When it comes to Twitter for business, listening is vital. Sure, you know how much traffic Twitter drives to your site, but do you know what people are actually saying about your brand, product or service? What if they don’t include your @username in the post?
Realtime social search engine Topsy lets brands sift through conversations to understand when, how often and, most importantly, why people are talking about specific products and services. Let’s take a look at some of the tools available with the free version of Topsy.
Compare Twitter buzz for terms and brands
The search engine lets you look at the rate of mentions over time for specific terms, such as brand names, products or industries. Topsy then produces a clean visual interpretation of the conversation around those terms, letting you see quickly identify peaks and valleys of product buzz.
You can also use this tool to compare the mention rate for up to three terms (the paid version offers unlimited term comparison). This is a great way to see how the buzz around your brand sizes up to competitors. In the example below, you can see that iPhones (the yellow line) get more Twitter mentions that Android (blue line), while Blackberry mentions (red line) are pretty sparse.
See how your website fairs on Twitter
Topsy’s search engine can also be used to see how often your website is mentioned on Twitter. Enter site:yoursite.com as the query, and Topsy will produce a graph like the one below. To see the top story from a given day, simply hover over that point on the graph.
Click on the story title for more details on how that story performed, including number of mentions and the actual tweets that linked to your story. It’s a great way to get all of the Twitter-based commentary on a specific article all in one place.
Search for experts on Twitter
Need a source for an article? Want to follow industry experts on Twitter? Search for terms and Topsy will provide a list of Twitter users who mention that term frequently. The search function isn’t perfect (unless Chili’s really is an expert in landing page design), but it’s a nice way find people who regularly discuss a given subject.