I was talking to George Moen, Co-Founder of Rapid Time Networks the other day. We’re both Social media aficionados and enjoy finding new ways to ‘get the message out’.
George was telling me how he uses hyperlocal tweeting to focus and funnel business down to the local market versus tweeting to the world.
Twitter is a global connector. It’s hard to imagine with people following hundreds of diverse people that it would be possible to meet people face to face other than personal friends you were following. Last year I remember going to the average networking events and running into local followers who would come up and introduce themselves. People like Narges Nirumvala @NargesNirumvala, Cybele Negris @CybeleNegris, Owen Clark @ByzHub, Owen Greaves, the futurist, @OwenGreaves, became faces and friends not just Twitter handles. Twitter is like the road rage phenomenon when you get really brave giving an anonymous driver the ‘finger’ until you see the face of that driver at the next light, yikes!
Of course, Twitter etiquette is such that you don’t badmouth people or spread rumours, etc but the idea that everything is so arms length and anonymous is often isolating. Enter hyperlocal tweeting to garner customers in a geographic location thereby enabling actual contact face to face to then possibly conduct business or at least refer business. This is where the Rapid Time Network rocks.
With one of my Twitter accounts having 160k following, pretty much anything I wrote went viral to at least 20 million people. I was in Ottawa to speak before the House of Commons on the power of social media in 2011 so we all know the power of social media. Remember Twitter was the change agent for revolutions in the Arab Spring and the #occupy movement (which by the way started in Vancouver).
The problem of course with ‘hypo’ versus ‘hyperlocal, is that the more followers you have the more you reach which is great for selling books, revolution or spreading quotes but useless in terms of selling your retail store in Burnaby or selling coffee at your local Blenz. You are on the global stage with followers in Rome or Oklahoma. Enter hyperlocal – targeting Twitter and other followers in a geographic location to augment Facebook, brochures (remember them), Meetups (going nowhere fast) and other forms of online marketing.
I’ve always believed social media as a ‘pull’ marketing tool was much more effective with higher conversion rates that using ‘push’ marketing to ram info, sales, and other things down people’s throat. People follow me because I tell them upfront I will give them stuff but never try to flog anything.
Utilizing hyperlocal social media has me intrigued and its effects on Vancouver’s growing Rapid Time Networks. Each city in Rapid Time’s network has its own Twitter handle which allows even more marketing to be focused allowing people to see not only good local deals but to take advantage of them. Hyperlocal has been around for some time but I have not seen anyone use it as effectively as Rapid Time Network.
Let’s see where all this goes, I’m in!