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Episode 11 – Why I still love Twitter…
The last couple of years Twitter got a lot of bad press. It almost seems as if the company can do nothing right.
Even when they announce something positive, like being profitable, their stock price drops.
But what most people forget is that Twitter is unique in the social media world. Whatever happens, Twitter will always remain relevant.
There are too many things you can only do on Twitter. And that is true in general, but also when we talk about marketing.
My name is Jonathan Gebauer and you are listening to Marketing in Minutes.
Welcome to Marketing in Minutes by The Social Ms. This is the podcast that gives you everything you need to know on one marketing topic in every episode.
Today – let’s talk about Twitter. Why I love it, why it’s still relevant, and why you should always consider using Twitter for your marketing.
I’m not as active on social networks as I used to be. At least not for my private use. And that has a lot of reasons.
On some social networks, you need to make a choice what you want to use an account for – for instance on Pinterest. It’s either a marketing account or a personal account. Sure, I could use two accounts but I guess I’m just lazy.
Facebook right now bores me. Instagram is interesting – but I just got a new phone – after having one with a broken camera for a while and not bothering to switch. I’ll probably come back to Instagram though.
But I always return to Twitter. And I’m not talking about marketing – that part is mostly automated these days.
I’m talking about something else.
I live in Berlin in Germany. I don’t know whether you heard about it – but in December 2016 Berlin was hit by a terror attack on a Christmas market.
It happened about 2 kilometers from where I live. My girlfriend works right around the corner from that place. A close friend of mine lives right around the corner.
In other words, it hit pretty close to home.
But that’s not the point. The point is where did I go for information? I went on Twitter. The only use I had for Facebook was to mark myself as safe.
But to stay up-to-date with what was happening in and to my city at that moment, Twitter was my trusted source.
I went there to find out whether more attacks were happening (thank god there weren’t any). I went there to find out whether people needed shelter – and to see what information was released by the police.
Twitter is real-time and unfiltered. If you want or need current information, Twitter is probably the only social network that can give that to you.
And that shows how important Twitter is not just for me but for how the world works. There are just too many things that just work on Twitter and not on any other social network. When Germany won the 2014 world cup, I was following the game on Twitter – while also watching it on TV.
It was an experience I will never forget.
When somewhere in the world people try to overthrow their regime – the rest of the world follows on Twitter first.
This all shows that Twitter will always be relevant.
But this is a marketing podcast and the question you are asking yourself right now is probably whether you can market on Twitter.
From the title of today’s episode, you probably guessed that my answer is yes.
The great thing about marketing on Twitter is, if you do it right, you use the core of Twitter’s features. You make use of the infiltered real-time content stream that Twitter provides to its users.
I discovered that 6 years ago.
If you’ve been following me and my sister Susanna for a while, you know the story already: We founded a content marketing platform called exploreB2B back in 2010.
In the beginning, we had a lot of trouble doing our marketing.
We finally found marketing success using Twitter. In a time when Facebook was limiting organic reach through there algorithm, every Tweet had the same chance of reaching an audience.
In a time when the most successful tactic for growing Facebook fans was paying for them one way or another, Twitter gave us options to grow fast and for free.
And at a time when LinkedIn asked for money for outreach messages, Twitter allows you to just get in touch with people. Just like that.
Our marketing success with exploreb2b was almost completely based on using Twitter right. We ended up with 80.000 users and 500.000 monthly pageviews.
And the same strategy would work today.
When exploreB2B disappeared in 2015 – due to other reasons – we used the exact same strategy for our blog, The Social Ms. It worked again.
And other people use the same strategy on Twitter. Even today
One of the biggest names among us marketing bloggers is Jeff Bullas. And he still gets about 50 percent of his traffic from Twitter.
It still works – because it is part of how Twitter works.
If you want to know more about how this strategy works, I’m going to link to a few articles about that in the shownotes. And if you want to go into detail with that, you can read our book, Grow your Twitter Account like a Pro.
But’s that’s not the important lesson to take away from this, today.
Important is that Twitter users always return to the platform and that the core features of Twitter won’t change and will stay the same even for marketers.
And these core features allow you to introduce your own marketing message into the direct, real-time content stream that Twitter provides. And these features allow anyone to do this – right now and without investing 1000s of Dollars.
Everyone willing to invest the time can build traffic and marketing success using Twitter.
And that is why I still love Twitter.
Twitter isn’t perfect – and the balance between marketing messages and actual Twitter conversation wasn’t always right.
Twitter had a hard time finding that balance, but they are on a good way now. But what’s more important is that they protected their core features and have a loyal user base that will always return.
And no, that’s not just the guy with the funny haircut living in the white house.
If you want to know more about how to market your business on Twitter, check out the shownotes which you can find at blog.thesocialms.com/MiM-11 for some articles that tell you how it works.
Or buy our book – Grow your Twitter Account like a Pro – the link is also in the shownotes.
This was today’s episode of Marketing in Minutes. Let me know what you think. If you like it, subscribe on any podcast platform, and if you can, leave a review.
And if you didn’t like it, let me know how to improve.
And please return for the next episode. I’m Jonathan Gebauer and you’ve been listening to Marketing in Minutes.
Did you know that more than 2 billions of searches are conducted on Twitter every day?
Maybe the number of searches would be a little smaller – or even bigger – if everybody knew about the Twitter advanced search and all the possibilities that come with it.
There is far more to Twitter search than the little search bar in the top right corner of your Twitter web interface. And, no: you do not even need to have a Twitter account or be logged in to use all the search options on Twitter.
You have probably used Twitter’s search toolbar in the past: Simply type a keyword, phrase, hashtag – or even a Twitter username. And you will get a bunch of results.
Alternatively, you may have used the mobile search or the search page for non-member users.
Be aware, that there are more results than what you instantly see listed. Because the search results are sorted into categories:
What you will as default see listed as search results are the “top” results. Which Twitter claims to be “the most relevant Tweets for your search. “We determine relevance based on the popularity of a Tweet (e.g., when a lot of people are interacting with or sharing via Retweets and replies), the keywords it contains, and many other factors.”
I admit that I rarely find what I am searching for in the “Top” section of the search results. Rather what I am looking for is either hidden in the “Latest” or the “News” section or I am searching for accounts or people which you can find in the “People” listing.
When you cannot instantly see any relevant results, make sure you check the other categories of the search results, too. What kind of results the categories contain should be fairly obvious:
–> “People” will show you results of Twitter accounts that containing the search phrase
In many cases, when you are just performing a quick and simple search the results you get from this simple form of search on Twitter via the search toolbar are sufficient.
But sometimes when you are looking for something more specific you will need some additional options. Like limiting the search results to an area around a specific location. Or combine some keywords or hashtags. Or search for a keyword just in tweets with links to a specific URL. Or search for a keyword but exclude another keyword from the results.
There are endless options for searches that make total sense in a certain situation. And Twitter absolutely has the tools to allow you to search for a very unusual but specific search
You can still use the search toolbar, BUT you will need to know about some search operators:
While the search operators come very handy, you do not need to memorize all of them right now. You can either use a list of these operators. For instance, the above list on Sprout Social that you can download on their website. Or you head over to the Twitter advanced search on Twitter’s web app.
The Twitter advanced search form allows you to specify what you can otherwise specify with the search operators by simply filling out the relevant search fields.
I am not sure, why Twitter hides the advanced search so well. But you can access the advanced search on Twitter either by typing https://twitter.com/search-advanced into your browser. Or you conduct a basic search and click on “Search Filters” on the results page and then on “Advanced Search.”
You can combine any of the search filters in the form. Only the location will only be activated if you activated location for all your tweets.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the search options the Twitter advanced search offers you:
All of these words: You can enter multiple words. The search will show tweets, accounts that contain every one of the specified words no matter in what order or if they where in the tweet or bio. This is the default search option.
This exact phrase: You can only specify ONE phrase. There is no need to put “ around the phrase. The search results will show all tweets/accounts or accounts that include the exact phrase you were looking for. The search operator is “word1 word2 word3” for example “social media marketing.”
Any of these words: Will return all search results that include either of the words you put here. The search operator word1 OR word2 – for example, “online” OR “digital”
None of these words: This will only search results that do NOT include any of these words. On its own, this does not make sense. In combination with one of the other operators, this can be awesome to avoid search results diluted with irrelevant stuff. The search operator is -word – for example, “holiday” -beach will give you tweets containing the word holiday but NOT the word beach.
Written in language: Will give you tweets ONLY in the chose language. For instance, since I am German, I might be looking for tweets about social media marketing but only in German (de = Deutsch = German): “Social Media Marketing” lang:de
From these accounts: You can conduct your search only in tweets sent from a specified Twitter account using from:@twitterhandle – for instance, if you want to search what we have tweeted about Twitter in the past you can search for “Twitter” from:@thesocialms
Dates: You can specify a date range for the search results.
The location search offers far more options than the Twitter Advanced Search form lets on. If you know the search operators for the location this a very helpful option for any local business.
If you specify a location for your search Twitter will by default search a 15 miles radius to that location. “Social Media Week” near:Berlin within: 15mi
Instead of the name of the location Berlin you could also use full address, postal code – or the geo-location. The geolocation is probably the most accurate way to specify the location. You can find the geolocation of any place via Google maps.
Please remember that the first results to your search query that you will see are the “top” results while the relevant results are usually hidden in some of the other results categories like “Latest”, “News” or “People!”
Example for using the Twitter advanced search operators
Sure, the Twitter advanced search form will get you far when you are looking for something directly on Twitter. But there are other places where you cannot use the search form but you can still use the search operators. For instance, you can follow a Twitter feed for a search you conducted.
Are you using Tweetdeck? You should check it out. It is a Twitter client and free to use.
Tweetdeck Adding new columns (or feeds)
Tweetdeck allows you to set up various feeds for Twitter. You can follow your own feed plus the feed of other accounts you may be running. You can also set up a feed to follow a list that you created.
Plus, you can set up a feed to follow a specific search on Twitter. This way every new tweet that matches your search criteria will show up in the feed that you created on Tweetdeck.
For instance, if you are looking for leads on Twitter or want to engage with targeted people, you can monitor conversations around a search phrase from your niche. Whenever a new comment comes in you will see it in your search feed on Tweetdeck and can answer.
So, if I am a Berlin tour guide and looking for people who want to have a special tour in Berlin, I could monitor tweets for “what to do in Berlin” with a central Berlin Geocode and a reasonable radius. For any tweet that sounds as if someone would be interested, I could answer and suggest a special tour.
“what to do in Berlin” near:52.5253596,13.3952512 within:5mi
(Maybe the tour guide should do some keyword research and find a better key phrase for more and more relevant results…)
This example is just to show you how flexible the Twitter advanced search can be used to find exactly the conversations you are looking for!