My girlfriend just joined Twitter and I find myself trying to explain how to get Twitter followers. When I joined Twitter a few years ago everybody followed pretty much everyone who followed them. There wasn’t much spam yet so it was a safe bet you were following someone who you could potentially hold a little Twitter conversation with.
Three years later a lot has changed but there are still many ways to find some good people follow.
Find Tweeps You Know In Real Life
The first thing you should do is follow people you are already friends with. Twitter makes it easy by allowing you to import from Gmail, LinkedIn and a few other services. Learn more here.
Find Local Tweeps
Using Twitter Search to find local Twitter users is easy. You just use the
within search operators. So to find all Twitter users tweeting within 5 miles of Boston you would just search for
near:Boston, MA within:5mi.
A few other services that make it easy to find local Tweeps:
Here’s a great article written for businesses looking for local tweeps but it’s certainly relevant for us normal tweeters too.
Find Tweeps With Similar Interests
Anther useful feature Twitter provides is the ability to find popular users by interest.
Some services that help find like minded Tweeps include:
Finding Tweeps in Lists
One of my favorite additions to Twitter during it’s rise to popularity was Twitter Lists. What I was most interested in at first was how other people classified me. Beyond being a good measurement of how others perceive you it’s a great tool to find others just like you. For example I’m listed in several WordPress Twitter lists so there’s a good chance the other people in that lists would be good candidates for me to follow.
If finding new lists becomes a challenge you should sign up and check out Listorious, a directory for Twitter lists.
Quality Quality Quality
You can follow people for days until you reach your Twitter limits but what’s the point if no one is talking to you. A few things I look at before following are the basics; a profile pic, a bio and a link to their website. Then I go on to see if they are only talking about themselves or if they actually retweet and communicate with others. Spam and bots are pretty easy to spot once you start recognizing the patterns.
Follow Us and Say Hi/Welcome
Finally be sure to follow myself (@JonDBishop) and my girlfriend Kelley (@monkelley) to say hi. We try to be friendly and talk/help others the best we can. Kelley will especially appreciate your follows and tweets as a distraction from her most recent adventure that is grad school.