In my role heading up social media for a global company, I often lead formal or informal training exercises on how to get smarter with certain tools, how to listen using social media, tracking things in the digital space, and the like. It’s no secret that business-to-business (B2B) social media has taken off more rapidly in the US than elsewhere around the world. But that doesn’t mean it’s not being used. A common frustration I hear from my colleagues (and experience myself, on occasion) is truly finding those diamonds in the rough. Here’s one way to find some of those conversations in other parts of the world using two free techniques on Twitter, and a little bit of time.
Start by going to FollowerWonk (http://www.followerwonk.com). It’s a site that lets you examine Twitter bios and such for certain information, and then sort people/Twitter-ers that match that criteria by certain parameters – namely, the number of followers they have.
Sign in with Twitter and let it authorize your account. Sending out the pre-made tweet and following FollowerWonk (the two defaults) are up to you. You can use this site without authorizing it and logging in. However, you get a bit more utility out of it if you do so (it will allow you to follow and un-follow people right from the interface). But it’s not necessary.
At the top of the FollowerWonk page, click ‘(more search options)’
What you enter next will vary completely based on what you are trying to do. In this example, let’s try to find people on Twitter specifically in France. So, in the ‘Location(s)’ field (below the Sear, I will enter “FR | France”, without the quotes. In between France and FR is a vertical bar (on most US keyboards, that’s above the enter key). This means ‘or’ in the search query. Here is FollowerWonk’s complete search query syntax if you really want to explore.
(Note that I’m using France and FR because some people may abbreviate in their Twitter bios. If you are doing a search for another region, think smartly about how it might be abbreviated or otherwise noted.)
If you are searching on something other than a location (for example, a topic like 3D CAD), enter that text into the ‘Search Twitter bios for: ‘ box. Be sure to think of the ways people might list that out (CAD, 3D CAD, 3-D CAD, etc.). Note that limiting search results to a specific topic and a specific location will really limit the returned results. But, searches are free and fast, so try more and less restrictive searches.
Click the ‘Do It’ button and see the results.
Consider expanding the search to something that’s more solution-based (if you sell a product) or a market or industry vertical. Or, search for professional titles, like ‘Vice President’ or ‘engineer’ (or the target-language-translated equivalent).
Hopefully, you get the idea.
What’s great is that the results are sorted, by default, by the number of followers. This is a *loose* proxy to influence.
What you can do from here, for example, is pick out the top 10 or so people from your results and open their profiles (CTRL and click on their Twitter names). Read about them, and if you like, follow them. Or, if you see enough of what you like in the FollowerWonk results window, follow them right from there (the utility you get from authorizing and logging in).
Once you ID and handful of people that look interesting on Twitter, let’s see if they talk about this kind of content elsewhere.
Grab a handful of Twitter handles/IDs (maybe the top 10 or so you decided to follow after this exercise), and head over to http://search.twitter.com/advanced.
In the ‘From these accounts’, enter one Twitter ID to start.
At the top, in the ‘All these words’ field, enter “http://” (again, minus the quotes). This will return only sites with links from those people.
This is a great way to see what kinds of information, external to Twitter, that these people share. If they are truly talking a lot about your topic or your location, then there’s a good chance that some of these links on the resulting pages will be to places with other, related conversation.
I’m hopeful this makes sense. Please try it. If it doesn’t, please let me know in the comments and I’m happy to reply.
What about you? Do you use different tools or techniques to find conversations specific to a region?
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