As noted by the user numbers, Twitter’s not for everyone - 5.53m equates to around 23% of the population.

In the lead up to the holiday season, this is an important consideration for businesses looking to maximise their marketing reach. And while Twitter pales in comparison in total Australian users when compared to Facebook (5.53m vs Facebook’s 15.48m), it can still be an extremely valuable and influential network for specific markets.

Connecting to your audience

As noted by the user numbers, Twitter’s not for everyone - 5.53m equates to around 23% of the population. So how do you work out if Twitter is for your business and whether it’s worth you spending more time (and money) on the platform?

The first step is to conduct a search – Twitter’s search features enable you to hone in on very specific market segments, which means you can look at Australian-based users specifically, or even your city or town.

Even if you don’t have a Twitter account yourself, you can conduct a search from the home page by clicking on the magnifying glass option.

In the search field, enter your keyword or keywords of focus and press ‘Enter’.

This will give you a basic list of results for those terms, covering all of Twitter – but you need to get more specific than that. From here, click on the ‘More options’ menu, then go right to the bottom of the list and select ‘Advanced Search’.

Advanced search is where you can really harness the power of Twitter’s real-time stream. In Advanced search, you can enter in your keyword/s as well as additional qualifiers like date ranges, sentiment, hashtags, etc. But in addition to this, you can also enter a location – type in the name of your city, town or country and see what comes up.

This provides you with a real-time stream of content from your specific area, which can give you a better idea of whether there’s any relevant conversation on Twitter for you to tap into, and whether there are people discussing your target terms on the platform.

Conduct the same search for all of your target keywords to get a true sense of the potential. The process is a fairly simple, straight-forward way of getting an idea of the discussion volume and whether your business might fit.

Create buzzworthy content

Another way to analyse Twitter’s potential for your business is to use BuzzSumo, which is a content discovery tool that lists the most shared blog posts across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest.

In BuzzSumo (free to use in limited capacity), you can conduct a similar search, entering your business keywords or competitor names, and BuzzSumo will show you the most shared content, which not only shows you the key topics of discussion in your niche, but also, on which platforms they’re being share most often – and where you will likely generate best response.

You can also filter this list by nation or city, so you can see what people in your area are talking about in relation to your industry, and on which platforms they’re doing it.

This will give you some idea of the potential for Twitter for your business – if there’s a lot of Twitter shares, it makes sense that there’s related conversation on that platform, and that you should be looking to get involved.

Listening in

All platforms present another opportunity, another place that your target customers could be active and looking for ideas and answers – and where it would be of benefit for your business to be involved.

You could ignore it, of course, and trust that you know your audience enough to be achieving optimal results. Or, using a few simple methods like this, you could check and make sure.

You might be surprised with what you find.

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