Twitter Tip TuesdayTwitter Tip Tuesday is a weekly blog series from Sprout Social: Insights.


Every Tuesday we’ll focus on just one (1) Twitter Tip and show you how to integrate it into your social media strategy.

Today’s Twitter Tip Tuesday: A Covert Twitter Tactic for Business Intelligence

Many people are familiar with the Twitter tactic of following a competitor to find out what a business is up to, what they’re tweeting about, who they’re following, etc.

The trouble with following a competitor is that they automatically know you are following them. And they may alter their tweets accordingly or follow you back to gain business intelligence on you!

But there’s an even more effective, covert business intelligence tactic that you can use, and it’s hiding in plain sight….

Search on a Business’ Twitter Name

Instead showing all your cards by following a business on Twitter, search for that business’ Twitter handle instead. Searching on a business name allows you to get an overview of that business without being “seen”, but more importantly, it allows you to see who is tweeting about that business and what exactly they’re tweeting about.

For example, lets say I’m Katz’s Delicatessen (@KatzsDeli) – one of the many great delis in New York City. I may be interested in what’s going on at my competitor across town – Carnegie Deli (@CarnegieDeli) but I don’t want Carnegie Deli to know that I’m checking them out.

So instead of following them, I search Twitter for @CarnegieDeli and discover that one of their customers is tweeting “Carnegie Deli has one of the greatest meals in all of NYC”

Twitter Tip Tuesday - @CarnegieDeli

This gives me a fantastic opportunity to reach out to that customer, counter that claim, and offer that customer an incentive to try my deli next time, instead.

In this case, the customer Joshua Lebowitz (@joshualebowitz) happens to be a lawyer and a TV producer in New York City – just the type of customer you’d want advocating for your business (and who may not even have known about your business up till now!)

Twitter Tip Tuesday - Joshua Lebowitz @joshualebowitz

Bonus Tip: For best results, don’t be too aggressive when contacting customers of your competitors. Instead of hitting them up with your own sales pitch right away, try having a conversation with that customer first. And if you follow them, be sure to follow up!

Like this tip? Let is know by leaving a comment below and you could be featured in the next Fan Friday post.