Looking for a quick way to get access to some of the latest research in your industry? There aren’t many better tools for business related research than Twitter. The platform, along with some free tools that pull data directly from it, gives you the ability to do some great detective work in a short time.
1. Monitor Hashtags for Conferences, Webinars, & Educational Events
Can’t go to a conference for your industry? Find out what the #hashtag is and follow along. Some conferences (especially digital marketing ones) are better at this than others, but many now promote a hashtag. While there may be no substitute for actually being there live and in person, you can gain a ton of industry insights just by following along. Below is a recent example of a conference put together for people that use CAD (drawing, engineering, architecture, etc.) software:
2. Follow Industry Experts
One of the best Twitter ways of finding industry experts is to use a tool called Followerwonk from SEOMoz. It’s free to use if you just want to search Twitter bios. Enter in a keyword and it will return relevant results. It’s a great starting point for finding Twitter users who involved in a particular niche.
After you’ve done a search, the best thing you can do there is to check out the profiles. See what gets tweeted, re-tweeted, shared, and talked about from this user.
3. Search for Specific Topics or Keywords
Go to http://search.twitter.com and type in a few simple keywords:
You’ll get quotes, links to articles, studies, ebooks, whitepapers, etc. You may even get to follow some great conversations about relevant topics.
If you want to get really deep into it, try an advanced search:
You can get very, very targeted. This is useful if you’re trying to research a broad topic. If you’ve ever used the “advanced search” feature on Google or Bing, you’ll be able to quickly figure it out on Twitter. Overall, a search on Twitter search is great if you want to find up to the minute updates and insights, but if you’re looking for something that might be older, you may have better luck going to a traditional search engine.
4. Join or Host a Twitter Chat
Want to have some great conversations along with gain some very useful links, resources, and advice on a particular topic? Finding or hosting a regular Twitter chat can be a great way to go. Here is a link to a list of Twitter chats. Check it out. If you find a topic of interest, follow along and participate. These are just a few suggestions to get you started. Certainly, there’s a lot more you can do, but start here and see what it leads to.
Ready to learn more? Subscribe to OMI and get 7 days of FREE access to hundreds of online classes on digital marketing, including: