Lurking Made Easy By Twitter

It’s been a hot week so I thought I’d keep this post light and non-taxing.

By now, some if not most asset managers are finding a way to monitor social sites for mentions of their subject domains, their people, their products and their competitors. More than a few are all-in, having made serious investments in industrial strength tools.

Here’s an easy, no-cost way to keep an eye on what other mutual fund and exchange-traded fund (ETF) firms are doing on just one site, Twitter. I’m not aware of anything else you can use to gain these insights so effortlessly.

Start With A Single Purpose Twitter Account

First, some background: After Twitter announced enhancements a few weeks ago, I reactivated a Twitter account that I’d established while dabbling with the curation service. See the June 18, 2010, post "How Are Asset Managers Using Twitter? This Might Help."

I'd created the @AssetMgrs Twitter account as an account that follows the Twitter accounts of asset managers only, and that account is what feeds the "Asset Managers Daily." (I keep track of asset managers on Twitter with a Twitter list that includes 60 names to date. If your firm's name belongs on the list, please let me know.)

Twitter's recent introduction of "tailored trends" is the reason I returned to the account.  Although I am a Belieber (and more today than yesterday but not as much as tomorrow), Justin and other non-business related memes have occupied Twitter's default trends to the point where they're really not useful.

But, tailored trends have the potential to provide value because they are based on who the account follows and location. I haven't provided location for the @AssetMgrs account for fear of skewing the trends. The hope is that the tailored trends will be a reliable reflection of what firms are saying or linking to.

That hasn’t proven out yet, as you can see from this screenshot of the account's #Discover tab yesterday. Twitter is rolling out tailored trends so maybe it's just a matter of time.

Twitter Activity = Competitive Intelligence

But what is revealing is the account's Activity feature reachable from the #Discover tab. Activity reports the latest follows, favorites and Twitter list changes of the accounts that @AssetMgrs is following. Here's a screenshot of some activity from yesterday. You could see all of this by visiting each account's Twitter profile but this serves it all up to you. This is a window for watching how others are building out their accounts and could give you some ideas.

I wish I could share the Activity page with you but it’s viewable by the accountholder only. You’ll be able to access only an Activity page from your own account.

Of course, you could just follow the asset managers you care about and plan to track their activity along with all others your account follows. But the beauty of using a Twitter account to follow just asset managers (or any other group you’re especially interested in) is that all activity will be relevant. It might be worth it to you to establish a separate account for the purpose of following only. Even better will be when tailored trends kicks in for your account.

This is going to do it for me for a week or so. There’s a boat that needs some rocking in real life so that’s how I’ll be celebrating Independence Day. Hope you have your own way of seeing some fireworks on the Fourth. See you back here the week of July 9.