I’ve recently begun the process of trying to grow my baby Twitter accounts for my clients, and even though I’ve studied this for years, I’m realizing it’s not as easy as it looks. Especially when you’re trying to find local people. For example, it’s not hard to find college students on Twitter (like I’ve done for College Junction). Just use a few good keywords in the search bar and you’re there. But what do you do when you want to find people in a specific area? It doesn’t do a whole lot of good to have someone in Nevada following my pest control company on Twitter. Doesn’t hurt, but also do them a lot of good or me. So how do I find people in my area? I’ve discovered a few tips and tricks and thought I’d share in case anyone else is trying to do the same.
First of all, I’d just like to say…
I like to think I came up with all of these ideas on my own, but I’ve studied this for years, like I said. And my greatest source of inspiration came from my boss’s book The Tao of Twitter. Check it out if you haven’t already seen it. I highly recommend it. It’s an easy read and a must have for any business owner trying to maneuver the waters of Twitter without much (or any) experience.
So without further ado, let me give you some tips (some that I’ve come up with on my own, and some I’ve learned from others) to help you with finding local followers on Twitter to help grow your company.
1. Search for the City in The Search Bar
When you log on to Twitter, you’ll notice there’s a handy little search bar on the top right of the page. While it’s no Google, it’s still a pretty powerful search engine. You can tweak it if you want to search through tweets or people. I recommend doing both. Type in the city you’re looking for. Try variations of it. If it’s two words, try the words together and try them apart. Try including the state name. Try without the state. Look through tweets. Look through people. Sometimes you will find people tweeting about the city (they might just be visiting, but if you read their tweets, it might give you hints as to if they live there or not and what exactly they do in that city). You can also click on their profiles and many people these days say where they are located. This can save you tons of guesswork. I always check the profile first and if it says the city I’m looking for or somewhere even remotely nearby, then I typically follow.
2. Follow Leads
Every city has a number of Twitter accounts dedicated to the city. You have news channels, meteorologists, local events calendars, newspapers, and more that have Twitter accounts dedicated specifically to the city (for example, see the picture- you have Williamsburg, VA; Williamsburg 411; etc.). While it wouldn’t hurt to follow these people and retweet them sometimes to establish a relationship with them, I think the real value is in their followers. Think about it. The people following them are going to be interested in the city. So click on those profiles and you can see who their followers are. Try following some of them. Bet you’ll notice on their profiles that they live in that city… Also, most of those Twitter accounts (like Williamsburg, VA; and Williamsburg 411) have tons of followers. How’s that for targeted Twitter followers?
3. See What Twitter Says
Sometimes Twitter knows a thing or two. If you look on the left side column after you sign in, it’ll show you a little box that says “Who To Follow”. Sometimes it just puts some junk stuff in there that’s not really useful at all. But sometimes, you hit some real jewels, especially if Twitter can tell you’re aiming for people in a certain city. This isn’t going to work very well for you if you just started a Twitter account for your company and are beginning the process of growing Twitter followers, but keep this in mind as you continue to grow, or if you already have a sizable following and just want to make it even bigger.
4. Make a Phone Book
No… not those kind of phone books. I don’t really have a good picture to show you for this one. But start compiling a phone book of Twitter followers in the area and their username. This is particularly useful if you have a job like mine where you manage multiple Twitter accounts for small businesses in the same area. They’re all going to be targeting people in the same area and while some of those people will be more likely to use a pest control service instead of a chiropractor, you never know who needs what service. The best way to compile a phone book is to start a list in an Excel document. I’ve already started to make my list. Write down names of people on Twitter and their handle. You can add more info if you want, such as interests and how many followers they have and how often they tweet. But the essentials are their name and handle. You can find this as people follow your account, or if you go through the “Who To Follow” recommendations that Twitter gives you. Make a master document and then you can use this on all of your accounts to make sure that all of your clients are reaching out to people in the city. And who knows… I bet some companies would be willing to buy a copy of that phone book off you, and it wouldn’t even be illegal because it’s all public info… most people just don’t have time to sit down and find it.
So there it is. Not a lot of profound info, but hopefully something to help you out if you’re trying to find local followers on Twitter. What do you think? Do you have some other tips or ideas? What are your tips for finding local followers on Twitter? Post on here and let us know!