your area which you can then use to potentially create new products/blogs/marketing materials.

 Twitter is a curation and research tool that shouldn’t be underestimated.  It can not only help you to skip steps in the conversion stage but can also give you access to people who with enrich your life and potentially your clients.