When it comes to Twitter, it’s important to follow people sparingly, and wisely. Following anyone and everyone makes you look desperate and doesn’t get you results or useful information. It’s always best to not follow more than you’re being followed. What do you think when you see a Tweeter who is following 1,300 people but only has 250 followers? That tweeter looks lame. At the very least, make sure your following count never exceeds your followers count by more than 10 or 15 percent.
Even more important than how many people you follow is who you follow. You want to make sure you follow people and businesses who are relevant to your industry so you can see what they’re talking about and create a dialogue with them. The idea is to make yourself an industry expert by following other experts.
The question is, how do you find them?
You can use the basic Twitter search tool (search.twitter.com), but it’s limited in its ability and reach. For example, if you enter the term “popcorn” into this tool, it gives you everyone who’s tweeting about popcorn. Great. The problem is many of those tweeters are in businesses that have nothing to do with the term. The results will give you lots of tweeters who just happen to be having random conversations about salty snack foods. Not a great way to choose the people you’re going to follow – especially if you want to keep that list to a reasonable number.
So, how do you find the people and companies that are actually involved in your industry? You use a power tool like the one created when Google is combined with Twitter. By going to Google and searching intitle:”popcorn* on twitter” site:twitter.com you will get a list of everyone on Twitter who has the word popcorn in their username or real name. This is much more relevant than the data you’ll get from Twitter’s basic search tool. To conduct this search, Google looks in the title attributes of Twitter’s profile pages. Similarly, you can search intext:”bio * popcorn” site:twitter.com to have Google look for the term “popcorn” in Twitter’s bio pages.
Use this power tool to help you follow the right, most relevant people on Twitter.