5 Ways to Use Twitter to Connect With Local Customers

social media how toDoes your business rely on local customers? Are you looking for ways to make your business more visible in your neighborhood?

You know that the Internet puts your business within a few keystrokes of people anywhere around the world. But did you know that social media tools, especially Twitter, help you pinpoint people who live and work in your neighborhood?

Twitter allows you to locate people who live or tweet in your city or neighborhood, people you know, as well as people you don’t yet know. This makes Twitter the ideal tool for infiltrating your neighborhood.

How to Search for Local People

Most Twitter users occasionally tweet about the things around them. This means that you can find local people by searching tweets for things in or near your business location.

For example, you can search for:

  • City name
  • Neighborhood or community name
  • Local landmarks
  • Local businesses
  • Event venues, museums and public locations
  • Local fairs, parades and community events
  • Hashtag identifiers for a local community or event

When you search for your city name on Twitter, you have to look for all of the possible ways people may type it. Experiment with the options to figure out which ones give you the best search results. You can also use Twitter’s search operators to string together multiple options in one search or exclude items from your results.

twitter help center

From this list you can fine-tune your search query.

#1: Find Local People Using Tweets Near You

Twitter lets you search through current tweets to find the name of your city, a neighborhood name, a local landmark or a business. You can narrow the results to only the tweets posted near your location.

Search Twitter for your city name.

Use the Twitter search box to find tweets about your location. Twitter shows the most recent tweets that match your search on the Tweets tab.

twitter search city tempe tweets redacted

The Tweets tab shows current tweets that contain the city name "Tempe, AZ."

View the tweets posted near you.

Click the Tweets Near You tab. Twitter shows a list of the most recent tweets that match your search posted by people near your current location.

twitter search city

Click the Tweets Near You tab to find tweets in your results posted by people near your location.

Review the list of tweets and follow local people.

Read the tweets in your search results. When you find a tweet from someone who might be in your target location, click the account name. Twitter shows you a brief account profile in the flyout in the right pane. In the flyout, click Follow to add this person to your Twitter community.

twin palms hotel flyout

The flyout shows a brief Twitter profile with the Follow button.

#2: Find Local People With Your City Name in Their Profile

Twitter allows you to search through profiles to find people who list your city name. Unfortunately, Twitter only shows a few people, not everyone who lists your city in their profile.

Search Twitter for your city name.

Search for your city name (and its variations) in the Twitter search box. Twitter shows the most recent tweets that match your search on the Tweets tab.

Search for your city name in profiles.

Click the People tab. Twitter shows a list of people whose profile location contains your city name.

twitter search

Click the People tab to find people who list your city name in their profile.

Review the list and add local people.

Review the people in your search results. Click the account name to display a brief Twitter profile in the flyout. Click Follow to add a person to your Twitter community.

#3: Find Local People With Twitter Advanced Search

Twitter’s advanced search page allows you to add geography to your search. For example, you can search through the most recent tweets posted within 1 or 5 miles of a city by name or zip code. The search results are current tweets, so every time you do this search, you get different results.

Display the Twitter advanced search page.

Set your geography range.

In the Places box, identify your city by name or zip code, and select your range using the drop-down options.

twitter search advanced

Twitter lets you search for all tweets near your city by name or zip code.

Review the list of tweets and follow local people.

Read the tweets in your search results. When you find a tweet from someone you want to follow, hover your mouse over the account name. Twitter shows a brief account profile in a hovercard.

twitter search advanced

You can follow a Twitter user from the hovercard or expand it to see more profile information.

Click More to see the expanded hovercard with more profile details. Click Follow to add this person to your Twitter community.

twitter search advanced

You can follow a local Twitter user from the hovercard.

#4: Find Local People Using Twitter Grader

There are many Twitter search tools developed by other companies that help you search through the tweet stream and Twitter profiles to find people in your locale. Twitter Grader evaluates the effectiveness of Twitter users by calculating a grade from 1 to 100. They list the top 50 people in each city as the Twitter Elite.

Display the Twitter Grader Top Users by Location page.

Search for people in your city.

twitter grader

Twitter Grader is a free tool that allows you to check the power of your Twitter profile compared to millions of other users who have been graded.

Review the list of people.

Twitter Grader shows the Twitter Elite list for your city. When you find a person you want to follow, click the Twitter account name.

twitter grader

Locate a person you want to follow and click on the Twitter account name.

Click on the full name.

Twitter Grader shows an account summary. Click on the full name. Twitter Grader pulls up the Twitter profile for the user.

twitter grader account summary

Click on the Full Name to display the Twitter profile for this user.

Follow the user.

In the Twitter profile, click Follow to add this person to your Twitter community.

#5: Find Local People Using Twellowhood.

Twellow is a public Twitter directory. The Twellowhood feature allows you to find people by location.

Display the Twellowhood map page.

On the Twellowhood map, click your continent, then country, then state or province.

twellowhood

Twellow lets you drill down to a city from a world map.

Select your city.

Twellowhood displays a list of cities with Twitter users for your state or province. Click on your city name in the list.

twellowhood city list

Twellow displays a list of cities with the number of Twitter users in each city.

Review the list of Twitter users and choose people to follow.

Twellow displays a list of Twitter users in your city. Review the people in your search results. When you find someone you want to follow, click the account name.

twellowhood user list

Click on the Twitter name to display the Twitter profile for this user.

Follow the user.

Twellow pulls up the Twitter profile for the user. In the Twitter profile, click Follow to add this person to your Twitter community.

How do you reach out to new people on Twitter? Have you tried any of these tools? Do you have other strategies that work for you? Share your successes in the comments box below.

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About the Author, Charlene Kingston

Charlene Kingston teaches small businesses how to build a strong online presence with a thriving community through her blog, free webinars, courses, ebooks and personal consultations at the Social Media DIY Workshop. Other posts by »




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