Twitter’s basic etiquette is generally follow-me and I-might-follow-you, so you must be following people who have some interest in your product, and they might just return the favor. So really the trick is to *find* local followers, and follow them. (I’d like to point out that many blogs would just BS around that concept without any further information, but this one’s going to give you something meaty to chew on.)
So how do you find those people? Well think about reality for a minute. In case you’ve forgotten, it’s that thing your start to notice when you laptop battery dies, or the fail whale insists upon smiling at you nonchalantly.
If you were literally, creepily following your customers, where would they be? Let’s say you’re the owner of a toy shop. You notice that most of your products are bought by people who have had kids for some reason. After your clients leave your store with their smiling little creatures, where could you imagine them going? The park? The ice cream parlor? The grocery store? Think about the businesses around you with which you share customers, and capitalize on the work they’ve already done. It’s the American way.
You’ll want to focus on local places, so targeting the followers of @ToyRUs isn’t going to get you anywhere. But if there’s a TRU franchise with its own account near you, have at it. Not likely in this case, but you will be surprised who’s actually out there tweeting, so don’t be afraid to look.
Generally finding one good business can be a jackpot for many more, because they’re usually on lists made up of area businesses by people who want to keep a tab on stuff around their houses. These lists are basically a goldmine of other companies whose followers you can share. This idea is expanded upon in my past blog, here.
Certain cities, such as, (unfortunately) Las Vegas, are more of a challenge for certain industries, because the Twittersphere is run by casinos, clubs, and their promoters, who are largely followed by tourists and other businesses rather than the fantastic locals. So when I can expand the realm of the target to Sparks or Reno, the task has a higher success rate. Small towns can actually be very good for this.
If your service is something a variety of local folks enjoy, such as a gas station or a hospital, you’re in luck. Those types of industries do not need to be as specific in who they seek out, and so absorbing the following of @ColoSpringsNews or @GrouponDenver will be just dandy.
Remember that you need to be continuously purging your follower list every so often (once a week is fine), and I can tell you how to do that manually, here. Or you can go the easier route and pay for a service that will mostly automate the following and purging for you, and you can find info on that here.
Yep, the world of Twitter is just full of possibilities. Happy following, let me know in the comments whose subscribers you plan on creeping!