Twitter Listening - Experts
Find experts in your industry that are tweeting on a regular basis and listen to how they market their brand. Take note of the types of information they broadcast to their audience and look to see how often their posts are retweeted. Also look for traditional and citizen journalists who tweet about the products and services you offer. These tweets can provide valuable market insights, as well as open doors to media relationships you can leverage outside of Twitter. A good resource for locating media professionals who use Twitter is Media On Twitter.
Twitter Listening - Customers
Listening to what your customers say about you and your products is a great way to understand how your brand is received and interpreted. It is also a good way to provide customer service. I recently tweeted about an issue I was experiencing with my home Internet service. Within a few minutes, someone from that company replied to my tweet offering to provide technical support. Within an hour, the problem was resolved and I never had to place a phone call, wait on hold or search for answers online. That level of customer care and attention is only possible with the immediacy of a tool like Twitter.
Twitter Listening - Competition
How many times have you wondered what your competitors are doing? Gathering competitive intelligence is easier than ever these days. Your competition is probably announcing new product launches, personnel changes and financial projections on their Twitter feeds. Follow your competitors and monitor what other people are saying about them to see how you stack up.
If you are already using Twitter, consider adding some of these listening techniques to your Twitter strategy. If you haven't started tweeting yet, take some time to listen to what others are saying first. When you do enter the conversation, what you say will reflect what you've heard. Your audience will appreciate it and my grandfather would be very proud.