How To Target Your Market the Wheat Thins Way

Have you seen the commercial with the group of  guys driving around in the big yellow Wheat Thins van?  You know the one showing them driving and reading people’s tweets on Twitter that mention Wheat Thins?

The way the commercial goes is the passenger has his laptop open and searches for someone tweeting about the tasty snack cracker.  When they find someone that tweets about Wheat Thins (or that they ran out of Wheat Thins) the van crew physically locates that person.

Then the Wheat Thins crew delivers an entire pallet of Wheat Thins boxes all in shrink-wrap.  Neat eh?  But what does this have to do with growing your business online?  Everything.  Let’s talk about Twitter, shall we?

The Twitterverse

Twitter is a micro-blogging service that allows you to publish 140-character messages in a public (or private) feed.  People can follow your messages and you can follow other tweeps (Twitter has its own silly language; users are called Tweeps).

Most people use Twitter to post personal status updates about what they’re eating for lunch, the smelly person they’re sitting next to at the DMV, or general bathroom usage.  I don’t recommend any of these practices (but feel free to tweet about such things if you enjoy being laughed at and ignored).

What the Twitterverse really offers is free mining for market research.  While you can glean a lot of advertising and marketing inspiration from the service, you should still bear in mind that basic social etiquette applies.  No spamming and don’t pitch your products and services repeatedly or people won’t like you.

Using Twitter Search

Twitter search is a great way to drill down and find people, right now, that have a problem that you can solve.  The Wheat Thins commercial didn’t outright show the Twitter search URL as their source for finding tweets; I just know it comes in handy for this.

Mind you, what the video below will show you isn’t the most effective use of your time when it comes to marketing.  It really is a one-customer-at-a-time approach.  But that can be good for a small business owner.  It allows you to devote VIP customer service to each and every customer while trusting that your goodwill will spread by word-of-mouth.

Here is a video I shot giving you the quick and dirty tour of using Twitter search to target your market:

Click here if you can’t see the video.

Being Generous On Twitter

It’s important to give more than you receive on Twitter.  That’s actually true in many facets of life but especially true on social networks.  If you read up on Chris Brogan he’ll tell you that you’ll want to tweet 12 times to promote others for every 1 tweet of self-promotion.  That’s not a rule but it’s a great reference point.

People will quickly unfollow you if you consistently tweet links that are self-promoting or link out to sales order pages.  Use common sense, folks.  You’d be surprised how genuinely taking interest in and promoting other people will pay you back in spades.

Go Tweet Your Market

Give it a shot! Start connecting with [targeted] people and see if you can spark up a conversation.  Have you tried this approach with Twitter search before and, if so, what were your results?

6 Responses to How To Target Your Market the Wheat Thins Way
  1. Peggy Baron
    January 26, 2011 | 9:59 pm

    Hi Jon,

    So that’s what the commercial was… I only saw the last part with the pallet of wheat thins on the driveway. I’ll have to watch for it again.

    Anyway, you’ve made some good points about using Twitter constructively for business. The search function can certainly be your friend!

    I have had positive results from retweeting others’ tweets and building relationships. One example is that this enabled me to write an ebook with 11 people (via Twitter) contributing material.

    Excellent post, Jon! I look forward to reading more.


    • Jon
      January 26, 2011 | 10:17 pm

      What an interesting approach to gathering content for your ebook! Thank you for your input.

  2. [...] the search term and let Twitter get your creative juices flowing.  Oh and here’s a quick video tip on how to use Twitter search to market a product;  [...]

  3. Sarah Russell
    January 28, 2011 | 5:39 pm

    Great post! I’m definitely not using Twitter to its full potential right now, so I’ll try to put some of these tips into practice.

    And I’ll have to youtube the Wheat Thins commercial – I haven’t seen it yet and it sounds hilarious :)

  4. [...] your business isn’t using video, isn’t it time? I’ve only released one Twitter video here at so I need to work on this as [...]

  5. [...] Then here are three examples of companies that know who they serve and strive to make their well-defined market very [...]

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