Who Should I Follow On Twitter?

Posted in Social Media Marketing by Matthew Weeks

When you are brand new to Twitter it can be difficult to know where to start, what to tweet about, what the hell a "ReTweet" is and who it might be a good idea (even inspiring) to follow. This quick guide should get you started on Twitter.

I am assuming you already have a Twitter account already set up, if you don’t you can sign up to Twitter here. Once you have your account set up and are ready to go, you can use any number of tools to start to find people to follow.

The advice I always give to people is to try to follow “real” people within your industry or interests as well as brand names and legislatitive bodies. Nobody will want to follow you or interact with you if all you follow is massive corporate giants, with all the personality of a brick wall!

When we are working with a client on getting started with using Twitter for business, we look to follow these sorts of people / brands in their sector:

  • Respected journalists / writers / commentators
  • Innovative business leaders / thought leaders
  • Trade publications / magazines
  • Brands that are known for doing clever PR
  • Competitors

Those are the seed people to follow (don't follow more than say 35 at this stage, you'll never keep up!), but if you don't already know them or if you want to find better examples than the ones you know, how to find more?

Finding and following new people on Twitter.com

I personally use the Twitter user interface online to find people to follow using a single keyword (such as "SEO"), because it is so easy. You get a huge list of recent tweets that appear in front of you and you can simply just click as many as like. You'll also see some recommended accounts that Twitter calculates as useful to you, based on your search, the stuff you're already tweeting about and the people you already follow. This seems to throw up as many gems as oddities, but it you should keep an eye on it.

So the first thing to do is to click on the “Who To Follow” tab

Who to follow

Then type into the search box on the upper right hand side your keyword, so it could be anything from environmental, pasta, SEO, Paris anything you can think of.

Search for users

Once you have typed in your keyword, (In this example I have used SEO) a list will appear of everyone who is associated with that particular keyword.

Twitter search results for the keyword SEO

You then just simply click on little follow button to follow them.

Follow button

Finding and following new people in TweetDeck

TweetDeck is an application that some of use at Noisy Little Monkey use. It basically brings Twitter to your desktop PC, your iPad, your phone. For a more detailed explanation, see my post on using TweetDeck it for business.

Finding new followers on TweetDeck isn’t as simple as finding new followers on the Twitter website, in my opinion. But the quickest way to do so is first add a column.

Add a Column in tweetdeck

Once you have clicked on that the add column box a box will appear with a search box.

Search in Tweetdeck for users

Just add phrases or particular keywords into the search box, if you would like to search for more than one place each word in quotation marks (or rabbit ears Jon Payne always calls them - “ “ ) and separate them with a OR so for example:

“seo” OR “SEO” OR “search engine optimization” this will then show the results for the exact phrases you have typed into the search box.

Once that is complete a new column will appear in your TweetDeck browser with all the related twitter profiles to that search term.

Once you have found someone who you would like to follow, simply hover you cursor over the image of the individual and a sub menu will appear, click on other actions, user and then click on "follow".

Follow sub menu

Finding and following new people in HootSuite

With HootSuite it feels to me that they looked at the TweetDeck interface and thought “We can make this a little easier” and they did!

Simply just use the search bar at the top right hand side of the interface to search for an individual, or industry keyword.

SEO Search

Once you hit search a list of people related to search will appear in a pop up.

Hootsuite search results

Click on the little “Follow” text and it’s as easy as that.

We will be putting together a review of HootSuite soon as I am quite excited to see what else it can offer, so keep your eye on our blog for it. :)


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