I’m traveling down this road today assuming that you know what Twitter and Foursquare are…and that you use them. I’m throwing in TweetDeck here to tie these two together. I hope that it helps to make some sense out of how all of this can work together to increase awareness and traffic for your business.

TweetDeck is a personal preference and daily driver for me, and now that Foursquare is integrated into the platform, I’ll not likely stray. I use Tweetdeck to monitor nearly all of my social media accounts, from Facebook to Foursquare, and this for several different identities and/or clients.

Quickly, if you need to refresh:

Working in a new environment (read: entirely different part of the great State of Georgia) has presented me with new challenges. Not the least of these is finding my way around and connecting with a brand new community online…socially.  I turn to Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare…all pulled up as columns in TweetDeck.

Using Twitter and Facebook, I search for local people and connect/follow/add/request/Etc. I use Twitter search and the “TwellowHood” tab at Twellow.com for Twitter, and on Facebook I simply type my city into the search box.  Find em’ and connect, that’s the quick and easy part. Listening and watching…the learning about these folks takes a little more time. I want to know:

  • Who are the “connectors”?
  • Who puts out the most/best local info?
  • Who are the influencers and leader types?
  • Which local businesses are present and actively engaging their audience?
  • Who can I offer/guidance/friendship/support/ help to?
  • Where I might fit in?

These answers are quickly realized. This is only scratching the surface though. With time and attention, the insights are increasingly more valuable and plentiful.

Now, enter Foursquare. Get yourself set up and using location based services and applications if you aren’t already doing so. Hurry, I won’t wait…nor will the rest of those that matter (read: your neighbors and competitors). ~Well, it’s true.

Now “find friends” on Foursquare.

All of the hard work you‘ve done on Facebook and Twitter really pay off here…we just move our “local” friends into Foursquare. Invite/Request them all!

  • Now we watch where they check in, and we can see how active they are.
  • Hint: An active Foursquare user is typically social media savvy across multiple channels.
  •  Now drag your Foursquare friends into Tweetdeck as a column.

 Before we go on, add your venue on Foursquare, claim your business on foursquare, and put up a special. Here’s a great article about all of this.

At this point you’re pretty plugged in locally!

Let’s take it a step further. Imagine with me, I’m a local Deli, just getting into using all of this social media stuff, trying to make it work…make sense of it all. How does being plugged in like this help me out? Talk to me about foot traffic and more money!

  • Watch how your neighbors and competitors are using all of these channels, and then do it differently and better.  Promote “Twitter Tuesday Tuna Specials” – Launch exclusive coupon clues to your Facebook fans – Become the most Foursquare friendly place in town. Be creative!
  • Reach out and engage with all the activity you see. Users checking in on Foursquare across the street? Say hi, wish them a yummy lunch. “Hi Joe, I see you love sushi and Foursquare…me too! Stop by our deli the next time pastrami is on your mind! Enjoy your lunch!”
  • Add that sushi bar’s name as a search column in Tweetdeck! Now you can wish every social media savvy visitor a yummy lunch if you want to.
  • Don’t underestimate how much and how long lasting the buzz can be from an event such as a Tweetup or a Foursquare Swarm Party. Consider hosting one…promote it everywhere.

Put quite simply, pulling in all of these channels to TweetDeck is what enables me to effectively monitor and engage with my local community. Time management is critical to me, and this method of staying plugged in has served me quite nicely. I certainly don’t suggest that you do exactly as I do, but instead hope that this has enlightened you a bit as to the potential and possibilities of having a centralized monitoring station paired with a plan.

If you have a system or methodology that’s working for you and you’d like to share, or if you can add some input here today, fire away in the comments, it’s always welcome here.

Disclosure: I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein. “Ah Ha cat picture credit: icanhascheezburger.com

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