Last week I spoke about how many people you should be following on Twitter. Today I’d like to share some tips on how you can find relevant people to follow. I’ve recently made a conscious effort to use Twitter more and found a lot of great people to follow using these methods.
Before you start, I think it’s important to understand what you are looking to get out of Twitter, as who you follow will greatly influence your Twitter experience. I’d say most Twitter users can be broken down into three categories: those who use Twitter for leisure, those who use Twitter for work and those who use twitter for work and leisure.
Generally speaking, those using Twitter for leisure will follow:
- Entertainers: Movie stars, Musicians & Authors.
- News Websites: CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera etc.
- Personal interests: Favourite sports team, Blogs, Friends.
For example, I follow a lot of comedians and MMA fighters through Twitter. I also follow friends who use Twitter.
I assume that if you are reading this article, you have your own blog, website or service. Therefore, a primary aim of using Twitter will be to promote yourself and your brand. You should therefore consider following:
- Important websites within your niche, including competitors.
- Websites that break news within your niche.
- Important people within your niche – e.g. top writers.
For example, I follow a lot of people who post WordPress related content. I also follow a lot of bloggers, marketers and social media experts.
Once you know the type of people you want to follow, you then need to find out who is relevant. And by relevance I mean – who is relevant to you. I don’t mean people who have X amount of followers.
1. Blogs You Read
Most people regularly read several blogs and websites when they are online. All the major news websites, blogs and online magazines have a Twitter account. The vast majority use Twitter to announce new articles on their website. Some also use Twitter to connect with their readers.
2. Who Are Your Favourite Twitterers Following?
Many top Twitterer’s only follow a small group of people. It’s not uncommon for people with millions of followers to follow less than a hundred people themselves. Most people follow relevant Twitter users within their niche.
Musicians follow other musicians, sportsmen follow other sportsmen etc. Business people tend to follow other influential people within their niche too so it’s worth checking who they are following.
3. Recommendations From Twitter
If you use Twitter through the official Twitter website rather than through an app or service, you’ll see recommendations from Twitter on whom you should follow. These recommendations are tailored towards your own interests. They frequently show people that are being followed by people you follow.
4. Your Followers
You’ll find a lot of interesting people in your follow list. You can browse your followers to see if there is anyone worth following. If you check the website of a new follower and I think they will be interesting, why not follow them.
You should consider following people who engage with regularly too (i.e. people who respond to your tweets).
5. Twitter Directories
Twitter directories list thousands of interesting people to follow. It’s a good place to start if you’re really stumped about who you should follow. Top Twitter directories include We Follow, Twitaholic and Twellow.
You’ve Found A Twitterer – Should You Follow Them?
You shouldn’t automatically follow someone on Twitter just because they have a lot of followers or because they are followed by someone important. Some highly successful people are terrible at Twitter and either use it for nothing but self-promotion or ignore it completely.
The best thing to do when you find someone relevant to you is check their timeline. Have a look at their last tweets to get an idea of the sort of tweets you will be seeing on your own feed.
- Do they interact with followers often?
- Are their tweets interesting?
If you are looking to network with a particular person and their timeline has zero @ replies to other Twitter users, give them a miss, as it’s clear they aren’t interested in what others are saying.
How do you find relevant people on Twitter?