By using Twitter’s in built search bar in a particular way, you can search for Tweets by location, and even Tweets within a radius of a particular point that mention a specific word or phrase. While this can prove to be interesting in itself, you can use this type of search to take part in discussions and engage with potential customers too.
A geolocation is automatically added to each of your Tweets.
Take a look at this image. It shows the ‘Privacy and Safety’ section within ‘Settings and Privacy’ on Twitter.
You have the option to turn off adding a location to each Tweet. However, the option that gets overlooked (and we can take advantage of) is your phone’s ‘Location Services’.
Even if you’re not sharing your location in your Tweets because you’ve turned off the “Add a location to my Tweets” option in Twitter, when you Tweet from your phone, Twitter will embed your geolocation within the Tweet if you have “Location Services” turned on.
So, how do we take advantage of that and search for Tweets by location?
Firstly, you need to determine the geolocation of your search (that is, the latitude and longitude). This is easily done (for free) by using an online tool such as MyGeoPosition.com. In the example below, I’ve used MyGeoPosition.com to find the geolocation of Tuesday Market Place in King’s Lynn.
It tells me that the latitude is 52.7564510 and the longitude is 0.3940240. The next thing we need to do, is determine the radius of the search from this location in km. For example, I might want to search for Tweets posted within 20 miles of the Tuesday Market Place, and so my radius would be approximately 32km. You then type this in Twitter’s search bar (top right of your screen) in a format it will understand:
So, for my Tuesday Market Place example, I’d type:
And when I do, I see the following results:
Make sure you click on ‘Latest’ to see an up to date live stream of results from your search. Now, all we are seeing here is Tweets that have been posted within 20 miles of our geolocation. To really make it useful, we can add a search term, and look for Tweets within 20 miles of our geolocation that mention a particular word or phrase. Your new search will look like this:
geocode:latitude,longitude,radius, search term
As an example, I chose the search term ‘Chinese’, as I am hungry! The search looked like this:
The search produced these results:
Now, I’m not saying that a Chinese restaurant should be interacting with each of these conversations, but they certainly could ‘like’ some of the Tweets and comment on others (just don’t be too ‘salesy’). If you make the search term relevant to you and your business, you could find Twitter users who are asking for recommendations about a particular product or service that you sell in that search radius. For example, a quick search for a Norwich geolocation with the search term “web developer” produced results like this:
If you are comfortable with using Tweetdeck, you can easily set up a column to constantly monitor the results of your search without having to enter it over and over again.
Twitter can be a fantastic tool for identifying and engaging in conversation with prospects. I hope that being able to search Tweets by location has made doing so a little easier for you!