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3 Tips to Navigating Conversations on Twitter

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For many businesses embarking on their social media campaigns, Twitter can seem
like the most foreign platform of them all.

I can absolutely sympathize. There is this strange culture of RT’s, shortened versions of words, hashtags, etc. You may feel like you practically need a special Twitter dictionary to understand one Tweet…and by the time you’ve deciphered one 140 character tweet there are 64 more tweets that pop up. How can anyone keep up?

The secret is not to get distracted by everything that’s going on. Focus. My suggestion is to concentrate on why you logged on to Twitter to start with– to create a conversation with your audience and find your potential new audience.

How you find them becomes the next important question, and there are a few simple tips we can give to get started.

Hashtags – When I mentioned “hashtags” above did your eyes cross? Don’t get discouraged. Hashtags can be one of the most useful tools as you look for conversations. A Hashtag is a way to categorize your tweet and let users know main points in your tweet. To make a hashtag, put a pound symbol in front of major topic words.

Let’s say you’re a green or eco-friendly company, and you want to find people talking about subjects that matter to you and you want those like minded people to be able to find you in return. For example: #green or #sustainability. Now, people who enter those hashtags in the search function can find all the relevant tweets on that subject, including yours.

Insider Tip: We also recommend including hashtags in your Twitter bio to make your company consistently searchable for those topics. People often use outside search functions for these types of searches.

General Searches – General searches are ways you can search for tweets or people tweeting without a hashtag. Simply search topics of interest relevant to your brand. For example: If you want to research public opinion regarding a recent news article covering the President’s sentiments on off-shore drilling, you could simply go to Twitter and enter this off-shore drilling and/or the president’s name in the search function. This isn’t as targeted a search, and you will see plenty of tweets that aren’t related. However, it’s a way to cast a broader net than you can with a hashtag (especially considering many people may not utilize them).

Advanced Searches – Advanced searches are one of our favorite tools here at Zenzi. Using this tool you can find people near your business talking about important topic. To use this tool:

  1. Enter a word such as “green” in the general search field.
  2. Click enter, and once that page has populated you will see two small drop-down menus with a gear-like image.
  3. Select the smaller gear-like image that isn’t in the upper navigation bar, this will give you the option for an “advanced search.”

Once in this area you can enter very targeted information including main search words and phrases, and even indicate you want to find people talking about those topics within a 1,000-mile radius all the way down to a 1-mile radius. Now, you can find like-minded people within one mile of your business and begin engaging with them.

That is the power of Twitter. These are just a few tools to explore, but they can prove very useful when trying to navigate Twitter. Try these functions out and let us know how they are working for you.

Photo Credit: Walt Stoneburner

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