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Searching for Customers by Subject Matter on Twitter

Twitter marketers can dig in three main places to unearth people to follow on Twitter: people’s tweets, people’s bios, and people’s locations. Based on tweets, you can establish an interest or a need from someone in a product or service that you offer.

Similarly, the bios of Twitter users may reveal whether they are part of the industry that you serve (or the industry that you are a part of). Ultimately, if you run a local business, knowing whether a Twitter user lives near you is critical. The following list describes the ways to find people based on their tweets, their Twitter bio, and their location.

  • Tweet searches: Search tweets for keywords and topics because people who are talking about your topics or industry issues are either in the industry itself or have a problem that you might be able to help them with. The following Web applications help you find people based on keywords in their tweets:

    • Twitter search: Searches all tweets for your particular topic and returns tweets matching your search in chronological order. If you need to search for a particular issue, you can find all the people who are interested in it. The advanced search enables you to exclude certain words or phrases, do a local search, and search for tweets to and from a specific person.

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    • Twitterfall: Searches for keywords and hashtags, and then automatically updates the results page, like a cascading waterfall.

    • TweetTabs: Works just like Twitterfall, but also lets you create tabs to monitor a number of keywords.

    • CrowdEye: A search engine that shows you not only tweets based on your keyword search but also a time graph for when most of the tweets showed up. It even gives you some of the most popular Web links for your keywords.

    • TweetDeck: TweetDeck’s search function also lets you save searches for keywords and topics. They appear as an additional column (or deck) in the TweetDeck interface, which is updated automatically any time someone’s tweet includes the search term.

  • Bio and keyword searches: If you want to find people in your industry or chosen field, you need to search Twitter users’ bio sections by using one of these websites:

    • TweepSearch: Does a quick check of all the Twitter bios it has currently indexed.

    • Just Tweet It: A directory-based search that lets you register yourself under a directory almost as if it were the Yellow Pages of Twitter, as well as looks for other twitterers.

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    • tweepz.com: You can search for bios, locations, and names. Just type in the code that tells tweepz.com where to search.

    • PeopleBrowsr: A high-powered people searcher and Twitter browser that offers many different options for agencies, enterprises, and developers.

  • Location searches: If you have a location-specific business, such as a realty office, retail store, or restaurant, you want to find twitterers who are in your area. You can search for people by city, county, and even state with the applications in the following list. You can search by map or just by typing in your city’s name and selecting a radius around the area:

    • Nearby Tweets: Enables you to search for people in your area and filter the results by keywords.

    • TwellowHood: From the makers of Twellow, a directory that enables you to drill down to your city or town and see how many twitterers are there.

    • Twitaholic.com: The place to go if you want to find the top twitterers in your town. Visit the website, enter your Twitter username, and click the Go button.

    • Twtvite: The place where you can find tweetups. Tweetups (gatherings of local twitterers) are all the rage, and they’re a great way to actually meet local twitterers face to face.

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