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Summary:

Twitter is incredibly useful for for networking, learning from experts and discovering trends. But in order to get the most out of it and not be overwhelmed, it’s important that you follow those that are useful for your field or business, not every single soul on Twitter. In this post I’ll look at some tools that make the process of finding the right people to follow easier.

Twitter is incredibly useful for networking, learning from experts and discovering trends. But in order to get the most out of it and not be overwhelmed, it’s important that you follow those that are useful for your field or business, not every single soul on Twitter. In this post I’ll look at some tools that make the process of finding the right people to follow easier.

Following Back

One of the most common ways to discover new people on Twitter is by watching for the email notifications it sends when someone follows you (If you’re not getting the email notifications, check your account settings). You can check them out and see if they’re worth following back. To get more information about the people following you and to streamline this process, you can use Topify or Twimailer, the alternative email notification services we covered recently.

Friend or Follow can be useful as it lists all the people you follow who don’t follow you back, as well as people who follow you but whom you don’t follow back. Of course, experienced Twitterers have their own rules of who to follow that goes beyond simply following back everyone who follows them (I explain my personal rules in “7 Traits of Bad Twitter Follows“).

Twellow

Twellow Logo

You can use search.twitter.com to search for keywords to find people in your field, but the results can be overwhelming as it provides you every result for that keyword in tweets, not just when it shows up in profile information. Instead, search for people using Twellow. Twellow scans bios, names and locations while ignoring their tweets. This reduces a lot of noise and lets you find those who share your interests, but it cuts both ways: Help people who might be looking for you by carefully crafting your bio to include keywords related to your field.

Twellow

Twellow, the Yellow Pages of Twitter

Twellow also automatically puts people into categories based on their bios. Again, to help people find you it’s helpful to check your own profile on the site and make sure you’re in the right categories — if not, you can edit them. If you have a few people you like, look up their categories in Twellow to try to find more people like them.

TweeterTags

Another option is TweeterTags. You can use it to add tags to your Twitter ID, based on your interests and topics. Once you’ve added your tags, you can click them to see who else uses them. Select a person to view their profile complete with all their TweeterTags, bio, number following, number of followers and their latest tweets. TweeterTags only works if the people you might be interested in have tags added to their profile, though.

TweeterTags

Discover people through tags with TweeterTag

Mr. Tweet & Twubble

Mr. TweetMr. Tweet is an automated system that recommends interesting people for you to follow, based on your own Twitter usage. It provides data about each person’s follow/followed ratio, posting rate, degree of conversation and link posting rate. All you have to do is follow @mrtweet and it will send you an occasional DM with recommendations.

Twubble is similar to Mr. Tweet, and makes suggestions by looking at your current Twitter friends. The results helpfully show the people you follow who are also following the suggested users.

How do you find and select new people to follow?

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  1. Seems like you should caution your readers that both Twimailer and Twollow have or are being sold.

    Twimailer hasn’t worked for me for a couple weeks now (I’ve been getting a lot of bounced messages since I forward my Twitter notifications to them — http://tr.im/fj_twimailer) and it concerns me that Twollow is for sale for $1100, which includes their database (I presume user logins too):

    http://marketplace.sitepoint.com/auctions/64180

  2. What about wefollow and can i suggest ourselves at Valebrity if you are interested in well known Tweople :-)

  3. Our site, Klout.net, is focused on Twitter analytics but can also be used to curate the perfect list of people to follow. We actually just published a blog post yesterday on 4 ways to use Klout to find amazing people to follow.

    http://bit.ly/PcMKN

  4. Chris, thanks for sharing that about Twollow. I had looked at that site while researching this article.

  5. marshallkirkpatrick Wednesday, April 15, 2009

    I’m a big fan of Mailana too.

  6. Have used tweetertags.com for a month or so. Very nice way to sift through accounts.

  7. These are all awesome tools, but in my experience, what has worked for *ME* has been my own curiosity. Generally when somebody follows me, I will check out that person’s tweets, bio, links, followers etc. That forms an overall subjective picture for me. Then from there I return-follow and often check out some of the people that person is following as well. Yeah, sometimes I totally fall down the rabbit hole, but I have a very unique set of people I’m following for various reasons specific to my own style.

    Freind or Follow became the tool of a neurotic crazy woman after I used it a while (see My Post here ), but I had to stop because it was ruining my experience. I got too competitive and I enjoyed Twitter less when I stopped 100% subjective following – but again that’s just me.

  8. SmartBlog On Social Media » Blog Archive » Today’s bonus tracks Thursday, April 16, 2009

    [...] How to find the right people to follow on Twitter [...]

  9. @Dana Coffey I agree, I find all the best people through word of mouth (recommedations, seeing who replying to who, etc) But that doesn’t mean that tools can’t help.

  10. Thanks for sharing this, i’ve been looking to increase my follower count, may be this could work in my situation!

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