Who is your ideal customer? And do you know how to find them on Twitter? If you think that “Everyone” is the answer, I really suggest you spend a bit of time defining your customer. The greater the clarity that you have about who your ideal customer is, the easier it is to find them on Twitter.
Recently, I listened to a great presentation by Neal Schaffer, a Forbes top 5 Social Sales Influencer and author of “Maximize Your Social” on Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Success Summit. He recommended that you need to be able to answer the following questions about your customers.
- Where do they live?
- What media do they consume?
- What brand affiliations might they already have?
- What content do they search for online?
- What do they do for fun?
- What makes them tick?
- If you were going to create a targeted ad, how would you
- customize the image, text, and various targeting options?
- What types of social networks would they use?
- How would they use them?
- Where would they use them from?
- How often would they use them?
- What information would they post to them?
- What information would they search for in them?
Now I know that most of you will have skimmed through the questions thinking these are good questions and you haven’t spend time actually answering the them. I can’t make you answer them, but I do hope you will come back to them because they are useful to get you focused on your customer.
So assuming that you know who you want to target on Twitter, here are 5 ways to search on Twitter to find your ideal customers.
A few things you need to know about search
- It is not case sensitive
- You can search for hastags which is extremely useful if you know of an event that your customers are likely to attend or if there is a particular hashtag that people in your industry use e.g. #PRTips or #JournoRequest
- You can use Boolean search terms such as AND, OR and NOT
- If you are looking for a set phrase put it in quotation marks
If you would like to know more about Boolean Search I have written about it in easy to understand language in this blog post:
When you do a search it opens up to page which gives you more options.
The default is set to Everything, with the search showing the Top Tweets using your search term. Select “All” to see all the Tweets with using your search term.
If you are a local business, you might want to choose the option of finding Tweets from people who are in location “Near you” which can be found in the options in the left tab.
If you are looking for people to follow and want to find people who have your search term in their name (Twittername or Username) or in their Twitter bio, then choose the “People” option.
The People option also allows you to find people on Twitter who are physically close to you in location.
2. Advanced Search
The Advanced Search allows you to do more interesting searches (although it is not always very robust). You get to the Advance Search page through the search page.
The Advanced Search screen allows you to make more complex searches. If the idea of using Boolean search is too much for you, you will find the language used in Advanced Search very straight forward to understand.
Advanced Search will allow you to search in more detail for keyword phrases, allowing you to include certain words and exclude others.
Tip: If you think your ideal customers might ask a particular question when they are ready to buy your products or services, then tick the question box in the “Other” section. It will select Tweets that include a question mark. This is very handy.
3. Twitter Lists
Lists are probably one of the most under-utilised tools that Twitter offers. Lists help you to filter your Twitter feed so that you can concentrate on people who are interesting to you. They also provide a great resource for finding people that other people have carefully curated into interesting categories. I hadn’t realised that you could search for keywords used in either the list names or descriptions of lists within Twitter until Neal Schaffer mentioned that the “Timeline” section of search does exactly this and a lightbulb went on. I could have kissed him.
If you want to find different ways to use Twitter Lists, this blog post gives you more ideas for using them:
When you click on a list, the default is set to seeing the filtered Twitter stream of members of the list. Select Members to be able to follow people easily or to add them to a list of your own.
Tip: It’s good practice to put certain people into a List. Lists can be public or private. If you create a public list, the people within it will be notified that you have added them to a particular list. So be mindful how you name your lists.
4. Twitter Ads
You don’t need to spend money on Twitter Ads to be able to use the data it gives you about the numbers of people on Twitter based on your criteria. You will need to sign up as a Twitter advertiser to access this information. I have been pleasantly surprised how much targetting you can do using Twitter ads and they are now more affordable to small business owners.
In Neal Schaffer’s presentation, he demonstrated how to find find the data by going through to the process of setting up a Twitter ad (without actually using it)
Twitter suggests that you,
“Consider the characteristics of your potential customers. Then use those characteristics to guide your choice of targeting options so that you can reach your most receptive audience.”
If your goal is to build followers you can target people by:
- Interests – 350 interest categories to choose from for a broad targetting or for more niche audience you can reach people with a specific interest or who are similiar to followers of another account.
- Tailored audiences - which allows you to import email lists, twitter names or IDs or people who have visited your website
It is worth having a look at Twitter Ads.
5. Other People
What I love about Twitter is its openness. You can learn a lot from looking at other people’s profiles.
- Thought leaders in your industry
- Your competitors
- Other people similar to you
- Their Followers
- Who they are Following
- Lists they have created
- Lists that they are on
- People talking to People you know
Some people find #Discover a useful resource for finding people to follow and it is worth exploring. I don’t personally use it that much, but it is worth having a play to see if it is useful to you.
All of these ways to find your ideal customers are just a starting point. A follower is not a customer. Yet.
There is no point in gathering lists of useful people unless you start engaging and interacting with them. Think of following as making eye contact at a networking meeting, it is just the start. It is up to you to say hello and start a conversation.
If you think this post would be useful for your friends please remember to share it with them.