Twitter wishlist: 5 features to make life easier for business

Twitter started life as a purely social tool. It was quickly picked up in the consumer market and it is now being used in the business to business and professional markets.

But Twitter hasn’t kept pace with what business users need to make it a strategic communication tool. A number of my clients are using Twitter to help their businesses – @eurekaexperts and @bradmanagement are just two examples and these are the features we would love to make Twitter more business-friendly.

1. Word search function

I spotted an interesting tweet the other day and went back later to reply. By then so much activity had gone on that Twitter account I couldn’t find the relevant tweet. I wish I could just have done a quick word search on their tweets. Twitter, please introduce a word search function on an individual’s Twitter stream, including our own!

2. Lists that are lists

Would love to create lists of good tweeters that were a proper list – not just the tweetstreams of those people.

3. Proper search function by business name

Searches for businesses and individuals is all a bit hit and miss on Twitter at the moment. You expect it to be Google with 10,000 search results – but instead get four. If you are lucky. And the person you want not in there.

4. Browse interests to include the business world

Have you looked at the subject categories under ‘Who to follow’?

There are just 20 categories and business has just the ‘Business’ category – no nuances within this. We need a lot more sub-sections within these categories.

5. Recommend people we REALLY want to follow

Don’t recommend our competitors. We want to follow people we’d like to do business with.

I have a feeling I’ve forgotten something – and it’s probably the one I want most! Is there anything that irritates you about Twitter that you’d like solved? Looking at this list, it’s very search-engine based. Perhaps it’s time for Google to take them over and get Twitter working for business.

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Victoria Tomlinson is founder and owner of Harrogate-based PR consultancy, Northern Lights. A former director of Ernst & Young, she started her career as a graduate trainee for Plessey and later with Bradbury Wilkinson, the banknote printers, travelling around the world to sell banknotes to foreign governments. She joined Arthur Young as part of their start-up marketing team and was made a director of client services on the management committee and managing a 100-strong division. Victoria sits on the boards of Bradford University School of Management, Northern Ballet Theatre and Common Purpose North Yorkshire. She is a Prince’s Trust mentor.