Twitter isn’t dumb if you are following smart people. In the job search, smart people work for companies you are targeting. In business, smart people are potential customers and clients. The trick is finding them, but it isn’t as hard as you may think. Here are 10 ways to find and follow people on Twitter:
1) Add blog or website owners:
When you read a good post, find the Twitter handle and follow the author, owner, and/or company (almost everyone has a Twitter icon on their site!) [We do – you can follow us on the right – @UndercoverRec]
2) Use Wefollow.com or your favorite Twitter directory:
Search by industry or area of interest and follow users who are active, meaning they’ve tweeted something within the last couple of weeks. Inactive followers won’t follow you back, and your timeline will be extremely empty!
3) Find “Top X″ lists and follow them:
For example, there is a post listing the Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers. They are doing this social media thing better or differently and you can learn a lot from them. Do this for your industry and/or occupation too!
4) Follow followers:
Often, when someone follows you, they have a reason. You may just want to follow them back. Look at your “followers” list within the Twitter application, read their bio, and follow those people/accounts that seem relevant, big, or somehow otherwise worthy of following.
5) Use #FF:
#FF stands for Follow Friday – watch and follow people who have been #FF recommended by the people you already follow on Twitter.
6) Use Twitter’s “Who to follow”:
From the Twitter application, pay attention to who Twitter recommends you follow. By no means is it always accurate, but often there are some interesting suggestions.
7) Follow the leader:
Once you start following someone, see who they are following or what lists they have created and follow those that make sense
8) LinkedIn Connections:
Check the LinkedIn profile section called “contact info” to see if your connection has listed their Twitter account.
9) Hashtags – Search by # (whatever is of interest):
A hashtag is a way of tagging/filtering a tweet. For example, search using the #job and you can find all the Tweets that contain the hashtag and the word job. Follow Twitter accounts that share relevant job postings.
10) Watch or join in on Twitter Chats:
There are hundreds of Twitter chats covering a wide variety of topics, join in and watch how they work! (Here is an ongoing list of Twitter Chats.)
BONUS: Add new followers to lists:
Creating lists will help you filter content and information being shared by the people you are following. For example, you may have a list called “Potential Employers.” But don’t stop with one list. You can have up to 1,000 lists and each list can have up to 5,000 members!
What to share?
Seldom do people care what you ate for breakfast so your tweets should have some value. Think about retweeting a great article you read or perhaps one you wrote yourself. Share news and information relevant to your metropolitan area. If you attend an event, consider “live-tweeting” excerpts of presenters’ greatest moments. Your tweets should be a mix of information that others following you would deem interesting.
Give it time:
When you begin building a network of people in real life, it takes time to establish mutual trust. The same holds true on Twitter. If you are expecting miracles out of the gate, it isn’t going to happen. Be slow, purposeful, and sincere in your communication with others on Twitter. Give to get. Help others selflessly and regularly. See what starts to happen.