People can brag all they want about their number of followers on social media sites like Twitter but if you’re a business looking to convert followers into customers, it’s not going to matter much if all the followers you amass are located outside of your market. While following national accounts like industry influencers and news organizations is a good way to stay informed, targeting a more local audience is an important part of building your Twitter followers. There are a number of ways to do this.
One way to net local followers is to advertise your Twitter page to the people already frequenting your store, website, and other social media. Be sure to insert a Twitter icon into print advertisements to let people know that you’re out there. Cross post to your Facebook page. Put a sign up on your counter and offer special deals to people who follow you. The easiest way to build a base is by utilizing the one you already have.
Another excellent way to build a list of local followers is to interact with area notables. Start conversations with the area news broadcasters, they tend to Tweet a lot and have a dedicated following. Their followers will see your interactions and, if they’re of substance, may begin to follow you on their own, interested in seeing what you have to say.
In the advanced search function of Twitter, you can search for users based on their proximity to you, another method of finding the people most likely to drive to your store. Searching city-specific hashtags also work well, especially so when combining them with a term relevant to your business. So if you’re a shoe store in metro Detroit, type #shoes #detroit and you may get a page of results of locals tweeting about shoes. Of course, you don’t want to be spammy in interacting with these people, just friendly and fun but at the same time putting the idea into their heads that you know a thing or two about shoes.
If you’re a business with a physical location, your surrounding communities are most likely going to be your main source of customers. Why would you focus on people outside of those communities on social media?