Twitter is awesome. It can inspire people to do great things, it helps complete strangers become acquaintances, it’s great for getting news fast and from street level, and it’s even been used for organizing protests. It’s basically a firehose of information, and when used correctly, it can bring in a steady stream of customers. Here’s the thing, Twitter’s not just for reaching people online, you can start real life relationships with potential customers in your neighborhood. I’ve compiled a quick guide to help you get started. Make your Twitter look pretty No one wants to see an ugly twitter feed, and so they usually don’t follow it. Make sure you have a clear profile for your business, a nice cover photo, and appropriate colors. Go back and delete any embarrassing tweets, or tweets that just aren’t on brand. Make sure your bio has your town and website in it, and a good short description of what you do. Unfollow anybody that’s not a friend, someone in your target audience, or a useful source of information. A clean feed improves your chances that someone will follow you. Use FollowerWonk to find locals FollowerWonk has a great tool that let’s you find people that are located in your town. Just use the advanced search tool, and look for people in your town and the surrounding towns. Follow people that are likely to be interested in your product or services. You’ll get followed back more than you expect, especially when they see you’re a local business. Find the influencers You probably know a handful of influential people in your town. Start searching for their names on twitter and follow them. Not only will you get a lot of useful information from them, you might get a few retweets, that will spread your tweet to just the right audience. Also, don’t just follow them, but try to start up a conversation by mentioning them in a tweet. You’ll be surprised by how many people will respond. Really distribute your content Instead of just posting links and advertisements from your twitter, really try to get to know people. When you post a link, mention someone that you think will actually enjoy it. When you want to post an ad, ask for people’s responses instead. Start contests, do giveaways, make your feed a fun place to be. Use Geo search for tweets, look for things to comment on One of the underutilized tools on Twitter is the advanced search. Make sure you’re constantly scanning tweets that are near your location, and respond to relevant ones. Make sure they’re appropriate for your business, if you’re an kids clothing store, you probably don’t want to be commenting on that huge fraternity party next week. Cheer on your local sports teams, offer discounts for conferences in town, etc. Especially watch for local hashtags, these can be great for getting involved. Alright, there’s your quick guide to getting local business from twitter. You can find me on twitter here. Also, what have you done on twitter that has helped your business?