One of the most common questions I hear from business owners is:
“How do I find new customers on social media?”
That’s a sensible question, of course, especially if you’re marketing to a business-to-consumer audience.
This post will walk you through a few simple steps to find new customers on Twitter using geo-targeted searches.
While this method won’t work for every single business, it’s a handy “trick” for many so keep reading!
How To Use Twitter’s Geo-location Search
When I said “simple” in the title, I meant it.
- Navigate to Twitter and log in.
- In the search bar at the top of Twitter, use the following structure: [insert keyword] near:”insert city name”
This search will show you all tweets made near your selected city that include your keyword.
Let’s Walk Through Some Examples
Say you’re marketing for a dentist’s office in Louisville and you want to find new patients on social media.
Using the method above, you could search Twitter for — toothache near:”Louisville”
Twitter will return all tweets from people near Louisville that mentioned the keyword “toothache”.
“Great, I found people who I may be able to help. Now what?”
Here’s where things get slightly less simple, because you have to actually use your marketing brain a little bit!
You don’t want to reply to these tweets with, “Hey, we can help! Call to schedule an appointment!”
That comes across as callous and shows you’re only interested in getting their business rather than helping them.
Instead, try leading with empathy. Maybe something like:
Ouch! Toothaches are no fun. Try taking some ibuprofen or Advil to ease the pain temporarily.
From there you’ll have to see where the conversation goes.
If they reply and open the door to deeper conversation, you could probe them for more information like how long they’ve had the toothache and which tooth is hurting.
Following from that discussion, you may be able to diagnose them with a more serious issue, such as abscessed tooth, which definitely warrants a visit to a dentist’s office.
Now, you’ve done a few great things.
- You led with empathy and spoke to this potential patient as a human being, not as a number.
- You showed genuine interest in their well-being by offering solutions to ease their pain.
- You started building a relationship with the person.
At this point, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for the sale; never asking for the sale is as bad an idea as leading with the sale.
Here’s an opportunity to really “wow!” the potential patient. Instead of telling them to call to schedule an appointment, have them send you a private Direct Message and schedule the appointment directly via Twitter.
Combine the genuine empathy with the convenience of scheduling an appointment online so easily and you may have just found yourself a loyal patient!
Another Straightforward Example
If you’re marketing for a golf course in Nashville, search — golf near:”Nashville”
Let’s say that search returns a tweet from someone asking:
What’s the best golf course in Nashville?
You could reply to that person by extending a discount for a round of golf at your course.
You could take the extra step and ask if they would like to set up a tee time via Twitter.
Again, this shows you’re willing to go the extra mile, you’re willing to listen, and you’re willing to engage your potential customers as people rather than numbers.
Limitations of Location Based Searches
This isn’t some “Holy Grail” of marketing your business on Twitter.
As with anything, there are limitations.
The first limitation is many people don’t provide their location when starting a Twitter account or publishing tweets.
Obviously, the search won’t provide information if the data isn’t there to back it.
Another limitation is certain industries have legal and privacy barriers that will prevent this tactic from being effective.
If you’re in the medical, legal, or financial fields, there’s a chance you can’t legally use this strategy.
Even if you’re legally allowed, people will likely be averse to putting some information in the open, so you could struggle to find meaningful leads using this method.
The Principles Remain
Even if you’re in an industry where this specific tactic might not be so effective, the general principles shown throughout the post still apply to all our marketing efforts, online or offline.
Seek first to help people, be genuinely empathetic to their situation, and, ultimately, acknowledge and do your best to resolve their pain points.
You can’t go wrong following those principles no matter what marketing medium you’re using.