Someone asked in comments on my blog – this one – “how to find followers or users on Twitter by location?” In other words, what town are those Twitter users in ? Can I make a list of those on Twitter who are in my local area? Finding Twitter followers by location seems to be dependent on one of two things

  • self professed home town in the location field in the Twitter bio profile. Doesn’t work if they say “new york, london, sydney” or “on a yacht”.
  • Or based on the phone GPS co-ordinates that are sent with the tweet to Twitter. Doesn’t work if they are on a computer or they block GPS location on their phone.

Twitter followers by location – Bio

Self proclaimed. Some people put “Everywhere” or “World in their Twitter bio. Others will put their town as their location. Suburbs are a bit dodgy – most people will put “Sydney” not neighbouring “Surry Hills” in their Twitter bio.  Many Twitter mobile phone clients that use the GPS location of the phone may auto-update the Twitter bio from the phone’s location based software. Or if they are using “check in” software, now and in the future, their Twitter bio may update with the GPS co-ordinates which look like -28.812942,153.279362

I’ll show you later in the post what to do with them.

Twitter followers by location – Lists

Usually someone has made a list. If you find ONE twitterer from a town, check who they are following and what lists the have created. Might be a local one there. So find LismoreHairSalon or something similar by doing a normal search.

  1. check who they are following from their Twitter profile. Do this if they are only following a few because chances are, they are following their friends, and their friends live near them.  or some will be. If they are following thousands then skip to the second step…
  2. check the Twitterer’s lists. Lists are on the right hand side (old version) or top (new version of Twitter) and they may already created a local Twitter list, a town list, a location list or similar.

This helps you find contextually relevant followers in a town. A real estate agent will follow mostly people in a particular demographic. The local bikie group will follow a different follower set.

Twitter users by location – Twitter Search

Go to Search.Twitter.com and put your town in. If you know the GPS co-ordinates put them in (see later). You should get a page like this:

Find Twitter users by location

search.twitter.com search by location

Note the map on the right hand side – yay for google maps!

  • Near:Town within:Xkm is the format (no space around colon) – search Twitter users by Town
  • near:”Lismore, Australia” within:25km is an example  – search Twitter users example
  • near:-28.812942,153.279362 within:15mi if you can’t find the town and want to use c0-ordinates – search Twitter users by GPS coordinates
  • http://search.twitter.com/search?q=near%3ALismore+within%3A15mi is the format of the URL if you are doing 50 million of ’em and want to change the search quickly.

If you get stuck on the wrong town, try a State and a Country as well.

Expert tip: Want to find what co-ordinates a town has? Go to maps.google.com and bring up that map.

Twitter find users by town google mapsCopy that link. It will look like this

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=-33.000031,151.000562&sll=-28.812942,153.279362&sspn=0.076859,0.129089&ie=UTF8&z=16

Note. The first GPS location (longitude/latitude: -33.000031,151.000562) is YOUR location. It’s for directions from your place to the next place you want to go to. In this case, Lismore is actually -28.812942,153.279362 (don’t forget any “-” or minus sign).

External resources:

There are other sites that let you search for users by location

  • LocaFollow – only found a few of the towns I was searching for, so not sure how useful for finding Twitter followers based on location
  • Listorious – collates lists others have curated. But it didn’t find my Glebe list which I’ve had for ages, so not definitive guide to finding local twitter users
  • Twellowhood – click on continent (Australia), click on State (NSW) then select town from popup list.  I think it takes it from Bio line, so has to be self-professed (not automated from phone GPS).

    Twellowhood Twitter location

    Twellowhood Twitter user location - 61 in Lismore!

  • Twitvite – checking local tweetups was a good idea
  • heaps of iPhone apps – mine is Echofon and does a local user search. Or at least I can tweets in the area, and add people.
  • I just found a Mashable post on Twitter and local search from a year ago – some outdated sites, but they have a longer list 😛

Know of any more? If this was helpful, please retweet or Facebook it 🙂

You can also follow people based on their bio.