April 30, 2013 Jaclyn Bickerton
Look out Foursquare; rumor has it that Twitter is in the process of testing a new feature that lets you discover tweets from people within a certain distance of your location. The whole idea is to surface relevant activity based on your location, and serve up tweets from people around you, regardless of whether you follow them or not. Now once this feature is active, it’ll only be a matter of time before Twitter starts offering this service to advertisers.
I came across a great article by Lauren Dugan on Mediabistro called “5 Essential Tips for Local Businesses on Twitter” that I want to share with you in light of the Twitter rumor. Whether you’re looking for a head start on all this local tweeting, or just want to develop your Twitter strategy, here are 5 Twitter tips for local businesses:
1. Use Twitter’s advanced search a lot
Twitter allows you to refine keyword searched by location. All you have to do is put in a phrase that you think potential customers would tweet, enter your city in the “Near this place” field, and watch the tweets pour in. You may have to play around with these keywords a bit, but when you discover the dozens of people tweeting about “emergency dental care in Pittsburgh” you can save that search for future reference.
2. Network with local influencers
Use Twitter’s advanced search to determine which twitter accounts are most active in your city. Put a few of these into a list and try and interact with any many of them as possible. These influencers may not be your target, but this can help raise your Twitter profile locally and put your business on the radar for those who are.
3. Get to know your competition
Conduct a competitor analysis to see what your competition is doing. Add your competitors into a private list and keep checking up on them occasionally, you may even learn something from them!
4. Tell everyone you’re on Twitter
Most local businesses already have a customer base when they start out on Twitter. Put signs up in your store and add your Twitter handle to your business card, Facebook page, and website to spread the word about your presence. This can encourage customers to come to you; they just need to know that you’re there.
5. Keep content fresh, interesting, and low on self-promotion
People following your business on Twitter are not following you to be spammed with advertising. They follow your business for ideas, insights, and thought leadership. This doesn’t mean that you can’t promote your contests, deals, or specials; it just means that this can’t be the only thing you’re doing.
Jaclyn Bickerton, Social Media, Raven5 Ltd, Oakville & Toronto, Ontario, April 2013