The Power of Twitter Search and Why You Should Be Using It.

Twitter is very noisy. It is a never-ending cascading stream of content. Links, images and video. It can be very overwhelming. It is important to post to Twitter, but it is just as important to listen. If you listen and set up the right search queries, Twitter can be a great lead-generation tool.

The advanced search feature of Twitter is your new best friend. It allows you to search for keywords, phrases and hashtags. For more in-depth targeting, you can narrow your search by entering a date range and location. The default search radius in the advanced Twitter search is 15 miles. If this is too wide, you can adjust it by entering your search query in the main Twitter search bar using this format:

keyword or phrase¬†near:”zip code” within:15mi

Using the Twitter search feature is a good way to find people or conversations that are happening around a certain topic or statement. You may even be able to find a new customer for your product or service.

As an experiment I did a Twitter search for:
I need a haircut near:”10036″ within:10mi

A long list of tweets appeared, but these two stood out.

1) I need a haircut real bad but my barber isn’t available till Friday ūüôĀ

2) I need a haircut, any suggestions?

If you were a hair stylist, this would be a perfect opportunity to reply to their tweet and engage with them.

Can you think of any keywords or phrases that are relevant to your business? Try it out in the Advanced Twitter Search and let me know how it goes.

What is the Best Kind of Social Media Content?

Do you struggle with creating or curating content for your social media platforms? For some business owners, it can be a challenge. They aren’t sure where to start, and they are told that they can’t talk about their business. This is true to an extent. You can sell your business on social media, but it needs to be done in a slightly different way and can’t be in your face marketing like people are used to. Your customers and community expect a different experience on social media than they do watching TV, reading the newspaper, or listening to the radio, even when these traditional experiences are online.

The bulk of your content should be engaging and relevant to your customers and community. The trick is to think about your customers like they are your friends or family in the sense that when you are with friends or family, you all share stories, information or jokes that you think they will enjoy. You share something that will make them, smile, laugh or think, something that will start a conversation.

Have you ever met someone at a party or had a friend who would only talk about him or¬†herself? It’s very unpleasant and that’s how it can come off if all you do is talk about your brand on social media. You want to have a two-way conversation.

The best conversations start from stories or questions based on experiences. It was reported by Dr. Leaf Van Boven in his study “To¬†Do or¬†to Have? That is the Question?” that we get more pleasure out of experiences than materialistic purchases, which makes sense because experiences can resonate and stay with us for a very long time.

What’s better? “I went on vacation and watched the sun set over the Pacific Ocean,” or “I bought a TV at Target over the weekend.”

A credit union that services entertainment ¬†professionals working on Broadway posed the question on their Facebook page “What was your first Broadway show?” This struck a very big chord with the Facebook fans, getting over 200 comments and 30+ shares.¬†The reason this was successful is that the credit union was really talking to the members on a personal level and tapping into their personal experiences. An experience, in fact, that was most likely very fundamental in their career path.

By sharing content that you think your audience, community, and customers will like and relate to, it shows that you care, and understand them. It builds trust.  It also adds a human element to your company and allows you to engage your customers and give them a reason to participate.  This is important because people want to interact with people, not logos.

It can take some time to figure out what your customers will really like but once you do you will be well on your way to building a strong social media presence and community.

How do you go about creating your social media content? Let’s talk about it.

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The One Thing that Jack Bauer and Social Media Have in Common

Jack Bauer never sleeps, and neither   does social media. Social media is a 24/7/365 machine. Anything can happen at any time. 6:45 AM on a Wednesday, 10 PM on a Friday or 9 AM on a Saturday.  At any hour, minute, or second someone can be posting or talking about your brand, even if you do not have a presence on the platform. This also goes beyond the typical engagement of people adding comments to your status updates and becomes a concern when it comes to customer
service related issues. Good or bad.

Facebook and Twitter have turned into customer service portals, almost by default. People are much more likely now to go on to social media sites and post their question, concern, rant or review than to pick up the phone or send an email. We now live in a world of immediacy, and sometimes anonymity, and need to be available to our customers around the clock as much as possible.

Always respond to comments and reviews. Never delete them. If you reply and assist the customer and resolve their issue to the best of your ability, they may update their review or post, and publicly and thank you. However, It’s not always possible to have an answer for every question right away. In some cases, you might not have enough details, to give a concrete answer or solution. The best thing to do, at minimum, is to acknowledge the post and invite the customer to call you or a representative of the company by providing a direct phone number with an extension. By doing that you show that you are listening and that alone can put the customer at ease. There is now a public record of your response which can be seen by other customers or members of your community which gives you more trust and credibility.

It’s imperative to listen at all times and have tools and a plan in place to monitor and take care of customer service inquiries should they arise. It will benefit your customers and your bottom line. Customer retention is just as important, if not more than customer acquisition.

Monitor. Reply. Repeat.

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Do people really finance shows from Kickstarter? Results revealed!

It has been almost two years since I blogged about the kickstart of Kickstarter (read the original post here). ¬† ¬†There’s no question that this previously little and now big dot-com has had a serious impact on how money gets raised for all sorts of different types of projects. ¬†(And hey, it was one of the inspirations for¬†The People of Godspell.)


Hashtags and TV


Twitter Hashtags are taking off and  becoming part of the TV watching experience. TV networks are now assigning hastags (#) for their shows. A hashtag creates a searchable topic or conversation on twitter. At the beginning of the CBS show How I Met Your Mother, for example, #HIMYM flashes on the screen. Any one that uses that hashtag in a tweet can add to or participate in a threaded discussion.

In addition to sharing what you are watching by using hashtags on twitter you can also check-in using GetGlue. GetGlue is an application and website that is getting some popularity. It is similar to FourSquare and allows you to check into movies, music, television, books, sports and more. You can share what you are reading, listening to or watching. GetGlue also gives you recommendations on other content it thinks you will enjoy based on your check-ins. The mobile app runs on iPhone, iPad, Andriod, Blackberry and other devices.

Our on-line and off-line lives are constantly getting closer to being one of the same.

What do you think?

Interactive Seat Maps


Yesterday I talked about how Ticketmaster is using email to
leverage communication with their patrons. Facebook recently joined Ticketmaster and now makes it easier to communicate with your friends to find out where they are sitting with interactive seat maps. Interactive seat maps have been around since 2009 but the Facebook integration launched in August.   It will be interesting to see what type of events will use this new feature most. For a short tutorial go here. What do you think? Will you use it? Let me know in the comments below.


OK GO tags on

OK Go rose to popularity in 2007 with their music video for  Okgooooooo
Here it goes again. ¬†It’s the one with the treadmills. They
are constantly thinking out of the box and doing their own
thing. Just watch their videos. They left EMI and formed their own label after EMI blocked embedding of their music videos on YouTube.

Everything they do is innovative. They take the fun spirit of their music videos on the road and it totally shows.
At every OK Go concert a  crowshot is taken and posted to their Facebook Fan Page.  The band asks everyone who attended to tag themselves. Not only are people tagging themselves, they are also adding to the comments section talking about their concert going experience and continuing the conversation.  This is a fun and interactive idea. OK Go is connecting with their fans.

People like to be part of something. We like to participate and OK Go makes it easy. Can a picture on the internet replace a concert t – shirt, a ticket stub or a memory? Probably not, but it sure will last a lot longer.

Picture taken from this blog.

True Fans

In the social media world there is often too much focus on numbers.  ROA
I have x number of fans or followers. I’ve reached 5,000 friends on Facebook. Please join my fan page. Social media is not a numbers game. It’s a conversation game.

I think that we have a habit of liking a brand page on Facebook or following someone new on Twitter and then we forget about it,choose to ignore it or are passive. I know I’ve been guilty of this. reported on a new study this morning based on how consumers interact with Facebook.

  • 77% of consumers said they interact with brands on Facebook primarily through reading posts and updates from the brands.
  • 17% of respondents said they interact with brands by sharing experiences and news stories with others about the brand
  • 13% of respondents said they post updates about brands that they Like.
  • 56% of consumers said they are more likely to recommend a brand to a friend after becoming a fan on Facebook
  • 51% of consumers said they are more likely to buy a product since becoming a fan on Facebook
  • 78% of consumers who ‚ÄúLike‚ÄĚ brands on Facebook said they ‚ÄúLike‚ÄĚ fewer than ten brands
  • 76% of consumers said they have never ‚Äúunliked‚ÄĚ a brand on Facebook

Don’t focus on numbers. It is about the quality of your fans and followers opposed to the quantity. You want people that are engaged and interested in what you do and what you have to offer. Kevin Kelly says it best in his article 1,000 True Fans

Rock of Ages is a 1980’s themed Broadway jukebox musical. ¬†The show has true fans. On a daily basis Rock of Ages interacts and engages with their fans on¬†Facebook,¬†asking questions ranging from 80‚Äôs trivia to questions about the show and some other stuff in between. There is not one post that doesn‚Äôt get some kind of response. They are tapping into their fans and listening to what they have to say. They are a good example of someone who is doing it right.

In the¬†beginning, it may be challenging to tap into your audience. There may be some experimentation involved and that’s okay. If something doesn’t work, don’t get discouraged. You can always try something new tomorrow.



Crowdsourcing is a great way to gather information, ideas or content from a community. Social media has taken crowdsourcing to a new level.

One of my favorite projects that used crowdsourcing is Chart Jackers. Chart Jackers followed 4 UK Youtubers who had a goal to create a #1 pop single on the UK charts. All the procedes went  to charity.

The lyrics, melody, musicians, and singers were all found through crowdsourcing.  It’s amazing to see what they were able to accomplish and it is a testament to how the internet and social media continues to change the way we create and communicate. I don’t want to give to much away. Watch the Chart Jackers compilation below.