We’ve written quite a lot on this blog about Twitter: what is it, how do I use it, and what, frankly, is the point? Well a business practice is emerging that might finally be able to answer that last one – what’s the point – and make Twitter a good place to do business.
The potential to use Twitter for business all lies in its ‘real time search engine’. Whilst you can search on Google for all information added to the web on a particular topic, ‘Twitter search’ allows you to search for what people are saying right now.
And that becomes quite interesting if people are either talking about your product or service, or asking a question that you can answer by pointing them towards your website.
For example, if you run a B&B in the West Country (yes, I’m back to that example!), then you could try looking out for any searches to do with ‘B&B west country’ or similar. When someone asks for a recommendation, then get in there and point them towards your site. Something like ‘have you had a look at Dave’s B&B in Somerset?’. This might get some direct sales, but is also an opportunity to promote your website to their followers.
You can have a look at Twitter search here.
But who has really got the time to be searching on Twitter, spending time waiting for potential customers to ask a relevant question? The good news is that there are a couple of services that will do this for you. These services send you an email alert for specific twitter searches. One of the better known of these is called tweetbeep.com, but we’ve also come across twollow.com too.
Here’s the personal bit. Since receiving this recommendation we’ve been trying it out. Whenever anyone mentions that they want some help building a website, then we ask them if they have had a go at webeden.co.uk. The upside is that we’ve generated a few sales through this. The downside is that you really feel like you’re intruding in other people’s conversation, and trying to sell them something. It’s something equivalent to listening to a conversation in the pub, and then interrupting to sell them a packet of peanuts.
If people are genuinely looking for help, then that’s fine. But how many of those ‘need help’ Tweets are a just rhetorical?
Is this the idea that makes Twitter work for business? Are you using Twitter to promote your website? Want to follow WebEden on Twitter? Leave us a comment below.