A Killer Way to Grab Customers and Fans on Twitter

Twitter strategies

Twitter has always fascinated newbies as well as social media interns due to its inherent nature of interaction through short post updates. Businesses and freelancers—across the world—use this powerful social media platform to connect themselves with their fans, followers, and customers. Companies often provide general customer support through their official Twitter account. It's not just about regular customer support, but interaction with potential clients is also a growing trend among businesses and freelancers. How to do this important task effectively? Well, it's not as hard as you may think initially.

Twitter strategies

Through Twitter's advanced search, you can find people talking about the problems whose solutions you or your company provides. All you need is to find out how to use this feature—effectively.

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This is like finding relevant tweets in real time and engaging with these potential customers by quickly answering their queries and questions. In other words, it's like striking the iron when it is hot.

Following this simple strategy yields good results as these people get quick answers to their problems. This way, they're more likely to continue the conversation which allows you to convert them into your loyal fans or customers. So, let's get started and see how to do this—effectively.

Finding Potential Customers—The Wrong Way

Almost every one of us looking to find specific tweets uses the advanced search feature available on Twitter. There's nothing wrong with it, but I'm very much disappointed to see that a large number of people do it—incorrectly.

For example, if you're selling cakes, you may use the following search query on Twitter.

#cake OR #dessert OR #sweet

What's wrong with this query? After all, we are searching for relevant hashtags that people may be using with their tweets. But, there are many pitfalls in this method of filtering relevant tweets. Here are the shortcomings of this query.


  • The query given above will pull all tweets in every language supported by Twitter increasing the junk for you, thus making the monitoring activity cumbersome.
  • The hashtag #sweet is very generic and doesn't necessarily represent a tweet associated with food.
  • There's no mechanism to filter out those tweets where people are specifically asking questions.
  • Your potential clients don't need to always use hashtags. (they may not even know about it).
  • Nine out of ten times, a tweet never contains links when people are asking some questions. There's no method to filter out tweets containing links.

So, you can see it's not the smartest way to find potential customers on Twitter. Then what to do? Let's move on.

Finding Potential Customers—The RIGHT Way

The sample query discussed in the previous section presented us with several challenges that made the task more difficult instead of lightening the burden. So here's an ideal search query for finding potential clients on Twitter.

Again we will assume that you're running a bakery shop in the New York area.

cake OR baking OR dessert -filter:links near:NYC within:10mi lang:en ?

The search query shown above is comparatively longer and contains some additional operators and directives for filtering relevant tweets. Let's dissect this search query and see how it will give us the required tweet stream for capturing potential customers.


  • We've removed the hashtag '#' pound operator from the query. This way, tweets containing these words as hashtags or without the pound symbol, will be included.
  • We've used 'cake' instead of 'cakes'. The word 'cake' will cover both types of tweets containing both the words - 'cake' & 'cakes'
  • The -filter:links operator ensures that all the tweets containing links are excluded.
  • The operators near:NYC and >within:10mi ensure that only tweets coming from within a 10-mile radius of New York City are included in the search results.
  • The operator lang:en ensures that tweets in a language other than English are excluded from the search results.
  • And last but not least, the ? operator includes only those tweets in which tweeps are asking some questions.

In a nutshell, this search query will look for tweets (devoid of any links) in the English language originating from within a 10-mile radius of New York City where people are asking a question and their tweet contains the following words or hashtags - cake, cakes, baking & dessert.