In the past year I have become a Twitter fanatic, attending every Twitter conference session I can get into, and reading as many blogs, articles, and tweets that I can. I predominantly use Twitter for my library and not personally. Anywho while I attended TLA last year I went to an awesome session by Jim Holland. He introduced me to TweetDeck and searching by proximity. Those tools have proven so useful to me that I gave a presentation at Tarleton State University’s Texas Social Media Research Institute’s annual conference (a mouthful I know), about using apps to create relevant content on Twitter. Due to the positive feedback I’ve received both at the conference and through various listservs I thought I’d write a post about it.
Twitter apps can really open up your opportunities for interacting with your users. By using TweetDeck to track hashtag use and utilizing a zip code and mile range search you can find out who is talking about you, even if they don’t use your Twitter handle.
TweetDeck and the Zip code search
TweetDeck is a management client that allows you to set up customizable twitter feeds based on specific parameters (it does a lot more than just this). You can create columns based on mentions, followers, searches, trends, etc. My favorite column has been the search: “library near:76513 within:25mi. That column allows me to monitor every time someone within a 25 mile radius of my library mentions the word “library” in a tweet. Here’s what it looks like in my feed:
This method has proven to be a very useful tool for entering into the conversation of our users. It has allowed us to solve problems, discover student needs, and find some great content for retweeting. If you have a hashtag search or Twitter tool that you find indispensable please let me know!