5 Steps to Find New Customers Using Twitter

By Michelle Mastrobattista

Many businesses are on Twitter, but if you are simply using the social network to plug your business all day, you are missing out on one of the best features. Twitter’s Advanced Search is a tool that often goes misunderstood and misused in the small business world.  With over 140 million users worldwide, Twitter is flooded with people talking about your business and looking for your services right now! Did you know that you have the ability to actually zero in on those prospects and message them directly through Twitter?

Here is how:

Let’s say you own a coffee shop in Quincy, Massachusetts and you want to find individuals in your area who are talking about coffee…

1. Go to the “search” box on your Twitter home page and type in some key words relevant to your business or what your customers are looking for. Keep it broad to start. Let’s search for people who are saying they “need coffee”.


2. Click on the “Advanced search” tab under the drop down widget on the top right, next to Results.


3. Under the “Advanced search” page you will see a number of different options to refine which conversations you are looking for. You can get as granular as you like. In this case, we are looking for the users who are specifically using the words “need coffee.”  If we wanted to target certain languages, #hashtags, or influential users, we would input that here.  By adding our zip code we can search for users within a geographic radius of our business.


4. Once we click on “Search” we will see all of the results for people saying “need coffee” within 15 miles of our location.


5. The results will also display a time decay number on the right-hand column; this tells us how recent the post was. Now we can click on “Reply” next to any user and send them a targeted message.


That’s all there is to it! Your message is delivered directly to potential customers and followers. No more wasting your budget on expensive advertisements or daily deals that never reach the right people. You can turn your Twitter into a lead generating machine if you know how to use this feature correctly.  Keep it conversational and try to interact with potential customers on a personal level, don’t just shout at them as a business. Also, be sure not to spam people with messages or get too repetitive. Voilà! You are on your way to becoming a Twitter savvy business!



  1. Very helpful. Thanks!

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