It’s been about a month now since Twitter started rolling out its redesigned Discover tab, and I think we’re all still trying to figure out what this means for businesses, especially local ones. Focused on making the Twitter experience as relevant and personalized for each user as possible, the retooled Discover tab displays popular articles and breaking stories via Twitter’s real-time search technology that it thinks will interest you the most – based on your interests and location. And of course, the more you use Twitter, the more customized your overall experience becomes.
This is a godsend for big brands for two main reasons:
- Because Twitter makes most of their money on promoted tweets, promoted trends and promoted accounts, big brands obviously have the cash on hand to promote themselves and enhance their Twaura.
- With the new Discover tab’s main objective of personalizing and simplifying your Twitter experience, big brands can also use their colossal marketing budgets to publish content – emphasizing multimedia – that will fall in line with their target market’s interests.
Yes, big companies are going to have an overwhelming presence on Twitter, but that’s to be expected. They’re big for a reason, right? Local businesses simply can’t afford to donate exclusive time to social media nor match the budgets of their larger counterparts.
HOWEVER, there are local search marketing strategies that can help catapult a small business into industry/niche leader and become a recurring presence on the Discover tab (the latter of which further reinforces the former). How? Well, my friends, it all goes back to the entire purpose of Discover’s redesign: personalizing content for users based on their interests and location. Let’s take a gander…
Follow, Engage and Retweet Prominent Local Influencers
In order to be relevant in the Discover tab, you need to establish relationships with myriad local people and places of interest. And I mean everyone and everything that has a Following and consistently drives engagement with their users. Find local publications, sports teams, schools and universities, places of interests, community groups, possible vertical businesses, etc. and start networking with them.
- Send them a Direct Message saying how much you enjoy – or are infatuated with, if you want to go that route – their organization and content and make sure to end it with a sign-off that includes your personal name.
- Retweet important Tweets about local news (preferably groundbreaking, but interesting stories work too), upcoming events (concerts, community activities, high school plays, etc.), things to do in the area, etc.
- @Reply to their Tweets by adding something new to the conversation, or by asking a question that encourages – and essentially requires – a response.
Basicallywhat you want to do is establish your presence in your community by engaging local Influencers who have a good Following on Twitter. If you can establish relationships with them and treat them like kings while doing so, they will be more likely to return the favor and RT something(s) of yours down the road. The same concepts apply to your overall local search engine optimization campaign as well.
Research Upcoming Local Events and Tweet About Them
Go to your search engine of choice – wait, sorry… Go to Google and research upcoming events that you think people will be interested in. Even if they’re under the radar, they’re still worth mentioning.
Once you’ve found some, check to see if either the performer/host and/or the venue are active on Twitter. If they are, @Mention them in your Tweet and be sure to be excited about it. For example…
@STS9 is playing this weekend @RedRocksONLINE. So excited! It’s going to be a blast!
Can’t wait for the @STS9 show this weekend at Red Rocks. They’re amazing… it’s going to be epic!!
Can’t wait for STS9’s gig this weekend @RedRocksONLINE. Great night of music at the best music venue in the world!
See what I did there? Either @Mention the artists and venue in the same tweet, or compose two separate tweets that are more catered to each of the @Influencers. (Just be sure to space them out a bit if you opt for the second option.) If you get a RT on this, especially when it’s on a smaller scale, you’re one step closer to Twinfluence and Twapturing your twarget market. Sorry… had to do it.
Use Keywords and #Hashtags That Are Being Used
Twitter’s Advanced Search is one of my favorite research tools because you can narrow your search by location. See what’s being said, what words people are using and who is saying them, just as you would in your local search SEO campaign.
Hashtags.org is a great site for researching #hashtag use, but you can also do that right there on Twitter itself to save some time. And for using #hashtags, you can also include your city/county in it as well to localize your Tweets even more. Example:
Just devoureda DE-LISH chili cheese dog at @Wienerschnitzel in #Irvine. Gosh I love that place!
Just please don’t use too many @Mentions or #hashtags in a Tweet. It looks weird and spammy and is actually one of the main reasons Twusers (again, sorry) Unfollow people.
Remember, on a larger scale big brands will inevitably capture a large segment of the market. However on a smaller, more local scale, local businesses can definitely make a name for themselves – even if you only spend 2 hours on Twitter every week. The redesigned Discover tab is all about personalizing the user experience, and because the average user doesn’t Follow a gajillion random accounts and probably Follows at least a few local businesses and sources of information, tapping into this segment is vital.
While there are so many more things you can do to solidify your presence on the Discover tab and work to corner your niche, these are a few strategies that are not too time intensive and can really help you become a prominent source of local information.
One of the main goals of social media marketing is getting into the minds of potential customers; and if your business name is consistently floating around your local Twitter niche, there’s more of a chance they’ll remember you in the future, whether consciously or subconsciously.
Ajay Prasad is the Founder and President of GMR Web Team, a leading healthcare digital marketing agency. He guides small and medium size healthcare practices/businesses in customizing their online marketing strategy, focused on building a loyal base of patients and improving their patient acquisition. Ajay believes in an improved patient experience as the key to successful healthcare business, which can be accomplished with the right marketing plan in place.