Twitter Tip Tuesday is a weekly blog series from Sprout Social: Insights.


Every Tuesday we’ll focus on just one (1) Twitter Tip and show you how to integrate it into your social media strategy.

Today’s Twitter Tip Tuesday: How to Uncover Business Opportunities on Twitter Using Google RealTime Search

If you have a business mindset when using Twitter, you probably find and follow people who are not only engaging but who may also promote or patronize your business at some point.

You might even create a few Twitter Lists to capture people who tweet on a particular topic or from a particular geographic region.

All good strategies, right? But what if you could target individuals who are tweeting about your product or service, in your city, right now?

Well you can…with Google Realtime Search.

Scenario: Chicago Restaurant Searching for New Customers

Let’s assume you’re a restaurant owner in Chicago and you want to find new customers. Well, a good place to start might be to see who’s tweeting about lunch – at lunchtime, in Chicago.

Step 1:
Go to Google and search on the word ‘lunch’ (without any quotes)

Step 2:
On the left hand side of the results page, just underneath the Google logo, you’ll see some options. Select ‘More’.

Step 3:
Select ‘Realtime’ from the choices provided.

Step 4:
Just below the Realtime tab, choose ‘Custom Location’ and type your city in the search field. You’ll now see realtime tweets from everyone in Chicago who is tweeting with the word ‘lunch’ in their tweets:

What To Do With This Intel

You now have a window into what’s being said, right now, on Twitter, about lunch in Chicago. So, what now?

Looking at the first two search results above, we see that tweeter @ GUeRA5 is set to have lunch at 1:30 and @ SaharaBerry is wondering out loud whether or not she should invite a special someone to lunch today.

In these two examples, a savvy restaurant owner could send @ replies to @ GUeRA5 and @ SaharaBerry inviting them to come to lunch at their restaurant today – offering them a deep discount on their bill, perhaps.

Or better still, the restaurant could take this opportunity to begin a dialog with these two potential customers – saving the sales pitch until after a relationship has been built with these tweeters.

In the remaining search results, each tweet offers specific keywords that a restaurant owner could ‘organically’ reply to. Remember, these tweets are public. You should not feel any trepidation in replying to these tweets – they are not private conversations.

And for best results, reply to each tweeter as if it’s a conversation – not a sales pitch.

Variations to Consider

In the above scenario, a restaurant owner may also consider creating a private Twitter List that includes tweeters who publicly tweet about ‘lunch’, ‘dinner’, ‘soup’, etc.

In just a few minutes a day, she could develop a qualified list of prospects of tweeters in her city who routinely go out to restaurants for lunch, or who look for (or provide) restaurant recommendations.

And when was the last time a newspaper ad did that?

So, if you’re running a restaurant, search Google Realtime with keywords like lunch, dinner, or perhaps even a phrase like “can anyone recommend a good restaurant”.

If you’re a financial advisor, use the same technique on keywords like “stocks”, “mutual funds”, “taxes”, etc.

Or if you’re simply trying to build your reputation and influence on Twitter, try searching on these phrases: “anyone know a” (use quotes) and “looking for a”. Remember to set your custom location to the city of choice and you’ll find dozens of local tweeters, every minute, who are actively looking for help on just about every topic imaginable!

For some reason, Google doesn’t tend to “remember” your custom location and will soon revert to streaming realtime search results from everywhere.

Keep hitting the search button below the Custom Location field to refresh the search results for your specifc location.

Let us know if you’ve found new customers or opportunities by using Google Realtime Search. Connect with us on Twitter: @Sprout_Insights or leave a comment below.