8 Intermediate Tips for Choosing People To Follow on Twitter

geeseNow that you know a little about the basics of choosing people to follow on Twitter, you might want to get a little pickier and start cultivating niche followers.

Niche followers are engagers who share your interests and/or fit the profile of the ideal person you want to attract.  They might be influential people in your industry, people who enjoy the same hobbies as you or people who might be interested in your service or product. Remember, by following them you gain attention and are likely to attract a follow back.

Here are nine ways to find them.

1. Are they listed often?

When you check out a profile look at the number of times the person has been listed and compare it to the number of followers they have.  I seriously consider following people who are listed by 5% or more of their followers.  This indicates a person who is more likely to engage and/or provide useful content.

2. Follow relevant hashtags

A hashtag that denotes content or a community of tweeps who are interested in a subject that you are interested in is a rich and constantly growing list of potential followers. It will also give you great insight into the kind of information these people are most interested in.

3. Look at lists created by influential people in your targeted field

I have found probably half of my targeted followers by doing this.  Just go to any list made by someone you admire.  You will find all kinds of potential followers that you won't find any other way.

4. Look at lists that list you

If it's a list titled "Thanks for following me", don't bother.  But if it's a list with an enviable title, by all means check it out.  I've found quite a lot of potential followers this way as well.

5. Don't forget Twitter search

A Twitter search on a particular subject, will show you conversations of people you may want to follow. I HIGHLY recommend doing one or several searches on subjects relevant to the type of person you want to follow. When I was just getting started on Twitter, I typed "events industry" into a search and stumbled upon the #eventprofs community. Most of the people that I've initiated relationships with on Twitter have come from this group.

6. Find more on Follow Friday

Follow Friday is the weekly Twitter tradition of recommending people to follow. When my favorite tweeps suggest I follow someone, I try to make a point of checking out their profile. I'm even MORE likely to check out a profile if the recommendation says something about WHY I should follow the person. For that reason, I use the #EIR hashtag whenever I recommend people on Follow Friday to indicate that those tweeps Engage, Inform and Retweet .

7. Make use of directories

Twitter directories also often have categories you can look up to find specific professions or interests. It's a good idea to list yourself in these directories so that people who share your interests will know about and possibly follow you. Some of the better known directories are: WeFollow, Twellow and Just TweetIt. You may also want to try MrTweet and TwitterGrader, both of which will offer recommendations based on your profile. If you Google "Twitter directory" you will find many more.

8. Unfollow

To keep your following to follower ratio optimum (I recommend an equal number or more followers than people you are following) you should periodically unfollow those who don't follow you back or those that are inactive. However, if you are very interested in cultivating a particular group, I recommend continuing to follow those who are active even if they don't follow you back. My experience has been that many of these people have come around in time.

(Photo by  Brian M. Forbes)

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