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Making The Most Of Twitter’s Real-Time Search

Twitter can be a fantastic tool for business, assuming you know how best to use it and you’ve decided what you’re going to use it for. It’s no good having a rough Twitter strategy and just randomly tweeting generic information about your company – you won’t get the referring traffic you’re looking for nor will you gain any real traction from your target audience.

One of the best things about Twitter is the real-time search available to users; allowing you to search for specific terms and view the most recent tweets from users mentioning your search term. The search bar can be found in the right sidebar on any Twitter profile page, and just looks like your average search box:

Being able to search for peoples’ Tweets in real-time affords you some excellent opportunities to improve your customer services, brand reputation and/or website traffic. Here are some of the most beneficial uses to Twitter’s real-time search:

Brand Awareness
The simplest way to utilise the real-time search feature is to monitor conversations about your brand; particularly useful for popular, national brands. Simply search for your company name and you can gauge how aware customers are about your brand and monitor public opinion of it. This can be very useful for putting together future social media strategies and often presents potential avenues to engage with your target audience.

Customer Services
Twitter can be an extremely effective customer services tool; not only allowing customers to contact you anytime but also affording you a method of actively searching out your customers to help solve their problems with your product. The customer services team for XBOX360 do this extremely well; searching for terms such as ‘XBOX360 problem’, ‘help with my XBOX360’, ‘red rings on XBOX360’, ‘XBOX360 error’, etc. Once they have found relevant results, they can contact the person directly with suggestions to help fix the problem, or offering to check if their system is still in warranty. Not only does this impress the customer with your level of customer services, but you will have reached them within minutes of them posting the query.

Driving Traffic
Twitter’s live search can be useful for driving small amounts of specific, converting traffic. Let’s stick with the XBOX360 example; if they wanted to push traffic towards a deeper page on their site with a video and details for FIFA 11, they could perform live searches for people discussing the new FIFA game.
Although this is time consuming and will only push a minimal amount of traffic to your site, the traffic that is referred should have a much higher chance of converting; particularly useful for e-commerce websites or sites looking for data capture.

An excellent way of using Twitter to drive more substantial amounts of traffic to your site is to use the trending information to inform your blogging topics. Twitter will give you information on specific topics or personalities, allowing you to see what’s ‘trending’, i.e. what is being talked about the most by people on the site. It’s fair to assume that if a subject is recieving a high level of attention on Twitter, it will also be experiencing a relatively high search volume. If you have a blog on your website (which is advisable in terms of SEO, particularly in relation to long-tail searches), you can use this information to inform what you write about, ensuring you include key trending terms in your blog title and/or text. This could result in driving considerable amounts of traffic through long-tail searches to your website.


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