TWITTER EXERCISE FOR THOSE WITHOUT A TWITTER ACCOUNT (AND DON’T WANT ONE)
Find at least 10 people in your audience who are on Twitter. Those people should be tweeting regularly (inactive accounts or people who tweet once a month won’t be very useful).
The first step is to go to Twitter.com. On the top of the home page, you will notice something like the image below.
On the lower left side of the image above, you will notice a magnifying glass – this is the search tool. If you click on the magnifying glass, a search box will open that will allow you to search Twitter.
How do you find people on Twitter who are in your specific audience? There are multiple ways:
- Is there a prominent person who is part of, connected to, or popular with your audience? If so, search to see if that person is on Twitter.
- Search for keywords on Twitter that might be associated with or used by your audience. For example, say you are a tropical ecologist and want to connect with coffee drinkers interested in the biodiversity potential of tropical coffee farms. You might search for terms like “organic coffee”. Heck, a search for “Starbucks” might lead you to some very interesting people.
- When reading the tweets of a person in your audience, do particular hashtags seem to pop up frequently? If so, search in Twitter for those hashtags – they could lead you to yet more people in your target audience. By the way, you might be wondering, “What’s a hashtag?” A hashtag is a keyword that people put in their tweets, with a “#” symbol before the keyword. Practically anything can be a hashtag (for example: #SciFund).
- After all this, are you still having trouble finding people in your audience? The problem could well be that you have not defined your audience properly. Perhaps you defined your audience too narrowly. Perhaps, what seemed at first glance to be a cohesive audience actually describes a set of people who have very little in common (and are consequently hard to search for).
- There is one powerful tool that you will not have access to, unless you have a Twitter account. If have a Twitter account and if you find an interesting person, you can search through the people that follow and are being followed by this person. This can be a valuable way to find people in your target audience – not a critical way, I should add, just important.
For each person that you identify as an interest, be sure to write down their name/username down. Congratulations! You now have a window into the minds of your audience. Now let’s discover what your audience cares about right now.