Building a Local Social Media Network for LA

There are no borders to social media but sometimes it’s important to build a database of key influencers in your city. In the vibrant Los Angeles scene, it may be difficult to decide who the “coolest kids” are but one thing is for sure, we have many of them. This article gives hints on finding them on and off line.

I recently shouted out a list of who I hoped would show up at the August 27, Digital LA poolside event. I tweeted a page’s worth of twitter names of outstanding people I’ve met at various tech/entertainment industry related networking events in LA. As usual, I included as many women as I could think of. It was already a nice list, but it inspired me to want to know more about who the Los Angeles based movers and shakers on Twitter are.

If you have a local business or just want to build your local network, you need to geographically slice the global world of social media.

Depending on your objective for building a network, anyone in your area may be a candidate. But most people have particular criteria.

If you are looking for influence, finding influential tweeters in your city is a good place to start. For me, anyone worth following on Twitter lists their name in their bio. Once you have identified a full name, you can also reach out to their other on-line points like Facebook.

Recently, Mashable published a good list of services that support local search. None of them are perfect – but after checking each one out, I found I liked Twitter Grader best because it measures well beyond number of followers.

Twitter Grader’s Dharmesh Shah responded to Mayank Gupta’s request to clarify their grading system. “We look at things like the number of followers, the power of those followers, the number of friends, volume of tweets, degree of engagement with other users.”

LS twitter grader ranking sept 9
September 9, 2009

It is worth checking national listings on Twitter Grader because some people that you see at local events all the time, don’t show up on city lists because they don’t include the word “Los Angeles” in their bio or location. Key word searches can be used to hone in on your particular interests.

Twitterholic is also useful. They rank only by followers, but they do show number of updates to help you with your own evaluation and you can get a list of 1,000 Twitterati for Los Angeles.

If you are interested in Twitter influence ratings, you should also be aware of Twinfluence and the Web Ecology Project.

Twitter directory WeFollow has potential to be used for geographic selection combined with interests. They have added location as an automatic category. Click on “info” and you can manually check the self-selected categories. But other than number of followers, no other levels of activities are listed.

WeFollow LA Sept 9
WeFollow Los Angeles September 9, 2009

No twitter analytic tool or directory supersedes your judgment. If you are doing this right, you are actually looking at the Twitter stream itself before following.

There are a few on-line communities built specifically to serve the local community. For instance if you want to reach successful, active unmarried people living in Los Angeles – you can go straight to SingularCity or their fans on Facebook.

The best network is not just on-line. Opportunities to balance a tech/entertainment network with IRL (in real life) relationship building right here in Los Angeles has been improving in both quality and quantity over the past year. Here’s a list of upcoming events that I hope will be useful for you. It’s tech/entertainment centric but I threw in the 27th Annual American Wine and Food Festival October 2 – October 4 because I think you should know about that too.

digital-la-wmmarc
August 27, 2009 DigitalLA @ W Hotel Poolside Photo by Wm Marc Salsberry

This event list was updated September 11 to include what should be a fabulous conference September 22-23 at Skirball Cultural Center, 140 | The Twitter Conference LA. Check out their speaker list. 140 The Twitter Conference conference launched March 8th, holding their first event in Mountain View in May.

Reel Ladies Producers Corner, September 10
Word Camp LA, LMU Campus, Playa Del Rey, September 12
Blogger Cocktails, Digital LA and WordCamp LA , Custom Hotel poolside, September 12
LA Twestival, Level 3 at Hollywood & Highland, September 13
LA Tweetah Tweetup .02, Maison 140, Beverly Hills, September 14
Tech Supper Club, BlankSpaces, September 15
WITI, September 15
Digital LA Characters Go Digital , WGA, September 16
DealMaker Media LA, Rustic Canyon Partners, West LA, September 17
MindShare LA, Downtown, September 17
Media Leaders, Ritz Carlton Marina Del Rey, Sept 19
“5” Screening and Cocktails, Bungalow Club, September 21
140 | The Twitter Conference LA #140tc, Skirball, September 22 – September 23
Social Media Club LA, BlankSpaces, September 22
LAVA VC Speed Dating, ICON Aircraft, September 23
New Media Vault, Downtown, September 24
Girls in Tech LA, Fox Santa Monica, September 28
Docstoc Startups Uncensored, Santa Monica Public Library, September 29
Digital LA – Movie Marketing Panel, Fox Lot, Zanuck Theater, September 29
CloudCamp LA, Downtown, September 30
DigitalLA Digital Drinks, Roosevelt Hotel, September 30
ThinkLA, October 1
27th Annual American Wine and Food Festival, October 2 – October 4
Hollywood 2.0, October 9
Digital Hollywood Lowe’s Santa Monica Hotel, October 19 – 22
140 Characters Conference LA #140conf, October 27 – 28, Kodak Theatre

These on-line tech calendars also pick up some smaller regularly scheduled tech/entertainment related events: SoCal Tech, Tech Zulu, Mixergy

Los Angeles deserves to be strongly represented at any national or international conference. Naturally, presenters should be not just socially influential but powerful speakers. Those who are selecting speakers or just a “cast of characters” should expect a wealth of possibilities.

About Linda Sherman

International, multicultural marketing pro, Linda brings a distinguished background of international subsidiary CEO/CMO to her Social Marketing expertise. These include CEO Club Med Japan, Barilla Japan and CMO Wal-Mart Japan. Linda Sherman has been featured and quoted in Forbes, The New York Times, Christian Monitor and other leading publications. She devised and implemented an innovative guerrilla-marketing plan for ZIMA in Japan that produced a lasting, profitable success. Linda has hands-on technical skills in building and search optimizing WordPress websites and an influential on-line presence. Linda teaches social marketing for business at the University of Hawaii. Her company, The Courage Group, provides websites, digital film, branding and social marketing strategy and training.

Connect with Linda Sherman on Google+

Comments

  1. What you’ve pointed out so well is that for social media to be effective and not just social it needs to be part of a deliberate strategy with a defined goal in mind. I like the way you describe focusing on local influencers that you can also connect with in “reality” (IRL) and the list of tools that you provide to support these efforts is very useful. This need not be manipulative but just a well thought out strategy, as well described here, to contact, meet and interact with people with whom you can share and grow in the new social media world. Informative and enlightening.

  2. Well said Tom, thank you very much.

  3. You might also want to consider an excellent site, http://www.TwitterAnalyzer.com. They calculate the Twitter user’s “Readers Reach” and “Unique Readers Reach” which are important when evaluating influencers

  4. Nice article on Social Networking in LA!

    Here’s the skinny on Social Media Club Los Angeles (#smcla).

    This month we’ve got: “Social Media in Sports” on 9/22 at Blankspaces 7-9pm.
    Details and registration at http://smcla-sep09.eventbrite.com?ref=id4g

    Next month we’ve got: “Games Go Social” on 10/20 at TBD 7-9pm w/a special audience participation segment re: video (sponsored by Real Media SP).

    In November, @serena is talking a big game about some kind of “corndog festival”. Long story…but sounds fun.
    [rq=578325,0,blog][/rq]9/22 Sports and Social Media Panel – First Panelists Announced…

  5. Great post Linda. It was great meeting you. Thanks for the awesome suggestions for http://www.TweetFind.com. Ruben Orozco

  6. Hi Linda — I’d love to meet folks in LA at our Tweetup here. A few of our key execs are in LA, too.

    MarketingProfs LA Tweetup at the Bodega
    http://mprofsla.eventbrite.com/
    [rq=656471,0,blog][/rq]Industry Reputations Take a Beating

  7. Hi Linda. Thank you for your timely advice and help during our chance meeting at Big 5 yesterday.
    Your blog is awesome, I’ll be back soon.
    Irina.
    softgrassland.blogspot.com
    [rq=670818,0,blog][/rq]The Ocean.

  8. I enjoyed your article very much Linda. It was a nice surprise to see that http://TwitterGrader.com/BertaArt gave me a grade of 94 since I just started April 20th.

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