Twitter 101: Be Choosy when selecting first Tweeple to Follow

Filed in Blogging , Twitter 18 comments

Open the door and let the tweets begin

Open the door and let the tweets begin

The REAL, intrinsic, not-so-secret value of social media in general — and Twitter, particularly — is the desire to help others by sharing information.

Expertise, whether in the form of “raw knowledge” or super-research skills, is on the Net for the taking and, of course, the giving.

Lesson TWO: How to find people to “follow” on Twitter

1. Your first step, of course, should be your “plan” for Twitter. Is this platform just another way to text-message friends and family? If that’s the case, you don’t need my help. Simply convince your friends and family to get on Twitter and then you all follow each other.

2. HOWEVER, if your desire is to Explore the Technology and the Web at the same time, you will want to find Tweeple [i.e., Twitter users] who (a) know what they are doing on Twitter, (b) “tweet” about subjects of interest to you, and/or (c) have the kind of celebrity that you want to get close to.

3. WARNING: In the beginning, you ought to be as selective as possible in choosing people to follow. The more people you follow, the more messages you will receive — and, consequently, the more confused you may become. [Stage One of Twitter Use is Confusion. See previous post.]

4. NOW FOR MY FIRST SUGGESTION: Access a Twitter Directory. You can Google “Twitter Directory” and find pages of directory listings, but for starters, why not go to Twellow, the Twitter Yellow Pages.

  • Look at the categories. Want a newspaper or reporter or blogger who Tweets about current events, for example?  You’ll find hundreds.
  • Find a name that looks familiar or interesting and click the word “follow” on the left side of the listing.
  • The next screen will show you the latest Tweets from this source. If you want to follow this person’s tweets, you will need to be logged on to your Twitter account. If you forgot to log-in first, No Problem, simply go to the login box on the upper right, put in your name and password, and you will be returned to this Tweeter’s page.
  • Then simply click on the word “follow” below the photo or icon. And so forth . . . add as many people as you want, but as I suggested above, you might want to be choosy at first.

One “surprise” is that many people will automatically follow you when you follow them, but not everyone. I got a charge when Barack Obama followed me, but neither Hillary nor Al Gore did. You live and learn.

5) SINCE YOU’VE GOTTEN THIS FAR in today’s post, your next step might be to follow me.

You can see the kind of comments, i.e. “tweets” that I make BUT you can also see whom I follow. In the right sidebar where it tells you how many people I am following [353 today], click on the word following. Your next screen shot will list those Tweeple and you can follow the advice above to see any of the tweet “stream” of any of these people.

6) LAST TIP  OF THE DAY: Try search.twitter.com. When the search box appears, write down a word or phrase like “dogs” or  “future of advertising” or “project manager” or “employee engagement” or “Adam Lambert” — what or whoever interests you. Up will pop ALL the Tweeple who are Tweeting about your topic in Real Time, i.e., who may be posting about that subject right NOW.

If you like what you read, you may click on their icons and check out their tweet stream. If you like the stream, click follow.

POSTSCRIPT: Once you get going with Twitter, you’ll notice daily posts on How to Find Followers, and/or you can check out some of these sources:  14  Twitter directories to find new friends; 5 ways to follow good people on Twitter; Show this to friends who want to get started on Twitter.

Please let me know what works for you — follower-wise. And stay tuned for tomorrow’s lesson on Tweetdeck

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Posted by Shari Weiss   @   19 May 2009
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Comments
May 19, 2009
6:24 pm
#1 sharisax :

BTW Here’s a site with the 100 most popular people on Twitter: http://100twt.com/

Jul 10, 2009
4:26 am
#2 Fikreslassie Tesfa :

Twitter is changing the world dramatically. It is a simple idea but powerful resource. If you guys sit and think about how twitter works it is an amazing high tech solution. “Pick any topic that interest you” and share is a mega thing. You’ll be educated faster if people follow you or vise versa to learn about anything.

Jul 10, 2009
11:25 am
#3 Rick Zhu :

As soon as i started Twitter, i found its interesting feature of which you can follow other people, and in turn they will all follow you. This great feature allows us to make connecting with others that increases our network. People with most followers tend to give interesting and entertaining comments. It’s fun to share information and thoughts on Twitter.

Aug 14, 2009
10:20 am
#4 Tony Hurst :

Something that I’ve found to be of great value on Twitter that I haven’t seen anybody talk about so far.
Free market research.
As I “follow” local women I’m watching them talk about the cosmetic brands that they use, the movies they’re seeing, the moods that they’re in. I’m getting to know what their personalities are like and what resonates with them.
I have read advice given by experienced tweeters suggesting that one should discontinue following users who don’t follow back. Are you kidding me? I WANT to know how to reach users who don’t organically resonate with me -not by forcing myself on them, but by listening to them; what are their needs? Why are they in this venue? What could I do for those people that I’m not doing now?
I don’t want to exist in only my own circle of influence either socially or professionaly. I want to reach out.
When I get to my that upper limit of people that I’m allowed to follow the choice of who to “unfollow” (so that I can add more) will be based on who is already deeply within my sphere of influence, not who isn’t. -Tony

Feb 20, 2010
2:27 pm

I set up a twitter account for a non-profit organization and I have a few questions?

1) How do I determine my target audience? There will be so many and I am not sure how to manage this?

2) Do I follow other non-profit organizations that my client would be in competition with?

3) How would I structure my key messages? After determining the clients target audience how will I get key messages to most stakeholders without directly asking for donations and also keeping the tweets up to date with program/events ect?

Author Feb 20, 2010
3:43 pm

Hi Michelle,
Your first question about Target Audience is critical, and one that too many people do not even think about. Clearly, though, to be the most effective, any message strategy must be geared to a specific audience — and one that you can define.

We are learning that there really is no mass audience; hence, not really effective mass medium.

To answer part one of the first question, that is How do you determine your target audience. My suggestion is that before beginning any campaign, your planning should start with your OBJECTIVE, i.e., what do you want to achieve AND whom do you want to “do” what?

If you have a non-profit and you want to raise money, your target audience would certainly include (a) people who are passion and/or empathetic with your program and (b) people who have the money to donate. If, however, you are looking for volunteers, you would want the same (a) but your (b) would be people who have time.

You mention that there are “so many,” but make certain that you clarify your objectives and then perhaps you can narrow the target audience to a group, which will be easier to “profile,” i.e. describe.

Your second question has a simpler answer. Of course, you would definitely like to research what your competition is doing, but whether you follow them will then be up to you. How carefully did they profile those they follow? Their followers, however, would be a good place to start.

Your third question is much more complex. How you structure a message has many dimensions — beginning with a precise customer profile AND an objective.

We can try to deal with a more complete answer if you get back to me with that objective and customer profile.

Thanks so much for asking. Looking forward to our next class together.
Shari

Jun 21, 2010
2:47 pm
#7 Shameim Lowther :

Initially I assumed that twitter was exclusively for crazed fans of celebrities to follow their every move. After I was officially introduced to twitter by a family member i saw that it was also geared for people in large groups that want to keep in touch regularly but because of distance, work, and life cannot.

Twitter allows people of business and internet savvy to interact everyday. Still, it feels awkward for me to twitter because i don’t know any of the individuals that are twitting.But I’m open to try:)

Author Jun 21, 2010
11:33 pm

Shameim, one of the big social media lessons I’ve learned is to definitely keep an Open Mind. Lots of things that appear “stupid” when I first hear about turn out to prove very valuable.

Jun 23, 2010
11:54 am
#9 tarver :

I am a little confused, but think I understand the basics. However, from what you’re saying if you approve a person to follow you, that means you will have to follow them back?

Author Jun 24, 2010
12:58 am
#10 Shari Weiss :

Actually Chance, you do NOT have to follow back anyone you do not want to. In fact, if someone follows you whom you do not want, you may always block them.

Jan 30, 2011
11:46 pm
#11 Mariana C S Rogedo :

I didn’t make a plan for my twitter. I did make my twitter for my class, but i guess i have to make a plan. Since i’m a journalist and love communication. I will try to follow things/ people related with that: Journalism, communication, social network, internet and movies.

Author Jan 31, 2011
12:35 am
#12 Shari Weiss :

Mariana, you are in luck. My second Twitter article this week is How To Get Started with Twitter — to become a Twitter Pro.
🙂

Jan 31, 2011
12:49 am

I already read it! and make me think…

Author Jan 31, 2011
1:13 am
#14 Shari Weiss :

Mariana, WHAT did you read and what did you think about?

Jun 29, 2011
4:19 pm
#15 Rochela Gerardi :

This information has been very helpful! I’ve had a twitter account for over a year and never ever learned how to use it.

I would often find myself logging on and then drawing a complete blank as to what comes next.

It was confusing and frustrating all at the same time and I didn’t want to have anything to do with it.

Thanks for the information, I will hopefully soon become a tweeting machine. 😉

Author Jun 29, 2011
4:21 pm
#16 Shari Weiss :

Rochela, I know the feeling. When I first started using Twitter, I didn’t want to do anything else, and my husband would call me Tweetie Bird.

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