Twitter quick tip – connect with people that want your stuff

by on July 7, 2011

Find your small business customers on TwitterHands down one of my favourite uses for Twitter is to find people that are looking for my services. I’ve landed contracts and established connections that could lead to future gigs.

This can work not only for a consultant like me, but really for any small business that is looking to find and interact with potential customers online. With Twitter, you can do this quickly and efficiently. Did I mention that it’s easy and free?

All you need is Twitter search…

Keyword searches

Twitter lets you monitor conversations that contain certain words. Think about the words that your customers would use to describe or look for your business. These are your keywords, and you can look for them on Twitter.

As with any search, the more specific you can be the better. Broad terms will yield tons of results. Narrower terms lead you closer to your ideal searcher.

Local businesses

If your small business serves only your local community, then you will definitely want to be adding a local limitation on what you’re searching for. This ensures that you’re only monitoring for people that want your service in your area.

A local strategy is also a good idea even if your products or services could be used by anyone worldwide. People are becoming more and more interested in connecting with local businesses. Plus, many keywords are simply too general and would give you more results than you have the time to monitor. Adding a local dimension to your search helps to narrow things down considerably, and allows you to reach out to people that live in the same area as you.

If you use Twitter itself to do your tweeting, you can do this by searching for your keyword plus your city name. This will grab anyone in your local area (based on the location provided in the Twitter profile) that uses the keyword in a tweet.

If you use a social media tool for Twitter, you may have other options. I’m a huge Hootsuite fan, and they allow you to add your location to your search results, so that you will only search for tweets that are sent from someone in your local area.

How to save a search in Twitter

The video below shows you how to search from within Twitter…

The opportunity

Monitoring searches on Twitter gives you a great way to connect with others, and gain more visibility for your small business.

By spending just a little bit of time each week looking at your Twitter searches, you will most likely find some opportunities to jump into the conversation, and even promote your services. Someone that is actively looking for what you do will appreciate you reaching out – it makes their life easier after all. And if they’re not interested, they will simply ignore your tweet. No harm done.

Twitter search also allows you to connect with other individuals and businesses that work in your industry. A solid way to boost your connections and get some networking going.

I don’t do Twitter

If your small business does not do Twitter yet, and you’re not sure if it’s the right tactic for you, getting an account to monitor searches is a good way to start. This can help you decide if there is value in Twitter for your business. If your industry is not on the Twitter radar and no one is talking about what you do, there are most likely other internet marketing strategies that are better suited to your goals.

If Twitter search is part of your online communications arsenal, share how you’ve used it to help your business. If it’s new for you, get searching and let us know how it goes.

Image source: Idea go /

Comments, likes and tweets are always appreciated! Did I mention that I LOVE your feedback?

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Lynne Quintana July 7, 2011 at 6:42 pm

For finding people under your niche try twellow. Good tips btw. 🙂



Martina July 8, 2011 at 8:55 am

Great tip Lynne! Thanks 🙂


Debbie July 10, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Hey there, I found you via the mogul mom. Thanks for the informative blog post. I am just getting started on Twitter and can use all the tips I can get. Can’t wait to check out the rest of your blog.
Debbie recently posted..My Favorite Holiday


Martina July 11, 2011 at 10:04 am

Thanks for stopping by Debbie! I’m so glad the post was useful for you. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.


Morgan July 20, 2011 at 8:20 am

Hi Martina!

Twitter is such a powerful tool in so many ways. Like you, I have found companies, people and contracts through Twitter. I love the part about how to find local businesses. For a company like ours where we cater to local businesses, it’s so important to keep it local and interact with those that we think could benefit from our services.

We also use the Twitter Yellow Pages, otherwise known as Twellow. It’s a great way to find targeted people. 🙂

Thanks for the fantastic tips!!
Morgan recently posted..Do you really need a .com domain?


Martina July 21, 2011 at 8:09 am

Hi Morgan,
Yes, isn’t Twitter just amazing? I think that alot of businesses are still shying away from it because they don’t understand the incredible potential and how to use it. The search abilities (and especially the local search) are business gold. Thanks for your comment!


Michael @latteperday August 9, 2011 at 7:04 am

This is a great tip and something I’ve explained to small businesses I have advised with this mini site I created:

Good video demo too : )


Martina August 9, 2011 at 7:53 am

Thanks Michael! I like the clean interface you have going on with your twitter tool. Feel free to pop back and share the benefits of using it vs just regular Twitter search 🙂


Michael @latteperday September 18, 2011 at 6:18 am

Thanks Martina!

To be honest, there’s not much benefit to using it over the regular search in terms of power except that the interface and UI is cleaner and more simplified and focused on # @ Custom searches. If these appeal to someone then they’ll find it much easier to use.

I have loads more resources coming on

Are there any particular tools or things that would be useful for small businesses that you can think of?

Thanks 🙂


Martina September 19, 2011 at 9:06 am

Thanks for the clarification Michael. I would say that anything that can save a small business owner time and/or money is always welcome 🙂 Send me a tweet or a message when your new resources are up. I’d be happy to check them out!


Jonathan August 13, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Hi Martina,

Great post. I think I’ve always thought of Twitter as almost obsolete tool when it comes to small businesses. Using the search for targeted and specific trends, people and companies is sound advice and advice I will quite happily appropriate. I’m in that daunting position of just starting up my own blog – desperately trying to get interesting, relevant and shareable posts in front of people that will want to read it and hopefully take something from it. I think the points you’ve outlined above, coupled with genuine reciprocation and interest are great building blocks for a great blog.

I look forward to reading more of your posts!

All the best,

Jonathan recently posted..5 Rules for Gaining Twitter Followers Without Using a Mass-Follow Tool


Martina August 13, 2011 at 12:37 pm

I think that alot of small businesses would agree with you 🙂 They just don’t see how Twitter could possibly be useful and they don’t really understand the potential. It’s not right for every business, and I’ve definitely counseled some of my clients not to bother with it. If you’re not sure whether or not to use Twitter, monitoring a few searches for a couple of weeks is a great way to make a decision.

Thanks so much for your comment Jonathan and all the best in getting your blog going!


Ivin August 20, 2011 at 3:53 am

Hello Martina,
This post really convinced me of the importance of a Twitter account for my business. I didn’t even take it into consideration! Thanks for this post!


Martina August 20, 2011 at 2:17 pm

My pleasure Ivin! Thanks for stopping by 🙂


Vivian Sanchez October 13, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Twitter has had more of an impact on our business than Facebook. We have fewer followers than we do fans, but our Twitter followers re-tweet and forward our contact info more than any other social media platform. Thanks for the post and keep up the good work!


Martina October 14, 2011 at 8:09 am

Thanks for sharing your personal experiences Vivian! You bring up a great point – the numbers (of followers, of likers) do not matter nearly as much as how engaged the audience is. It sounds like you’ve got an engaged crew on Twitter, which is a great position for your business to be in.


mark March 7, 2015 at 3:34 pm

What an absolutely fabulous way to leverage twitter Martina!

You’re basically using twitter’s enormous (and constantly) updated as well as
state of the art database, to zero in on potential online individuals, that have at least shown some sort of interest in your chosen keywords.

It’s an incredibly efficient and extremely low cost and practical tactic. And practically any and every serious small business owner/entrepreneur should definitely be looking to utilize it!

Thanks so much for sharing it! And I really enjoyed your instructional video too, BTW!

I may just have to feature it in an upcoming post!
mark recently posted..Five Simple Reasons Why Even Though You Sign The Checks You’re Still Not The Boss!


Martina Iring March 9, 2015 at 10:55 am

Yes, this is one of my favourite ways to to use Twitter. I’ve definitely benefited myself from leveraging the search functionality and found some great opportunities and made solid connections. Happy you liked it! Really appreciate your comment and your support Mark 🙂


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