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It's not enough just to post to Twitter and try to increase number of people following you; you yourself should be taking advantage of the Twitterverse and following other people. There's lots to learn out there. So how do you find people to follow? I think one of the easiest ways is to use the Twitter Search field. In the new design that was rolled out recently, you'll see the Search field appear at the top in the Twitter navigation bar whenever you're on Twitter's web site, either on the Home page or on the Profile page--it's the same thing.
If you type in any phrase, like for example Anne Smith might want to type in something having to do with the gourmet chocolates because that's their company, it's going to search for tweets with this phrase in it. Ah, here is a good one, but they're not right together. They are mentioning either/or or both. So there are a lot of people talking about gourmet chocolates, and then you could, if you want to follow up, like this one says that they sent their dad a dozen gourmet chocolates and apparently there is a competitor to Blissno5 on Twitter, and you might want to follow up on it and see what is it that they are posting about.
If you want to have more control over what you're searching, then you can go to advanced search. You can just click right here under advanced search. I have already gone to advanced Twitter search; it's search.twitter.com. This is what it looks like. It's been around forever. And then you can click Advanced Search. So advanced search is kind of like Google's advanced search that lets you search for keywords written in a certain language according to whoever posted it. This is really good, the Places field, because you might want to find out if anybody is talking about gourmet chocolates nearby where your place of business is, if you're a local retailer.
So I might say, near let's say Los Angeles, within 50 miles, search for all these words or this exact phrase. I think I'll just do all these words, gourmet and chocolate. This is the default search that it does. Only one person so far is tweeting about that, but apparently they're at the farmer's market. So if you wanted to follow up on who this company is and perhaps follow them to see what it is they're tweeting about, you could do so. So that is using the default Twitter Search field or advanced search.
Now Twitter very quietly rolled out a much more sophisticated search engine, and they put it here under the Who To Follow link. A lot of people miss this. But under Who To Follow, there are three tabs. One of them is View Suggestions. These are suggested twitters that you're not following yet, but it thinks that you would be very interested in them based on who you're following now, what you're tweeting about, and then any overlap among these people, their followers, and what they tweet about.
So it's kind of interesting that you can go through here and for example venturaimprov, because one of the people who is following me and that I am following in return, is a member of the Ventura Improv Company. You can go through here if you'd like. Another tab here is Browse Interests. So if for example, your business is in a health field, you can click on Health. It's suggesting people who tweet who specialize in this field. If you want to learn more about them, again you can just select them on the left and you'll see how many people are following them and their recent tweets, or you can jump directly to their own Twitter page.
If you click Find Friends, this is the same kind of link that you may have remembered when you first opened your Twitter account, suggesting that you upload your contact database, and then it will match those email addresses against the email addresses of other registered users. So if you forgot to do that, or you've added a whole bunch of more contacts to your email program, you can always come over here and redo that. So if you're ever wondering who would be good to follow, don't forget that you can check out the Who To Follow link on the Twitter Home page. But in general, the people that you want to follow as a business owner are your customers and clients and staff members. So you should always be asking people what their Twitter address is.
If you have a form that you send out to your customers or clients where you ask them what their email address is, ask them what their Twitter account is as well. They might leave it blank of course or say does not apply, but this is a way that you can follow what your customers or clients are doing on Twitter, any colleagues that you have in the field. Something that a lot of people forget is that, why not follow your vendors? Who are all those people that you're writing checks to? Very often they have Twitter feeds where they are posting coupon codes for their services, and they forgot to contact their clients and let them know that they're on Twitter, right? So you need to be proactive and check the latest statements or correspondence from your vendors to see if they list their Twitter address, or go to the web site.
Any journalists who write in your field, they very often have Twitter addresses. And any social influencers for your field, that means who are the thought leaders? Who is the keynote speaker at your professional conference? Those people very likely have Twitter feeds, and you want to follow them, not only because they will probably be tweeting useful things, but very often you can ask them questions directly and they might follow you. Or they might retweet what you say, so whatever they tweet has a lot of weight in the Twitterverse.
That's strategic following. And a big one is competitors. What are your competitors tweeting? You need to think of it from the perspective of your potential clients. If you sell shoes, what other shoes stores are on Twitter? What are the people who might buy shoes from a company that talks about themselves and their products on Twitter, what other companies are they following? So go ahead and follow your competitors if you like, and don't be surprised if they're following you as well.
So that's what I call strategic following; follow the people in your own ecosystem for your business, as well as the social influencers for your field.
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