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.
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“).
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 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.
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.
Mr. Tweet & Twubble
Mr. 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?