Measuring the Conversation for Smaller Businesses

KDPaine linked to my post about measuring the conversation and noted the problem of measuring conversation share for smaller business: if your brand doesn’t generate much chatter you just won’t show up at all in Tweetrush. Here are a few quick thoughts on this.

Tweetbeep: listening to small conversations

There’s a great tool for getting email updates every time someone uses your keyword on Twitter. It’s called Tweetbeep. Go there, sign up, fill out and get an email when your phrase is used. Use this number in place of the number you might generate via Twist in my conversation measuring article.

Keep in mind that Tweetbeep isn’t real-time, there’s about a day or so of lag. So this isn’t a good way to do reputation management, but it is good for measuring your share of the conversation.

But, to be honest, if your brand isn’t big enough to register on Twist those numbers are going to get pretty depressing. Even worse than that, what kind of business decisions are you going to make by knowing how big you are on Twitter?

Maybe you could determine that you’re not big enough and spend more resources trying to get “Twittered” but that would probably beg the question on what’s big enough and so then you’re down competitive analysis tracking. There might be better ways to use your resources.

Enough about you, let’s talk about me

Use your social media tools to listen. Use the tools to discover hope, fear, goals, frustrations. Then take that insight and craft your message and product or service around working in the context of real people’s lives.

The real value in measuring the Twitter conversation is determining the importance of what people are talking about in their own words. Are there people discussing issues your business helps resolve? If so, perhaps you should allocate resources listening to those conversations. And then later, participating in those conversations.

Using a topical approach to measuring conversation-share allows you to enter and participate in conversations, ideally to everyone’s benefit.