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Twitter Search for Hyper-Local Social Media Marketing

Twitter search is now one of the most widely used search engines on the web.  With more than 1 billion tweets indexed each month, and more than 150 million Twitter members, that’s a lot of timely content and people at your fingertips.  I know you may be thinking, “but real estate is local, none of those people are relevant to my business.”  While the vast majority of Twitter’s user base may not be relevant, there is a small sub-set of users that are highly relevant and potentially valuable to your business.  In this post I’ll cover one great way to reach those highly valuable users.

In my opinion, advanced Twitter search is one of the most powerful tools on the web, yet it remains one of the least leveraged.  One of the most important features for the real estate industry is the location-based search option.  Using this feature, you can refine your search for people only in your local market who are tweeting about topics related to your business.  Let’s say you’re a real estate agent in San Francisco, here is an example location-based search that I entered for tweets containing the word “realtor” within 10 miles of San Francisco:

And here is the search results for my query above:

While many of the results won’t be relevant, you’ll occasionally get a golden nugget like the tweet by @SFMomsLikeMe highlighted above – “Selecting a realtor in Bay Area-got any tips?” I’m just not sure it gets much more targeted than that.  You know this person is a mom, is located in San Francisco, is in the market for a Realtor, and is seeking advice on how to best choose one.  Seems like a perfect opportunity to tactfully engage them in real-time.  Follow this user on Twitter, tweet at her and point her to the valuable information you have on your blog/website about the local market.  You get the idea, use this as a window to share helpful knowledge with the goal of proving that you’re the best Realtor for the person you’re reaching out to.

At my local services start-up, SkillSlate, we’ve had some early success reaching out to and engaging with prospective members for our site by conducting location-based Twitter searches on the various categories of service providers in our test market of New York.  I hope that you can leverage similar practices as outlined above in order to better leverage the powerful hyper-local capabilities that Twitter offers in order to grow your business.  Good luck!

About Brian Rothenberg

Currently a founding team member and Head of Product & Search for, a venture-backed startup in the local services space. Former Product Manager for Yahoo! Real Estate and Team Lead for search engine optimization (SEO) across several business units in the Local & Commerce division of Yahoo!.

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