How To Mine Social Conversations

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While everyone else is talking about using social networks to connect, reach out, build a relationship or in many cases woo customers, there are some who prefer to simply sit back and observe. Sure, they will participate in conversations and reach out but to a point. What they are more interested in is,

  • What people are talking about
  • Who they are talking about
  • What are their concerns
  • Why they feel that way
  • What’s the competition doing and how
  • What kind of activities draw people

There is no secret that I like Twitter. Yes, I am on places like Facebook and yes, Twitter is a dwarf compared to Facebook, but I find Twitter easier to mine for information, and that process can be somewhat automated. Here are some examples how Twitter shapes my blog posts, articles, affiliate product recommendations and even products I create.

  1. Get yourself a tool like TweetDeck where you can group people you’re following and also create separate streams of conversations by search term.
  2. Questions. At any given time, there are a ton of questions being asked on Twitter. Create a search based on the terms that relate to what you do or your industry. You’ll see questions pop up regularly. Answer those questions on your blog. Tweet them after you’re posted it and email it to your list.
  3. Recommendations. In the same search stream, you’ll also find recommendations for products and services. In fact you’ll probably find a lot of them since everyone is out there trying to sell something. This is a good way to find out new affiliate products, new competitor products or new product ideas. Just because someone else has a product like that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t create it too. Competition is good.
  4. If there’s a lot of chatter around a particular product you can more or less gauge how well a product is doing. If a product is doing well, that’s a good sign that the product could be profitable for you too. If there’s a lot of negativity then you know what not to spend your precious resources to develop or promote as an affiliate.
  5. Trends. After a while, you’ll notice that the bulk of some conversations revolve around a particular topic, person, groups or products. Depending on what they are, they’ll make great blog posts, article topics or even mini-products.
  6. Viral stuff. When something razes through Twitter, you’ll know it. You’ll see it being mentioned by several people you follow and it becomes a hot topic when you’re watching sites like TwitScoop. One of my favorite things to do when I see these viral topics, products, promotions or events is to figure out why they are so popular. Sometimes it’s a matter of getting the topic into the hands of an influential person who will tweet it. Other times, the promotion is pretty creative. Create similar promotions and strike a deal with those key players in your industry. You could be the next big thing on Twitter.

Every single day there’s something I learn on Twitter that can be applied in several ways in my business. As a matter of fact this post itself as you can see is inspired by Twitter and something I recently tweeted. I’m positive there’s something in there for your business as well but wait, before you go… a little bit of advice. Don’t spend all your time there.

So how do I mine the information if I don’t spend time on Twitter? Simple. With TweetDeck, I set all notifications to no – so it never bothers me while I’m working. I turn it on in the morning and let it ‘collect’ the tweets I’m interested in througout the day. During lunch break or towards the end of the day, I hop on TweetDeck to scan, pick out the good stuff and do a mini analysis. Total time, between 15 – 60 minutes depending on how chatty I am. On days I get questions directed to me I spend more time but when you’re just there for business intelligence, it doesn’t take you long.

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Lynette Chandler
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Comments

  1. Hi Lynette! Thanks for the nice post. I am still not getting into deep benefits of socializing for marketing in several top communities in the net. I also have facebook and Twitter. And yes, I agree, because of the automation in twitter, I like it more when it comes to marketing. Though facebook is more popular, it is more social and and not yet marketing oriented.

  2. I refrained from using Twitter as it seems to be an adicting and time consuming tool – despite its benefits.
    the strategy you describe using tweetdeck sounds interesting and I have to rethink my neglegence of modern technology.
    Thanks for the good post, Lynette.

  3. Hi Vic. That’s kinda the reason why I prefer to watch what’s going on inside the networks. I participate but only when it is convenient for me – need to set up boundaries like that.

    @Japanese Language Training – Oh I bet you can find a lot of interesting chatter around your business. On the other hand there’s also people who watch and jump in to promote their stuff every time one of their key topics is mentioned. That’s not the way I’d do it though. That would be salesy and pushy.

  4. thank you for that great post Lynette.

    i think Facebook have more influenced to REAL and Prospective clients more than twitter but still of course twitter have more Marketing and SEO weight on Social Networking optimization

    W.D.

  5. The Blogger Source says

    You can easily get distracted and lose a lot of time on it.

  6. Radio Controlled Boats says

    I twittered for awhile but then lost interest, it was time consuming and to an introvert like me it was tedious, however with some of the tools listed above I might have to look into it again. Thanks for the article Lynette.

  7. Hey all, yes, it can take up a lot of time but then again so does checking emails, stats, affiliate commissions etc way too often. It does take discipline and a slightly different way of looking at the site. Most people in business when they think of social sites the immediate re-action is to think connecting, building relationships etc which don’t get me wrong is a good thing and absolutely OK.

    However, mining the data and conversation shouldn’t take up that much more time. I find most of the topics I’m interested in are rarely from the people I follow which may or may not be the target market. But the searches produce information that are from people in the target market. I also find out who are the new competitors there too, check out their stuff and what they are doing. Quite fascinating. Helps me build my products, features etc.

  8. Online Marketing Blog says

    Tweet deck is an awesome program – i use it all the time to mine the conversation happening. I pay more attention to the search than the people i follow. It allows me to find new people to interacte with and promote my websites to.

  9. I found it helpful to set up search feeds for keywords in Twitter. When something like that comes up I can respond to relevant queries.