4/20/09
1:38 pm

Who to Follow on Twitter

“People” you follow on Twitter fall into several categories. Most Twitter users have a few of each. Lets look at each one and see how you can find more people to follow.
Friends: Actual friends should be your first priority on Twitter. Finding them can be hard, and sometimes it is simply best to contact each of your friends directly to ask them for their Twitter id. Once you know it, just go to http://twitter.com/(your friend’s id) to find them and click the Follow button. You can also use the search link at the bottom of Twitter to try to search for them, but it doesn’t work well if they have a common name, or if they have declined to give their real name when signing up for an account.
Connections: Not necessarily friends, but people you know who work in your industry. Many people will tweet about their work or area of expertise, so Twitter can be a great way to stay on top of things going on in your field if you follow the right people. You would usually find these connections by meeting people at business meetings and conferences. You could also search Twitter for terms relating to your field and look out for people who have recently tweeted about the topic.
Leaders: These are people who are the leaders in your field or area of interest. They usually have tons of followers and tweet often. The may or may not follow people back, but rarely read their tweets if they do. It is a good idea to find these people and follow them. If you already know the names of these people, try searching to see if they are on Twitter. Sometimes if you visit their Web sites you will see a Twitter address listed as well.
Celebrities: Many celebrities (actors, authors, politicians, etc) tweet about things going on in their lives. If you are a fan, you may enjoy following them. Usually a Google search for the celebrities name and “Twitter” will find a reference to their Twitter ID and perhaps some insight as to whether they write the tweets themselves, or have assistants do it for them.
Companies: If you are a fan of a company and/or its products, you may want to follow them on Twitter. Even if you are not a fan, but find that you use the company’s products or services, following on Twitter may be useful. And if you find you need to make a comment or compliant, Twitter might be a far better way to do it as it might get action quicker than normal channels. Companies usually monitor Twitter for mentions of their company names. They may not post their Twitter ID on their marketing-department-controlled site. A Google search for “company name Twitter” will usually get you the ID.
News Sources: If you are checking Twitter every few minutes to see what your friends, connections, leaders, celebrities and companies are doing, when why not get your news that way too. Most major news organizations, and many local ones, post headlines to Twitter. You may find Twitter makes you the first to know when news happens. Check their Web sites for Twitter IDs.