I attended a Rapid Time Network* (@rapidTimeNetworks) event at Buzz Cafe the other Friday in Vancouver and my friend George Moen (@georgemoen) gave me another zinger to contemplate – hyperlocal tweeting!
George and I go a way back from Sandwich Tree, through President of Blenz Coffe chain and now Founder of Rapid Time Networks with Mark Wright. My brother Dave did some of Blenz Coffee’s original coffee designs. Lately we have been Twitter and networking friends. We both know our way around Twitter. I had 160,000 Twitter followers (before I was unceremoniously phished by a 14 year sociopath at Christmas) and George with his innovation and a very strongly focused following himself of 46,000. I’m rebuilding as I write with 16,000 followers. Who says size doesn’t count, lol.
Last year I remember going to your average networking events and running into local followers who would come up and introduce themselves. People like Narges Nirumval @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 George’s idea of 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 my previous 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 Â£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 Zimbabwe and Georgia. 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 felt using 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 Â 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 m 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!
*Rapid Time Networks is a pay for referral network of businesses. Ask me how to join