How to Use Twitter Search to Find Clients and Customers

Twitter Search to Find Clients

How cool would it be if you could spend just 15 minutes online and find potential clients and customers in your area, looking for exactly the kind of product or service you provide?

Well, you can use Twitter Search to do just that. Now, a word of caution: once you do find people looking for what you have to offer, you don’t want to do a hard sell; instead, you want to give them a valid reason to check you out.

For example, say someone’s looking for happy hour specials at a full service bar within a 5 mile radius, and you happen to be a full service bar with great happy hour specials within that 5 mile radius.  So you reply to their tweet with “Great happy hour specials at —Name of Your Fabulous Bar Here—on Front Street, ½ price appetizers & handcrafted beer until 7:00 pm!” or similar. Or if that’s too “salesy” for you, offer a $5 off coupon off for their next visit to your establishment.  You get the idea.

OK, so let’s get down to it and do a Twitter search so I can show you what I’m talking about. There are two ways to do this.

Log into your account, and once there, use the simple search bar at the top of your page:

Twitter search bar

Enter your search terms and see what turns up.  You’re going to want better, more targeted results than a general search will give you though, so click on “refine results” in the bottom right corner of that pane once your initial search results are returned, which will take you to the Advanced Search page.

Twitter cupcake search

Or, you can simply go to http://search.twitter.com/, and click on “Advanced Search” from there.

Twitter Advanced Search

Advanced Twitter Search

Once you’re in the Advanced Search pane, you’ll see all sorts of options for searching, so just have a play around and see what works; you’ll see that you can filter searches in several ways there.  If you’re a location-based local business, then obviously you want to use the “places” filter for finding people in your specific area searching for what you offer.

Here’s how I set up my search:

I searched for the general term “cupcakes,” which returned far too many results.  I then “refined” the search to: “need cupcakes,” within a 15 mile radius of Washington, DC, then clicked the “Question” box on the bottom of the advanced search page.  Here’s what that search turned up:

Twitter cupcake search results

Bingo!

Now what if you’re a bakery with mini cupcakes/cookies in this person’s area – don’t you think with a well thought out response to their tweet, offering them exactly what they’re looking for, that customer is coming to your store?

Here’s another example.  Let’s say you’re a caterer who specializes in catering large weddings. Using Advanced Search, you look for mentions of the words “wedding caterers” within 15 miles of your town, and you select the “Question?” checkbox in Advanced Search, which will narrow the results to tweets that contain your search terms and also pose a question.

You might not get results on your first search, but it’s entirely possible that if you run this search on a regular basis, you’ll find someone asking for recommendations for caterers who specialize in large weddings.  Then you can respond to these tweets with a special offer, a free consultation, or something else of value.

If you use Advanced Search to find people who are looking for what you provide, and you offer genuine, non-douchy value and solutions, chances are you’ll be able to add new clients and sales to your business.

Have you ever used Twitter search to find new clients and customers?  How did it work? Let me know in the comments below!

[Hey there, gorgeous. Did you know you can get my FREE weekly newsletter, with actionable tips, techniques, and how-to’s for marketing your business online, delivered straight to your email inbox each Tuesday? You betcha! Go ahead and enter your name and email address at the top right hand side of the blog now, and let’s get you glowing online.]

9 Reasons to Get Over Your Twitter Fear

I know from talking to a few small business owners and solopreneurs recently that Twitter seems to confuse a lot of folks.  They don’t understand the technology, they don’t know what to say on Twitter,  they can’t make sense of that odd Twitter lingo, and they’re not sure maintaining a Twitter account will have any value for their business to begin with.

I have been there!  I remember how I felt when I first started using Twitter.  It was frustrating, because in some ways it felt like conversing in another language, I couldn’t wrap my mind around what to “tweet,” and I wasn’t sure exactly how it was going to be beneficial to me.

But now I’m a complete Twitter convert.  I have been to the well, and I see how effective it can be for marketing, especially if you’re a small business or a solopreneur.  : )

So the best piece of advice I can give you for using and understanding Twitter is to just to get out there, set up an account, and start using it.  Everyone who uses Twitter effectively now starting out not knowing how to use it at all. Remember that.  Because that means you can learn how to use Twitter effectively too.

If you need a little inspiration to get over your Twitter fear and just set up your account already, then consider this your push off the ledge.

9 Reasons to Get Over Your Twitter Fear and Set Up Your Account Today

1.  Twitter is great for the small business or solopreneur because it’s a way to extend your brand and your marketing, for free.

2.  Once you build up your audience of targeted followers, you can get in front of these people on a regular basis, all at once, for free, and many of them will spread your content/messages/deals/specials to their followers as well.

3.  Twitter is all about your audience, so if you give them what they want, they will reward you with retweets, their business, their friends’ business, and so on.

4.  Twitter is a great platform for bringing your company’s or brand’s personality to life.  (On social media, people engage with real people, not companies per se, so don’t be afraid to show your personality.)

5.  Twitter adds another layer of customer service to your business.   And being super responsive to your customers is great for word of mouth, and will get shared on social media, meaning you will get more business as a result.  With all the wretched customer service out there, great customer service will make you stand out, and it’s easy enough to implement this on Twitter.

6.  You can use Twitter to drive traffic to your website.

7.  You can use Twitter to monitor what people are saying about your business – and your competitors’ businesses — and what works and doesn’t work in your niche or industry.  Free market research, anyone?

8.  You can use Twitter to network with others in your niche.  I simply love Twitter for this.

9.  Twitter gives you instant access to thousands of people and the ability to track trending topics in your industry and your niche, all at once.

I can’t stress this enough:  You can use Twitter to get in front of your target audience, all at once, for free.  Can you do that with a yellow pages ad or an ad in a glossy print publication or a piece of direct mail?  Nooooooooo.

Are you convinced yet?  ; )

Now, if you don’t have your account set up yet, no worries.  Here’s a link to very easy to understand instructions for getting your Twitter account set up, with screen shots of exactly how to do it, step by step.  In fact, the link here will take you to a fantastic site that has everything you could possibly want to know about all things Twitter!

In a future post I’ll talk about what to tweet, what kind of content mix to use,what ratio of your stuff to others’ stuff to post, and so on – your basic Twitter content strategy.

 

[Hey there, gorgeous. Did you know you can get my FREE weekly newsletter, with actionable tips, techniques, and how-to’s for marketing your business online, delivered straight to your email inbox each Tuesday? You betcha! Go ahead and enter your name and email address at the top right hand side of the blog now, and let’s get you glowing online.]