More and more chambers of commerce are starting to use Twitter recently. However, I’ve noticed that many chambers only have a few followers and they are typically following even fewer people. Of course, the best way to get more followers is to tweet frequently about topics of interest to your audience, share valuable information and engage them in conversations.
Another way is to follow people located in your area. When they see that a local organization is following them and that you’re providing relevant information, they will likely follow you, too.
I’ve said before that chambers of commerce were the original social networking platform. Chambers bring businesses together through events, committees and other meetings in the hopes of future business transactions. Now, chambers have the opportunity to continue being the “great connector” in local online conversations.
But, how can you find Tweeple in your community? Sure, you can try Twitter search to see who’s tweeting about your area, but you can also use the tools below. One tip: be sure to add your location to your Twitter profile! All of the tools below will search that field.
Monitter is a real-time monitoring tool that lets you see who is tweeting in your area and about what keywords. First, at the top of the page, enter the radius you want to search around and the city where you’re located. You can also enter three different keywords to search that are being tweeted by people in the area you’re searching. (You can also add/subtract columns using the ‘–‘ and ‘+’ buttons at the bottom of the page.) You might enter “chamber” or “taxes” or anything else that’s likely to be talked about by people in your community. From your search results, simply click on the users name to go to their Twitter page, where you can follow them if you like.
Nearby Tweets also allows you to search in a radius near a certain location and by keywords as well. It doesn’t update automatically like Monitter does, but it has a nice interface and is easy to use. Once you search for local tweeters, you can click on their name to access their Twitter page and then follow them.
Twitter Local is not a browser-based too; it’s an Adobe Air application, similar to Tweetdeck or Twhirl, so if you like those tools, you’ll probably like Twitter Local, too. Once you download and install it (Adobe Air is required for installation, which is free, too), then enter your location and your radius to start finding local tweeters.
Oh boy, if you’re not addicted to Twitter yet, prepare to be! Twitter Grader “grades” your Twitter account based the people you follow, your followers and the number and frequency of your tweets. Once you get graded, you can see who the top tweeters are in your city and state. As you continue to add more followers and post more items, head back to Grader and see how your score has improved. Once you've been graded a few times, you'll probably keep going back to see how your score has changed (thereby the addiction begins). :-) There’s also a feature under your Tweet Cloud that lets you check to see if someone is following you, too.
There are so many Twitter tools out there...these are just a few. If you’re using another tool to find and connect with local tweeters, please let me know in the comments below.
I know that Frank Kenny of the North Mason WA Chamber and Daniel Klotz of the Lancaster PA Chamber and several other chamber executives have assembled lists of Twitter users in their communities and are working to connect businesses in their area through social media. The opportunities are there for you to do the same!
Be sure to follow back the people that follow you, too….especially if they are in your community. You are using social media to see what’s important to the businesses in your area and engage them with conversations. If you don’t follow people, you will appear interested only in promoting your views. You’ve probably seen Twitter users who follow 100 people, but are being followed by 1,000. What does that make you think about how likely they are to “hear” your concerns?
Here’s another recent post of mine that may be useful, too: Twitter tips for Chambers
Also, here is an excellent resource for anyone new to Twitter. There are loads of great tips, lingo and other information for everyone just getting started on Twitter.