3 Ways to Be a Better Listener on Twitter

Listening on Twitter can lead to more sales, networking opportunities and better information. Here's how to be better at it.

With over half a billion tweets sent every day, it isn’t easy to catch everything. Nor should you try—after all, do you really care about what a stranger half way across the world had for lunch?

That being said, there are methods of listening on Twitter that can increase your exposure to the tweets you care about, and that don’t require you to spend every waking hour sifting through a never-ending stream of tweets.

Here are three things you can do to become a better listener on Twitter:

1. Use Twitter’s Advanced Search

We’ve written in the past about using Twitter’s Advanced Search to listen in on various conversations on Twitter, but it bears repeating: If you aren’t using search regularly, you’re missing business opportunities.

Think about this for a minute. A quick check into a saved Twitter search could show you that a VP of marketing is looking for recommendations for a new automation tool—something you just happen to offer. If you hadn’t saved a search for “marketing automation,” you never would have seen that tweet. And, you wouldn’t have reached out to that VP and made a sale.

Advanced Search lets you zero in on the conversations you’re most interested in and really listen to what that community has to say. Whether you’re looking for business leads, networking or job opportunities, the latest industry insights and more, you can find it by searching for the right terms.

2. Change your customer service mindset

Listening to your customers can be tiring, but it is an essential aspect of any great business. And of course, you know this. But are you using all the tools available to you to really listen?

For starters, you want to set up saved searches for your username, product name(s), CEO’s name and other branded words that are associated with your business. Of course, you also want to frequently check in on your notifications tab, but creating a search will surface tweets that might otherwise go unnoticed.

From there, you need to show your audience that you are listening. Establish a timeframe for how long a response from your brand should take if someone tweets at you. One hour is best, during business hours, but longer is fine as long as you are consistent. And don’t forget to respond to every single person who tweets at you.

3. Monitor your lists (and others)

If you want to become a master listener on Twitter, you’ve got to master Twitter lists.

Lists can help you keep up-to-date on what a subset of Twitter users is talking about, without inundating you with too much information. It’s a good idea to create several lists, each with a theme: your competitors (keep this private!), your best customers (private!), industry thought leaders, celebrities you love, your favorite brands, etc.

If you don’t want to go through the trouble of creating your own lists, you also have the option to tune in to other people’s lists. Just be aware that they will have total control of who is added and removed, and they could delete the list at any time.

How do you listen on Twitter? Share your own tips in the comments below!

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