Twitter ups local search drive with new promotion offerings and trending cities

Local search has long been dominated by the typical powerhouses of the search marketing industry, including Google, Bing and Yahoo. However, despite the aforementioned platforms growing in nearly every capacity, the three are increasingly having to deal with other competitors in the local search game. Startups like Yelp and Foursquare were once hailed as the newest social media darlings on the block, but have since emerged to be viable competitors for local search in their own right.

Now, Twitter is establishing its place in the local search arena after a series of upgrades during the past year - such as opening up tweets to big search engines to crawl through and creating a searchable user database - have culminated in the popular social networks site's latest local search grab by extending its trending capabilities to more cities and upgrading its local promoted tweets offering.

New keyword options in promoted tweets
Twitter's promoted tweets offering is a lot like Facebook's promoted posts: Both allow businesses to hyper-localize their advertising posts to not only target local customers, but also expand their reach by displaying those messages to the user's friends and followers. Twitter also recently announced it has developed new keyword options to generate hits in Twitter's search results, as well as a new tool to import keywords from other online ad platforms to synergize a local search marketing strategy.

The social site now allows for new matches in promoted tweets for exact match, phrase match and keyword match, as well as a negative keywords offering for advertisers that want to steer clear of certain terms.

Twitter gave the example of a baby clothing company that uses promoted tweets appearing in search results for trending searches, such as if a celebrity's pregnancy is a highlight of the latest news cycle.

Twitter goes local in more cities
Introduced in 2010, the first batch of local Twitter trends allowed users and businesses to further delve into the trending category by offering trending topics for particular cities and localities. For instance, if a user selects San Francisco on a fall Sunday, it's likely that he or she would see a lot of 49ers trends. Or, if a user selected Milan, he or she might see trends and updates having to do with fashion.

The local trending offering has been a boon for businesses that can see what Twitter users are tweeting about in their area and further fit a local Twitter advertising strategy to cater to those tweets. To help further that cause, Twitter announced it had extended the local trend offering to 100 more cities, from Istanbul, Turkey, to Frankfurt, Germany. No word from Twitter yet on the exact location of its new local trending cities, but businesses can take solace in the fact that nearly every major or notable metropolitan area in the United States is covered.