How to follow relevant people on Twitter?

Unless your parent(s) is/are a Twitter celebrity like @problogger (whose son @xrowse got 50 followers in 1 hour after his father’s endorsement), @jowyang, @chrisbrogan, @guykawasaki or @scobleizer, you are more ofen than not baffled by the sheer number of followers in the beginning of your adventure into the world of twitter: Zero.

Every tweeter is a community manager themselves. And it’s time we build our own community. But how do we do that? Even the more experienced tweeters sometimes wonder how they can follow the right people.

Here are few tactics that I think may work for you. Feel free to add your recommendations below:

1. Check to see if you friends’ are already on Twitter

Kind of obvious :-) Go to “Find people” and let Twitter search for your friends who’re already on Twitter. Their tweets may not be what you’re looking for but they’re your friends, aren’t they?

2. Use search

I did go to search.twitter.com and thew in some relevant keywords (ubuntu, open source, web 2.0, etc.) to find some interesting folks who talk about these particular topics. The keywords are sometimes misleading though. There’s a tool which allows you to automatically follow people whose tweet has a particular keyword. Unless you wanna spam yourself, stay away from it.

3. Use another search tool

Have you tried Google’s Blogsearch? I think it’s good to follow people who write relevantly because we often get to know more about people via their blogs. On the other hand, if your blog covers a niche topic, let people know you’re on Twitter so they can follow you.

4. Follow your friend’s neighbor

If you have some free time, check out your friend’s following+follower list. You may bump into some fascinating folks :-) Mostly you should roll the pointer over the person’s name and their bio will appear. Therefore, another thing to get yourself followed is to craft a really nice bio for yourself. Don’t overdo it though :-)

5. Stay in touch

Along the way, you may find the relevant people to follow via tweets and retweets. Increasingly people are sharing cool stuffs not only on the web but also on the blogs. You may want to follow the authors if they happen to be on Twitter. Because twitter is a pretty focused community, the blog posts are likely to be relevant. Retweets mean credibility. The same “focused” characteristic of twitter applies. If I retweet someone, it basically means the tweet is relevant to my topic of interest, and the person who tweeted it is kinda cool. :-)

6. Attend a relevant offline event

I got a lot more followers after the infamous First Twitter Gathering and later Barcamp PhnomPenh. This is rather peculiar when it comes to how we behave on Twitter. In Facebook, we add people who we’ve already known. So it’s the people who draw us to Facebook. Check out this interesting analysis of Facebook from TaiTran. On Twitter, we follow people first then get to know them first. That’s not always the case. We can still know them first and follow them later :-) So, attend Barcampsaigon next time if you’re up to some techy stuffs. Another cool thing is that your friend will possibly tell you to follow some awesome folks!

That’s it!

In fact @huyzing asked me how he could follow relevant people. I haven’t seen any particular tool that allows us to do so besides twitter search. If you happen to know one, or have a better idea as to how to follow the relevant people, please share with us. Thanks!

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3 Responses to How to follow relevant people on Twitter?

  1. Preetam Rai says:

    I usually put the events or topics I care about on monitter and observe if someone is posting insightful stuff about the topic. Then I follow that person.

  2. D7 says:

    Use mrtweet.com or follow @mrtweet ;)

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