If you’re only using Twitter to promote your own content, you’re really missing out.

While it’s certainly good for that, it’s also a valuable discovery tool as well.

There are more than 500 million tweets sent on Twitter every single day. That’s a ton of information!

Luckily, Twitter makes it easy to navigate that information and find the stuff that’s actually relevant to you with Twitter search.

Here are 5 unexpected benefits of using Twitter search.

1. Find out what people are saying about you

A lot of Twitter users won’t take the time to track down your Twitter handle every time they’re talking about you or your business. This is especially true if someone is voicing a complaint or asking other Twitter users about your products or services. (Ex: @RyanPinkham: I’m looking for a good place to bring my dog during the day. I heard Paws at Play was good. Has anyone used them?)

To find out what people are saying about you, search for your name or your business name and any tweet containing those words will appear in your search stream. This will help you stay on top of those relevant conversations and ensure you never miss an opportunity to WOW! your customers or address a potential complaint.

2. Stay in touch with your community

One of my favorite hashtags to follow on Twitter is #GloucesterMA. It is the unofficial hashtag of my hometown, and is full of updates about local events and other happenings throughout the community.

For me, it’s the perfect way to stay up to date with everything that’s going on. For the businesses and organizations that participate in and follow this discussion, it’s the perfect resource for staying tuned in to everything happening in our corner of the world.

Try searching for a hashtag or term related to your local community. If you find one that’s actively being used, save it. If you don’t, try starting the conversation by using it when connecting with other local Twitter users.

3. Be on top of hot topics

Even if the majority of work you’re involved in happens on a local level, there are topics outside of your community that you’ll need to be aware of.

Maybe there’s a state or federal policy change that could directly impact members of your industry. Or maybe there are new trends in your field of work that you need to be on top of.

By saving a search related to a particular topic you are interested in, you will have instant access to the most up-to-date discussions that are already taking place. [Tweet this tip!]

4. Discover content inspiration

Coming up with great content is one of the biggest killers of small business marketing success.

That’s why it’s so important to always be on the lookout for new sources of content inspiration.

Twitter search offers an easy way to find content that’s relevant to your business from “content leaders” in your industry. Simply pick a topic or hashtag to follow, and you’ll have a stream of relevant content ideas all in one place.

5. Be smarter, better, more informed…

No matter what line of work you’re in, it’s important to always be looking for new opportunities to grow and make improvements.

If you’re reading this post, than there’s a good chance you’re interested in learning something new about Twitter or social media marketing.

But maybe marketing isn’t your biggest concern. Maybe you’re more interested in learning about time management or how to find the right employees. Maybe you want to run a better event or get more from your partnership agreements.

Whatever topic is on the top of your to-do list, Twitter search can help expose you to a number of valuable resources that can improve your results.

Expect the unexpected

When you start to think differently about how you approach sites like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or LinkedIn — you’ll discover unexpected benefits you never knew existed.

For Twitter, that could mean finding a valuable new source of information that helps you run your business and improve your marketing results. New opportunities exist on other networks as well.

Want to learn more?

Stay on top of the all the latest social media and email marketing trends! Sign up for our Hints & Tips newsletter to get our best blog posts delivered to your inbox twice each month.