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Six Twitter Tools to Network Locally



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The Twitter Advantage

Twitter has mobilized people in an unprecedented way and many people use social networks like Twitter to connect with people in their market.

Restaurants find local residents to follow in hopes that they will be followed back and conversation can ensue- Realtors should do the same. There is value in national networking but locals are the ones buying and selling real estate in your market so focus the largest bulk of your energy there for the highest ROI on Twitter.

Here’s how:


Geofollow– search by city, zip code or tags, Geofollow has a cool feature that allows you to bulk follow others in your market. I personally wouldn’t go this route not only because the site looks spammy (tons of google ads) but because you should always look at a person’s bio before you follow them (remember: the devil ain’t ugly). This is a cool tool though because it’s a time saver and shows a lot of users I’ve never seen before. At a minimum, you should go ahead and add yourself there so you show up higher when *others* search the site.


LocalTweeps allows you to see local users, events and specials and even gives you reports about number of people in your city or state which is useful so you know where to target (the city vs. the suburb cities around yours).

street mavens

StreetMavens might have the worst name on the planet (I personally find the term “maven” to be endlessly tacky and self important) but that said, it’s cool because you can select your city and THEN drill down information based on topic. So let’s say you want to connect with adults instead of your neighbor’s kids, select the “professional” category on the left to find professionals. Follow those you could jive with and start the twittering!


ChirpCity is useful if you want to search your city for specific terms like “coffee” or “mortgage” or otherwise. The only warning I have is that the “business directory” isn’t what you think it is -it’s just a Google-ish search, not a Twitter search or tool.

a428211dc3e0d931a5819f5283c25dac shows you what people in your city are twittering about so you can see in an easy to read way who is twittering about the top subjects so last night, UT baseball was all the rage so you can join in the conversation by @ messaging others talking about the game which is a great way to connect with people in a genuine way.


TwitterLocal– by this point I’m hoping your not reading anymore because I don’t want to share this awesome tool with anyone ever because it’s so cool! TwitterLocal used to be a site you could search but the Twitter API freaked out and they had to adjust which resulted in a wicked Adobe AIR desktop application (program) that shows you in real time who in your city is Twittering. This is good because you only end up learning of active users instead of someone who hasn’t updated in a month AND good because you can keep your finger on the pulse of your city.

So what now?

If you’re new to Twitter (or just bad at it), start here and when you jump in, pretend you’re at a friend’s party and you don’t know anyone- be polite, be genuine and sincere and don’t be salesly or smarmy because people can read your bio where it says your profession and KNOW what you do without your having to be a caveman and beating them over the head with it. Talk sports, food or whatever interests you and make connections the same way you would in person.

Are you using any of the tools above? There are about a trillion sites for this, which ones would you add to the list?

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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  1. Jim Rake

    June 23, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Twitter, Twitter, Twitter…..who would of thought?

    Lani – Just between you and Mashable, I can’t keep up! Thanks for the tools!

  2. Lola Audu

    June 23, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Lani…wow, you hit the ball out of the park w/ this post. Thanks for the links.

  3. BawldGuy

    June 23, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    If I could be as helpful on my blog with every post the way this one is, I’d be in Heaven.

  4. Susie Blackmon

    June 24, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Hi Lani, I’m promoting my new horse website right now and functioning (very happily!) as a referring agent, and wanted you to know how much I appreciate all the great Twitter info as I use Twitter for every aspect of my multitude of websites. My 3 Breaking News Sites are all Twitter based, so THANK YOU so much. I’ve admired you from afar for several years now, and hope to meet at some point IRL.

  5. Lani Rosales

    June 24, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Susie, you’re a doll! We WILL meet one of these days 🙂 Stay tuned, I’ve got more to share!! I promise to filter through all the junk and bring you the goodies!

  6. Erion Shehaj

    June 24, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    I didn’t know about five out of the six. Loved this post.

  7. Andy

    June 25, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    Thanks for checking us out, and introducing us to your readers. We have a new design launching in a week or two, so it should fix your main concern of our site looking “spammy”. We welcome any and all suggestions. Please @reply to me at @geofollow or @adcuse

    All the best…

  8. Roberto Martinez

    June 27, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Hi Lani.

    Thank you for your review about Chirpcity.

  9. tomferry

    July 6, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Lani- This article ROCKED! Thank you very much for these sites. It makes getting into the game and engaging on a local basis that much easier for agents!

  10. Charlotte

    July 6, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Thanks, Fantastic info.

  11. yschaefer

    May 17, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    This is very interesting. I’m still learning how to get around Twitter and what to write about. But it’s fun to learn new tricks.

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Social Media

*New* TikTok Insights launch: Content creators finally get audience analytics

(SOCIAL MEDIA) The popular short-form app, TikTok, finally launches the anticipated Insights feature, where content creators can view target audience data.



Two girls filming on TikTok.

Marketers searching for the zeitgeist which means TikTok scrollers pause to watch their content and then click through to buy a product have a new tool to help make that happen.

  • TikTok Insights offers marketers bite-size bits of user demographic information that will help build content that leads to sales.
  • With TikTok Insights you can learn more about your audience’s behavior, their interests, and their general sentiment toward brands.
  • TikTok Insights is free to use. Marketers can find TikTok user demographics by using filters to determine what they’re looking for.

The demographic info can be age-focused, focused on specific types of marketing, or even as specific as holiday or event marketing.

This is a step in the direction marketers have been asking for as they create content for the TikTok platform; however, creators looking for detailed analytics like they get from meta need to wait. Insights doesn’t offer that for now.

Like TikTok says in its own analytic information,

“While analytics are helpful in understanding the performance of your videos, you don’t need to create future videos based primarily around them. It’s best to consider the bigger picture, lean lightly on analytics, and use them as a source for insight rather than strategy.”

Marketers trying to key into reaching TikTok’s billion users worldwide are left, right now, searching for the magic that leads to consumers making the jump from the platform to using their purchasing power.

For marketers that means keeping things creative and collaborative, two key factors in TikTok’s success. And that success is huge. Users spend an average of 52 minutes on the platform when they log in and a staggering 90% of users say they log on every day.

TikTok Insights will help marketers find ways to connect, but the content TikTok is looking for is authentic.

And while entrepreneurs can bid for advertising like other social media platforms, they need to remember when planning that spend, that most TikTok marketing success stories are more accidental than planned. Have fun with that knowledge. Instead of pressure to create the perfect plan, TikTok Insights allows marketers to keep it creative and to find a way to tie it into what they enjoy about the platform.

Like all other social media marketing, focus on creating content that stops the consumer from their continual scroll. Make it a challenge and keep it real.

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Social Media

Grindr got busted for selling users’ data locations to advertisers

(SOCIAL MEDIA) User data has been a hot topic in the tech world. It’s often shared haphazardly or not protected, and the app Grindr, follows suit.



Grindr on phone in man's hands

If you’re like me, you probably get spam calls a lot. Information is no longer private in this day and age; companies will buy and sell whatever information they can get their hands on for a quick buck. Which is annoying, but not necessarily outright dangerous, right?


Grindr has admitted to selling their user’s data, however, they are specifically selling the location of their users without regard for liability concerns. Grindr, a gay hook-up app, is an app where a marginalized community is revealing their location to find a person to connect to. Sure, Grindr claims they have been doing this less and less since 2020, but the issue still remains: they have been selling the location of people who are in a marginalized community – a community that has faced a huge amount of oppression in the past and is still facing it to this day.

Who in their right mind thought this was okay? Grindr initially did so to create “real-time ad exchanges” for their users, to find places super close to their location. Which makes sense, sort of. The root of the issue is that the LGBTQAI+ community is a community at risk. How does Grindr know if all of their users are out? Do they know exactly who they’re selling this information to? How do they know that those who bought the information are going to use it properly?

They don’t have any way of knowing this and they put all of their users at risk by selling their location data. And the data is still commercially available! Historical data could still be obtained and the information was able to be purchased in 2017. Even if somebody stopped using Grindr in, say, 2019, the fact they used Grindr is still out there. And yeah, the data that’s been released has anonymized, Grindr claims, but it’s really easy to reverse that and pin a specific person to a specific location and time.

This is such a huge violation of privacy and it puts people in real, actual danger. It would be so easy for bigots to get that information and use it for something other than ads. It would be so easy for people to out others who aren’t ready to come out. It’s ridiculous and, yeah, Grindr claims they’re doing it less, but the knowledge of what they have done is still out there. There’s still that question of “what if they do it again” and, with how the world is right now, it’s really messed up and problematic.

If somebody is attacked because of the data that Grindr sold, is Grindr complicit in that hate crime, legally or otherwise?

So, moral of the story?

Yeah, selling data can get you a quick buck, but don’t do it.

You have no idea who you’re putting at risk by selling that data and, if people find out you’ve done it, chances are your customers (and employees) will lose trust in you and could potentially leave you to find something else. Don’t risk it!

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Social Media

BeReal: Youngsters are flocking in droves to this Instagram competitor app

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As Instagram loses steam due to its standards of “perfection posting,” users are drawn to a similar app with a different approach, BeReal.



social media - bereal app

BeReal is one of several “Real” apps exploding in growth with young users who crave real connections with people they know in real life.

According to, BeReal ranks 4th by downloads in the US, the UK, and France for Q1 2022 to date, behind only Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.

BeReal flies in the face of what social media has become. Instead of curated looks that focus on the beautiful parts of life, BeReal users showcase what they’re doing at the moment and share those real photos with their friends. Their real friends.

It’s real. And real is different for a generation of social media users who have been raised on influencers and filters.

As the app says when you go to its page:

Be Real.

Your Friends

for Real.

Every day at a different time, BeReal users are notified simultaneously to capture and share a Photo in 2 Minutes.

A new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life.

BeReal app

The app has seen monthly users increase by more than 315% according to Apptopia, which tracks and analyzes app performance.

“Push notifications are sent around the world simultaneously at different times each day,” the company said in a statement. “It’s a secret on how the time is chosen every day, it’s not random.”

The app allows no edits and no filters. They want users to show a “slice of their lives.”

Today’s social media users have seen their lives online inundated with ultra-curated social media. The pandemic led to more time spent online than ever. Social media became a way to escape. Reality was ugly. Social media was funny, pretty, and exciting.

And fake.

Enter BeReal where users are asked to share two moments of real life on a surprise schedule. New apps are fun often because they’re new. However, the huge growth in the use of BeReal by college-aged users points to something more than the new factor.

For the past several years, experts have warned that social media was dangerous to our mental health. The dopamine hits of likes and shares are based on photos and videos filled with second and third takes, lens changes, lighting improvements, and filters. Constant comparisons are the norm. And even though we know the world we present on our social pages isn’t exactly an honest portrayal of life, we can’t help but experience FOMO when we see our friends and followers and those we follow having the times of their lives, buying their new it thing, trying the new perfect product, playing in their Pinterest-worthy decorated spaces we wish we could have.

None of what we see is actually real on our apps. We delete our media that isn’t what we want to portray and try again from a different angle and shoot second and third and forth takes that make us look just a little better.

We spend hours flipping through videos on our For You walls and Instagram stories picked by algorithms that know us better than we know ourselves.

BeReal is the opposite of that. It’s simple, fast, and real. It’s community and fun, but it’s a moment instead of turning into the time-sink of our usual social media that, while fun, is also meant to ultimately sell stuff, including all our data.

It will be interesting to watch BeReal and see if it continues down its promised path and whether the growth continues. People are looking for something. Maybe reality is that answer.

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