Twitter can be a valuable resource tool… if you know how to use it!

By October 19, 2015Stories
Twitter Journalists

With over 500 million tweets sent each day and 316 million monthly active users, it’s remarkable how Twitter is often overlooked as a valuable resource tool. Instead, it seems to be wired into our brains that the most useful source of information comes from a Google Search, when in fact, the best tool is not necessarily so obvious. Take a read to explore how Twitter can be used for research purposes and start using it to your advantage today:

‘Try Before You Buy”

Well, it’s the same kind of principal. If you’re recruiting, you may be interested to find out a bit more about your candidates. Using Twitter allows you to research their personal and professional preferences, how they engage with others and how they market themselves. After all, would you rather someone who publicly plasters their opinions about tricky topics on social media, or someone who contains their thoughts, keeping them away from public view? Maybe, you need someone who’s not afraid to share their opinions – just a thought!

The PR’s Ally

If you’re looking for contact details for a key journalist rather than having to send your press release to “news@” then Twitter is the place to start. If you’re trying to promote your company, publications will often recommend you use the general email address, however as any PR knows, it’s vital to get information under the relevant journalists nose.

However, Twitter provides the perfect platform to start engaging with that journalist well before you send across any press release giving them the chance to get to know you, what messages you are trying to promote and more about your business (if you’re promoting a business) before that press release even hits their inbox. Additionally, you get to learn a little more about them and the type of stories they wish to cover, which will result in you targeting your efforts to those most likely interested in your story and therefore resulting in guaranteed coverage.

Alternatively, if there’s a story out about yourself it might lead a journalist to research your social media profiles. Unlike Facebook, you can clearly see all the information contained on your profile by looking at your bio (unless you lock it down). It is easier to monitor what you share in your bio on Twitter, compared to Facebook where if your profile is public, everyone can see your relationship status, your birthday, interests and even your phone number and address. Facebook is the best investigation tool, however Twitter is still a strong weapon in a journalist’s arsenal as it is good for accessing your profile picture as even the private setting doesn’t prevent it from being downloaded…

#HandyHashtags

The hashtag feature was first exclusive to Twitter, but it has gradually stemmed out to other platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. The hashtag is designed to tailor your search to specific topics and trends. The tool is perfect for digital marketers, but also to find like-minded people who are interested in the same areas as you.

Vague Searches Return Useful Sources

It’s not often that businesses don’t outline contact details on their website, but when they don’t, Twitter is there to help. You can find business contacts by searching brands on Twitter. Many business owners will include the name of where they work in their personal bios, so the search will detect this and return with ‘suggested accounts’. Here, you’re likely to find people in higher management positions – for example, if you search KC Communications, Katrina’s profile appears as a suggested account. Twitter is the place to go for missing parts of the jigsaw.

News Is Best Served Fresh

The live feed on Twitter accommodates for instant news feeds. Frequent 140 character updates on current affairs are very useful as a resource tool, as the news you receive is prompt and straight to the point. This means that if you want to know about current news, searching key word is sure to return what you’re looking for in the first few results.

Ask Your Twitter Tribe!

It’s amazing what you can find out if you only ask. Asking questions promotes engagement from your followers and if you use the hashtag feature to specify the topic of your question, chances are you’ll receive a response pretty rapidly. Twitter has a vast community of people specialising in partially every topic you can imagine from fencers to Scientologists and domestic goddesses to equestrians.