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Four Ways to Gather Intel via Twitter

November 16, 2010  

"[T]here's more to Twitter than amassing followers and broadcasting your latest news," writes Ryan Holmes at MarketingProfs. "The real-time conversations that fill the Twitterverse offer an abundance of market insight and unprecedented visibility into consumer sentiment." Here's how you can gather and use all that information:

Track conversations about your brand—and your competitors. You have a front-row seat to unfiltered discussions about your company, product or service. As you track, be sure to account for common misspellings. "And remember," he notes, "the names or terms used internally at your company may not necessarily be the same lingo used by your customers. Use Google Analytics to learn commonly used names and terminology, and make sure to include those keywords and phrases in your brand tracking." And don't forget, you can just as easily gather market intelligence on your competition.

Ensure your people get the message. "Tapping into the dialogue on Twitter gives you a real-time focus group to help drive innovation and adaptation," says Holmes. But you need to "establish proper processes and channels to make sure important feedback reaches the right individuals and teams within your company."

Identify brand ambassadors. Using tools like Klout, you can find your most influential Twitter followers. "Once you've assembled your target list," he says, "directly engage your influencers with exclusive offers, sneak previews, or just friendly acknowledgment."

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