Yesterday Twitter announced that they have made some major improvements to Twitter Search. Some of the new features may be important in helping you engage with a targeted audience.
Many of the new Twitter Search features don’t seem to be live across the board yet.
Spelling Corrections: Twitter should now make suggestions if it thinks you have spelled a word incorrectly. I have tried deliberately misspelling words, but am yet to see this feature in action.
Related Searches: Twitter will now suggest you other searches that you might be interested in. It sounds like Twitter will suggest search terms that provide more results for you. I am yet to see this feature in action for a search other than Twitter’s example of ‘Jeremy Lin’.
Real Names and Usernames in Results: According to twitter “When you search for a name like ‘Jeremy Lin,’ you’ll see results mentioning that person’s real name and their Twitter account username.” When I search for ‘Katharine Robinson’ though, it does not return results mentioning @TheSourceress too. This feature does work with Twitter’s ‘Jeremy Lin’ example – I can only suppose that the feature is a work in progress.
Probably the most useful new Twitter Search feature is working and working well
Results from people you follow: Up until now, when you ran a search on twitter.com, you got the option of seeing ‘All’ tweets or just the ‘Top’ tweets. There is now an added option to see results from only the ‘People you follow’.
It shouldn’t be underestimated just how tricky this was for Twitter to build – with Tweets coming in at 250 million per day, separating them out by an arbitrary list of users must have been a technical nightmare!
Twitter have got this feature working perfectly though – I have used it already to see what my network is saying about the Formula 1 racing at the British Grande Prix this weekend, rather than sifting through the noise of all the tweets about the F1 today.
The ‘People you follow’ results are a great feature if you are using Twitter to engage with a particular community. For example, I almost exclusively follow UK based recruitment professionals from the @UKSourcers Twitter account. I want to engage with that community because those are the people I want to work with. I don’t always want to talk to them about recruitment though – I have other interests and so do they. I can now run a search for ‘cheese’ or ‘F1’ or ‘pie’, see which UK recruiters are talking about those things and join in.
I expect that those of you using Twitter for recruiting purposes have accounts that follow people who are all involved with your particular niches – the exact people you want to engage with. You now have a tool to help you find people in your niche community that share other things in common with you. This will help you build more meaningful relationships.
This feature also adds incentive to corporate Twitter accounts to follow back real people – they will now be missing out even more by not following back those that have shown an interest in their brand as an employer.
How will you be using these new Twitter Search features?