Much of your success on Twitter will depend upon who you choose to form relationships with and how you go about forging those relationships. Much of this revolves around figuring out the best people to follow on Twitter – or rather, the best kinds of people to follow on Twitter.
In the early days of your Twitter marketing campaign, following people is how you get followers. So you want to be focused and targeted when you first start choosing accounts. Here are four types of people to target.
1. Local Organizations
Follow your local Chamber of Commerce, your local news outlets, and local charities. If you spend any time talking about outdoor issues, follow the county extension in your service area or city, too.
This will give you a lot of information about community events, which make great blog posts and re-tweets.
2. Local Bloggers
Most cities have a handful of popular local bloggers. Those bloggers are often more than happy to talk about great businesses in their city once you’ve formed a relationship with them.
Local bloggers respond really well to sharing because they’re alert to such things. They also appreciate it when you make comments on their blog.
It’s not super hard to get on their radar. It’s especially important to hook up with people who are actually in your niche – that local gardening blogger could be a big help to a fence contractor or landscaping contractor.
3. Local People
Look for local people in your target demographic. Do you sell services to well-off homeowners? Then look for local professionals: attorneys, journalists, real estate agents, insurance agents and other pros who are likely to make enough money to own a home.
If you can form a relationship with these people then you’ll be the first person they think of when they need your type of services. They may refer you to their friends, too.
4. Local Referral Partners
I touched on this when I talked about online networking. If you’re a contractor, think about following every other non-competing contractor in your city, along with the real estate agents already mentioned.
You might get a chance to share some of the cool things that other contractors have done, which always earns some appreciation and enthusiasm. Again, some of those contractors might think of you when they’re trying to decide who they might pass a lead to.
Finding these Accounts
Twitter search is a good start. Try #Cityname. Twellow is another very helpful resource that will help you dig up accounts that don’t show up on a Twitter search.
Don’t forget to tag many of your tweets with the #Cityname hashtag as well. This is helpful as it draws attention from others who are looking to connect with people inside of their own city.
For local business owners the goal of Twitter is not to gain 10,000 followers. The goal is to forge great relationships with local people. After all, useful relationships is what Twitter is all about.