While we often use social media to stay in touch with those furthest from us, sometimes the most valuable sources that we can friend and follow are in much, much closer proximity.
Twitter, in particular, with its evolution into a platform for instant news and updates, boasts a wide array of journalists, bloggers and everyday people who have something worthwhile and useful to say to those local to them.
Interested in getting the latest local news, updates, reviews, politics, opinions and more? If so, use these tips to find hyperlocal bloggers on Twitter:
1. Search by Locale
This one may sound like a no-brainer, but remember that people are free to enter any word they like as their location and you’ll need to narrow your search terms accordingly. Searching by the name of your city or town is a great way to start, but narrowing down your search terms to include the names of districts, neighborhoods and even streets is a necessary method to help you to locate as many pertinent users as possible.
Tip: Include any appropriate term that you can think of, even nicknames – for example, “Big Apple” or “NYC” for New York City.
2. Search by Local Hashtag
Keeping in mind that the local people that you’re looking to connect with on Twitter are probably also looking for the same thing, keep an eye on local hashtags that you can use to find not only new sources to follow, but local news, events and other updates, as well. Given their popularity, hashtags have become the premiere way to find narrowly focused content on Twitter and you’re very likely to find more than a few pertaining to your region.
Tip: In order to identify pertinent hashtags, take the time to experiment within Twitter with terms that apply particularly to your area. This will allow you to find new hashtags to bookmark from both the search results and the additional hashtags that you’ll find connected to the localized tweets of others.
3. Search by Affiliation
Some of the hyperlocal bloggers that you’re looking for will be affiliated with local newspapers, magazines and other journalistic sources, making them easier to search for on Twitter. If the organization in question doesn’t already use hashtags for its tweets, you can use Twitter’s nifty ability to search within biography information to nail your favorite sources down.
Focus your efforts on the names of local sources and businesses and you’re sure to come away with at least a few new Tweeters worth following.
4. Check Local Newspapers
If you’re looking for journalists in particular, you may find that local newspapers include Twitter feed URLs alongside other personal information associated with each column with the physical paper itself, giving you easy access to several important accounts without the need for any difficult research at all.
Be sure to have a look at both individual stories and the main credits and editorial comments page; either or both could have just the information you’re looking for (Hat tip to Tom of VIP Realty Dallas).
No matter your niche or your goals, rubbing shoulders with potential readers and sources is going to prove to be a very important part of the way that you work online and this means getting out into the world at large in order to connect with like-minded people. Not only will this reveal valuable Twitter accounts, but you’ll make friendships that will prove valuable in both your personal and business lives, as well.
6. Be an Active Tweeter
Probably the best way to connect with your colleagues on Twitter is to be active and enjoyable with your own tweets. This will help you to gain the recognition that you’re working for, making others aware of your Twitter activity and bringing them directly to you without the need for any additional legwork!
For best results, be sure to include localized hashtags in your tweets that you’ve identified as being directly related to your target audience. In addition, consider giving local colleagues a shout-out within your tweets when appropriate, giving them a reason to pay attention and potentially retweet or respond, creating just the sort of conversation that you’re looking for.