Last week we gave our attention to Facebook, and this week we’re going to get our feet wet with Twitter.
Monday, we set up our Twitter account, and today we’re going to find some people to follow so we can begin to see the tremendous value Twitter can provide.
Who should you follow in this “listening and lurking” phase? Whomever you want! Here are a few ideas:
• people in your geographic area
• people in your industry
• people with great tips on how to use social media, especially Twitter, well
• people you’re connected with in other places (LinkedIn, Facebook, your e-mail address book)
• brands you admire or that are local
There are quite a few Twitter directories that will help you find the right people to follow. Just search for an industry or keyword or location, and each directory will make suggestions about tweeps that fit the criteria, often ranked according to influence. Keep in mind that influence is not just number of followers, but also the reputation of those followers, the quality of content posted, etc.
Here are just a few directories to get you started building your list:
One other tip for finding great folks to follow: follow other people’s Twitter lists. We’ll get into more detail in another post about how to set up a Twitter list, but for now, know that you can organize the people you follow into categories that make it much easier to see the tweets you want to see. Each list has its own unique URL, so if you have the URL of someone else’s list, you can follow the list, which means you’ll begin seeing tweets from everyone on the list without having to follow each of them individually.
I (Susan) have a few Twitter lists established, and would invite you to follow them if you’d like.
Follow Susan Baird at twitter.com/snbaird
Follow Joe Frost at twitter.com/omahajoe
As long as you’re signed into your Twitter account, all you’ll need to do is click on the link associated with the profile of whomever you’d like to follow, and an option will appear that will allow you to click on a follow button, and that’s it. And no, don’t worry that these people will think it’s strange that suddenly, you’ve appeared out of nowhere as a follower. That’s exactly how Twitter works.
Once you’ve chosen a few people to follow (10, 20, 50… whatever you feel like), you can begin observing how they behave. Notice what they say, how they say it, how often they include links to additional content, how often they promote themselves or their business, and how often they just share helpful tips and answer questions. Before long, you’ll start to discover your own Twitter style based on these observations, and then it will be time for you to jump in to the Twitter stream!