Even though I am new to it, I am really enjoying being on Twitter at the moment. I resisted it for so long (still resisting Facebook so far), but am now loving it. Finding who to follow when there are so many people to choose from can be a little daunting – especially when you first join. How do you know who to follow and how do you follow them? So here are a couple of suggestions I have on who to follow (and who not to follow) on Twitter that I’ve learnt so far.
Who to follow on Twitter and how to find them.
What do you want to get out of Twitter? Before you start following anyone – think about why you want to be on Twitter. To learn business tips and ideas, to see what other artists are doing or to get a daily dose of encouragement. For me – it is a little of all of those. You may feel one area is more important to you than another. If you use a program like Hootsuite, you can separate each group into separate “feeds” on your one Twitter identity which can make it easier to keep track of what’s going on.
If you want to follow Hollywood gossip, friends and family, I recommend setting up a separate Twitter account for that with a different Twitter identity. I have done that and find when I need a quick time out I check my personal Twitter. When I am “business mode”, I use my business Twitter account.
Who to follow first. When you first sign up, Twitter will give you a list of a couple of people who they recommend. This is how I started – I read a tweet or two by the people Twitter recommended and if I liked them, I “followed” them. You can also use the search feature to find people based on a word – this will bring up people with the word in their Twitter name as well as people with the word in their tweets. On the front page of twitter , where you sign in, there are little icon boxes at the bottom of the page. These are icons of people you can follow too – check some of them out as well.
Find “Your Twitter Tribe”. Once you have found a couple of people you really like – check out their profile. See who they follow (following) as well as who follows them. (followers) When looking at new people I am considering following – I always look the person’s description of themselves, their website if it’s listed and some of their tweets. If you really like their tweets – then “follow” them. If after a few days, you find they aren’t your cup of tea, you can always “unfollow” them.
The key to finding your Twitter Tribe, is to find people you REALLY LIKE. People you really click with. Not just people who seem okay or who others say are “the best”, but people who you feel you get a lot of benefit from. People who give you a daily dose of inspiration, people you are learning a lot from, people who will help you build your business. Also consider following some like minded artists who are building a business with their art – you will learn a lot from them too.
My Personal Top Seven To Follow…. The people I am really liking are the people who seem encouraging, generously share their information and are positive, kind people. I am loving their websites as well as their tweets – check them out. You may find they are a great place to start for you too.
@Startupprincess. Her tweets are very down to earth and often tweets others successes. Very encouraging if you are just starting out. Her website is brilliant too. One of the few big name people that live up to the hype. http://startupprincess.com
@Brandandbloom. Andrea talks about branding free from all the confusing industry jargon. http://brandandbloom.com/about [EDIT] – Since first writing this post, Andrea has expanded from creative business coaching to life coaching. You can now find her at http://andreamansfield.com/
@sinclairashley. Another lovely who has high quality tweets and blog posts. She is one of my new discoveries in the Twitter-verse, and am loving her blog posts shared through Twitter. http://selfactivator.com/
(And who not to follow)…
Don’t be a slave to the Top Ten lists. As a Twitter newbie, I “followed” some people that had made Top Ten Lists of People to Follow on Twitter. Big Mistake. Look – I don’t know who makes these lists, but I am guessing the person who did the list of Top Ten Women to Follow on Twitter was actually a man! The person writing the list may think they are the best people to follow, but chances are you won’t. I know I didn’t. In fact, some of the people I found to be arrogant, rude and condescending – they really put me off. I only found 1 or 2 people out of the 10 that were worthwhile. I’ve found I am actually gravitating to the people with a smaller following – it just seems more personal and like there is more of a connection. And they seem like they are really on your side and cheering for you to be a success. Big name can = no big whoop.
Don’t follow hundreds of people. You won’t get the most out of Twitter if you are following hundreds of people. You will have to sift through a lot of tweets that are rubbish to get to the good stuff (kind of like shopping at the op-shop). It will also take up a lot of your time – time you could spend on building your business. Find your own Top Thirty (or so) to follow and get the most out of what they have to offer.
These are my tips to get the most out of Twitter when you are just starting out. I’d love to hear any tips you have too.