Twitter Tips: Following Quality People

I love following really smart, funny and interesting people on Twitter. I learn so much from them. However, I am not someone who follows everyone that follows me. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be rude, but I highly value what comes in through my Twitter stream. I carefully evaluate each person I follow. It’s not always the same exact criteria, but if I am following someone, there is some kind of direct perceived value there. Other people have different philosophies on following people, this is mine. These are my tips for finding quality people of high relevance to follow on Twitter:

  • My favorite method is using search.twitter.com to setup specific search terms. This is a good thing to do anyway just to find great information on something particular. When reading these tweets, you will discover all kinds of new people you might have never found otherwise. Read their tweets, check their profiles and follow the ones you most like. I have a few local searches that target Orange County where I live. This helps me find local twitter users, which is always nice and can result in a face to face meeting. If you are in complimentary businesses, it can even lead to a business relationship. Don’t ever let anyone tell you business isn’t being done on Twitter. I have searches on terms of interest to me like “social media” and I also have a few individuals if I want a quick view at everything that has been said about and by a certain person.
  • Mr Tweet is a service I really like. Mr. Tweet will intelligently recommend new people you should follow based on the people you already follow and some other factors. It also gives you stats on your Twitter usage and allows you can get recommendations from other people. I find it to be very relevant and a great place to find new people to follow.
  • #followfriday is a new hashtag being used on Fridays to recommend people to follow. I’m not a huge fan of this but if the recommendations are coming from someone you really trust, it could be worth checking out.
  • Paying attention to names people you are following reference in their everyday tweets has always been a great method, however, Twitter has been changing this feature so that you may not see names of people referenced if you do not already follow them. Kind of defeats the whole point which is why many Twitter users have been angered about the change. Twitter has partially restored it and promises to bring back full functionality in some different way.
  • If you are reading a great blog, check to see if the author has a Twitter account. They will usually put a link to it on the blog sidebar. When you meet people in person, search to see if they have an account or ask them directly. I put my Twitter account right on my business cards. That is a great way to pick up new followers yourself.

Please comment on this post and add to the list. How do you find great people to follow on Twitter?