One of the keys to having success online is finding and engaging your target market.

I’ve found to be most successful in this you should look at at this as a form of networking.

The amazing changes in real time search is allowing this form interaction all that more powerful.

There are  two pillars that you must have positioned for this to be successful and worth your effort.

  1. Finding your target market. Finding people likely to buy your product, your service, or who have a high likely hood of joining you in your business.
  2. Engaging your target market. Properly engaging, done by being authentic and adding value.

There are two tools I have found invaluable in accomplishing both of these tasks.

I did a quick video on these here as well:
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Both of these tools are based on real time search.

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Tool 1 – Collecta.com

Collecta.com gives you a wealth of information on what is going on right now, with blogs, comments, and in social networks.

Some key features of Collecta.com are:

  • Easy 3 column layout
  • Ability to filter searches by stories, comments, updates, videos, and photos
  • Easy to see status information without leaving the page
  • Constant streaming of real time search results

Tool 2 – SocialMention.com

SocialMention.comis an amazing website on a couple different fronts. It allows you to do the same thing as Collecta but it gives you much more control at drilling down and finding hidden information about what you are searching for.

This tool alone I believe you should be using for your target market research. This is real world stuff, not theory of what is going on right now. Real conversations, broken down by sentiment, mood, and popularity. A true wealth of information.

Key Features of SocialMention.com

  • Fast and great layout
  • Metrics that mean something to your search (Strength, Average minutes since last mention)
  • RSS Feeds and Email alerts
  • Pull data down to CSV for keywords for advertising or content ideas

Both of these tools are showing tremendous promise of what is dubbed real time search. I highly suggest that you take the time and learn how to use these as they give you real world conversations that a few years ago simply would not have been possible. One of the keys to having success online is finding and engaging your target market.