One of the Most Valuable (and Overlooked) Uses of Twitter

Written by Ryan Cormier

Twitter is an incredibly powerful tool, but most marketers appear to be overlooking one of its most powerful uses. Before you rule out the importance Twitter can have on your business and online presence, discover what you might be missing and keep reading!Before I unveil what I think is Twitter's #1 feature is, though, let's take a look at some of the top uses of Twitter for marketers, as outlined by TopRank® Blog:

Top uses of Twitter

  • Sharing links to items of interest to your network
  • Networking for new contacts
  • Reinforcing current network contacts
  • Promoting specific content
  • Re-distribution of content from blog, web site
  • Twitter cat posts: flight delays, eating habits, who knows what and why
  • Replacement for Facebook updates
  • Influencing your network to do and think what you want
  • Group and project communications
  • Microblogging conferences
  • Shilling for Digg and other social news votes
  • Pitching journalists and bloggers

All of these uses are great, but they revolve around a singular purpose: pushing content. Don't get me wrong - it's totally cool (and necessary) to broadcast content of value via social media, especially on Twitter. To me, though, that's not the site's greatest utility.

Twitter's most valuable use is listening.

Every day there are millions upon millions of conversations happening on Twitter. What's more, a lot of those conversations center on products or services that potential customers are actively looking for. The problem is, most marketers seem too busy broadcasting content to stop, listen and respond accordingly. As a result, we're all missing opportunities!

Conduct a quick search for "does anyone know a good" on Here are some of the results I saw right when I searched: 

Personal trainers, this could be your next client!

Online retailers, where you at?!

Affordable hotels in Milan - leads don't get much hotter than this!

Exterminators - that rat could be your rat!

And this is only a tiny fraction of Tweets posted every day containing the phrase "does anyone know a good..." - imagine the possibilities! I personally use Sprout Social to monitor Tweets containing the phrases "can anyone help with," "does anyone know how to" and "what's the best place to," to name a few.

To make things even more relevant to me and my geographic area, I hone these searches within a 50-mile radius of my hometown of Las Vegas. That way I know that the people I'm responding are close enough to do business with me if they find value in what I do. And even if they're not, I still like to help people out on Twitter whenever I can. That's a great way to grow your Twitter followers!

I'm curious to know - have you used Twitter searches to find and respond to people actively seeking the products or services you sell? If so, what kind of results have you seen? Let me know in the comments, or hit me up on Twitter @ForwardLasVegas!