Now that you are setup on Twitter, start following people by name, interest, category/event or hashtag and get them to follow you. First follow people you already know personally. Go through your Linked In contacts and look for the Twitter button in their profiles (make sure you update your linked in profile, too, so your contacts can return the favor). Then go through your other accounts: Email, Facebook, Vendor Lists or other contact places and start adding people.
1. Type the person’s name into the search box at the top of your Twitter homepage.
2. Search Results will show up under the Who To Follow tab on the search results page, under Discover.
Find Accounts by Interest:
1. From the Discover tab, click Browse categories.
2. Click on any interesting category (e.g. Sports). You’ll be shown a list of accounts you may want to follow.
3. Browse by interest using the search box at the top of the Browse categories page. Type in a topic (like “singer” or “basketball”) or a descriptive phrase (such as “flamenco dancer” or “astronaut farmer”) and you’ll see a list of account results for that search term.
To keep things simple and organized, create a list within Twitter to place people. Categories might be: Industry Notables, Business Thought-Leaders, Social Marketing Professionals or something else. If you make your list public, then other people can follow the list, you are curating people for your followers to follow.
HINT: Twitter has follow limits to help prevent abuse.
- Every account can follow 2,000 users total. Once you’ve followed 2,000 users, there are limits to the number of additional users you can follow. This number is based on your ratio of followers to following; this ratio is not published.
- Every Twitter account is technically unable to follow more than 1,000 users per day; this prevents spammers from abusing the account.
- When you reach the account-based follow limit (2,000 users), you’ll need to wait until you have more followers before you can follow additional users.
Hashtags are simply a way to categorize tweets and expose your posts to new followers. For example when I tweet about this post I will use the hashtag, #twitter, in the post for new people to find the post. Hashtags are especially useful for industry subjects (#smm = social media marketing) or associations (#mima=Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association), chats (#leadershipchat; participate in a discussion), tvshows/events (#MadMen) conferences (#sobcon=social business conference) or making up a new one like #cutekittenpics to draw attention to your posts. Click here for some common hashtag definitions.
Now that you know how to find people on Twitter and follow hashtags, begin engagement by listening. Then incorporate some of these Twitter Business Ideas that Chris Brogan has suggested.
Twitter Listening Tips:
- Ask a question (who, what, why), listen and respond appropriately.
- Follow your favorite blog authors/industry leaders
- Check out chats and discussions.
- Watch the stream. Notice people and pay attention and respond to what they are saying. Notice when people are absent.
- If someone re-tweets you they are paying attention to you; thank them.
- Use favorites to save tweets you want to remember.
- Look at the person’s profile and recent tweets.