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twitter for business – who should I follow

by Kelly Exeter | January 18th, 2011 | 5 comments

followmeSo now you have a twitter account. You’re still not convinced that twitter can be used for business but you’re willing to humour me. For now.

The next step is to follow some people so that you have something appearing in your twitter feed! I recommend following people first before posting anything yourself to get a feel for the tone and content that is appropriate and interesting from a business point of view.

So who to follow?

This really depends on:

  • The industry you are in
  • What your interests are

For instance, I am in the graphic and web design industry. As I service primarily small businesses, a lot of my clients expect me to have a reasonable understanding of marketing as well. So I follow a lot of internet marketers, copywriters, bloggers, designers and offline marketing professionals.

I am also an ex-triathlete and I love cycling – so I follow a few triathletes and a lot of pro cyclists (I think everyone in the world follows Lance Armstrong who is a prolific tweeter). I also follow people in the tv industry and also a few politicians. These last two are for amusement rather than business. Twitter need not be all work and no play!

How did I find these people?

Well I read a lot on the internet and if someone has a blog, or writes a newspaper column, or reports on tv – they have a twitter account. And there is usually a link to their twitter account from their website or column. I also look at who the people I am following follow and follow some of those people too.

Confused? Don’t be. Just start finding people to follow. You’ll get the hang of it soon enough 🙂

The people you follow will often re-tweet (indicated by a tweet starting with “RT”) interesting tweets from other people you aren’t following. If you find those RT’ed tweets interesting, you can follow that person too.

And the beauty of following is that you can just as easily “unfollow” someone if they turn out to be a “dud”. I have to admit I am bit ruthless with my following and if someone either tweetbombs (10 tweets in one minute filling up my feed) or tweets stuff that I don’t find interesting, I unfollow them pretty quickly. I am pretty sure I committed a cardinal sin by unfollowing a heavy hitter in the twitter world because, well he just tweeted too damn much and drowned everyone else in my feed out!

The short story

You have to start somewhere. Type in the names of respected people in your industry or the names of colleagues. Follow them. Look at who they’re following. Follow some of those people. And so on. I guarantee you will be amazed at the wealth of information you suddenly find at your fingertips.

P.S. If you want to follow me on twitter, click here 🙂

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