The best results on any communications channel happen when you’re talking to the right people with the right message. Blindly following everyone on Twitter, in hopes that they’ll follow you back, may get you a large following (if they do follow back), but it may not be the right people. All your efforts will be wasted and you’ll wonder why Twitter isn’t working for you. (This concept applies to other communication channels too.) Building on yesterday’s post about why no one is following you on Twitter, here are some tips for finding the right people on Twitter in order to start up the right conversations:
I think it’s worth taking a look at every profile before you decide whether or not to follow someone. You’ll be able to get a feel for what that person is about and whether or not they’re the “right people.” While it may take a bit of extra effort to look at every profile, it can really pay off in the end when you have a nice niche of people who are actually listening and conversing with you.
Goto to Twitter’s Search page and try some keywords for your industry. Also try some geographic locations. And check terms that would be important to your potential customers. See who is talking about these topics, check them out, see if they’re worth following, and then start up a helpful, non-promotional conversation.
Twellow is a directory of Twitter users by topic and industry. Take a look at those who are in your industry, as well as people who are potential customers. Remember that this is a self-assigned directory, so people have decided where they think they should be (Twellow limits the number of places you can be listed). Twellow also has a nice feature of showing you who you’re following and who is following you if you register (free).
Twitter Grader is a free tool which can give you a measure of your influence on Twitter. Once it grades your account, it will give you links to top Tweeters in the same city, state and country (if you have a location on your profile). It also features top lists of Twitter users by location which can be handy for finding top Tweeters in certain locations. Checking out these Tweeters can help you find people with influence in a certain area — remember to check to see if they’re the “right” people.
Twitter also can give you suggestions on who to follow. If you’re using the “new” Twitter interface, you may see “Similar to You” suggestions on the right. When you follow someone, Twitter also will recommend other people who are similar. And you can go directly to Find People (link at top) and browse suggestions, by topic, or by searching your contacts on other services (LinkedIn, Gmail, etc.).
When you find the “right” people to follow, see if they have any lists of people they are following or people they recommend. If you attend any events or conferences, see if anyone has put together a list for people who attended.
Take a look at who other people are following. Especially people with a lot of influence. Look for big names in your industry and see who they’re following and who is following them. See if there are good people to follow.
More than Following
Finding the right people on Twitter is just the first step. Now you need to listen and have worthwhile conversations with these people to build relationships. The right message on Twitter is not the same as on other communication channels. People expect a conversation, not a bull horn. The good thing is — a conversation can be much more valuable than a bull horn.
What other tips do you have for finding the “right” people on Twitter?
(image by Yodel Anecdotal)