Part of being involved in social media for brands involves countless silent hours mining conversation and data trying to figure out who and where your audience is having a conversation online. One of the biggest struggles I personally run into is the amount of fake, spammy accounts on Twitter using http://search.twitter.com. Even when adding the advanced filter “-filter:links” to get down to true conversations, this sometimes isn’t helpful in identifying enthusiast or passionate people towards a specific interest.
An overlooked part of Twitter…
Bio on Twitter
Too often, it is easy to concentrate primarily on the conversation happening on Twitter. What is overlooked is the Bio- a limited set of characters that is designed (for the most part) to be static. It is a very simplistic way of a user to communicate who they are to the Twitterverse.
The simplicity of the Twitter bio in allowing a finite number of characters forces a user to concentrate on the points they want to define themselves online and share with others.
With that basic understanding of how I personally view how a Twitter bio operates in user’s head, let’s examine how Google displays a user profile in their search.
Google Search on Twitter Profiles
The below image is a from a quick search I did on Twitter to identify the search term “extreme sports athlete”.
Lets break down some of the elements of what appears on Google Search.
- [Name Inputted in Building a Profile] + (@twitterhandle) + “on Twitter” – This is the hyperlinked portion above the description in Google Search. “on Twitter” remains a static result for Twitter profiles in Google Search.
- Google Description - When highlighting a Twitter profile on Google Search, the term “Bio” will be included in the description identifying this as a Twitter profile, versus a conversation from a particular user. The rest of the description will have some information a Twitter user included in their bio.
The simple 2 elements will be enough to target users on Twitter with specific interests that have been included in their bio.
Using Google to Target Users on Twitter
This method is simple to begin your search for any particular topic or interest you want to target. Continuing the example search above for “extreme sports athlete”, I one advanced search operator in Twitter and then used my understanding of how Twitter profiles are displayed in Google Search to provide relevant users.
The search string I used for the example above is:
site:twitter.com “on Twitter” bio “extreme sports athlete”
The way Google interprets this search query is simply:
- Searcher wants to only find what Google has indexed from the site twitter.com
- Information searcher wants to be displayed must include an exact match for “on twitter”
- Information searcher wants to be displayed must include the word “bio”
- Information searcher wants to be displayed must include an exact match for “extreme sports athlete” [Note: you don’t need to do an exact match, but this is your keyword search. I used extreme sports athlete syntax to narrow it down to a very finite number of users on Twitter who want to identify themselves as an extreme sports athlete. If we did a broad search, it would pull more users from Twitter.]
Create a Twitter List
After execution of this simple search strategy, I’ll visit profiles to read the full profile on Twitter, see how active or what their recent activity on Twitter, and get a quick glance of what they are talking about. If I feel the user is in line with my brand or someone I might be personally interested in engaging, I create a private Twitter list that acts as a listening station so I can get a pulse of what others who (in this example) identify themselves as “extreme sports athletes” are doing on a daily basis, find out what it is important, and strategize best ways to engage.
Sometimes directly engaging someone on Twitter because they mention they are an “extreme sports athlete” is not the best strategy. Often, understanding common lifestyle traits amongst users and engaging on topics around their interests that correlate to their lifestyle can create meaningful and deep insights on how to engage and form relationships with others online. The only way that happens though is by first identifying an audience (one strategy covered for the majority of this post) and then listening to what they are talking about (using a Twitter list is my favorite strategy).
If you have any questions, leave one below.