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6 ways to decide who to follow on Twitter

I am going to start this post by asking you a question. What are you trying to achieve on Twitter? You see, unless you have a plan in mind you’ll inevitably join the many who tweet a little and then abandon the whole thing.

So here are a few scenarios for you:

You are trying to find out the centres of influence in your sector to keep ahead of the game:
Take a look at which drills down to key players in industry sectors. You simply put in the sector you want and then sort by either “Most influential” or “Most followers”

You want to find out what is going on locally and who else is tweeting in your area:
Take a look at lists the profiles of those tweeting locally with the most populartweeters heading that list

You want another way of communicating generally with your clients and contacts:.
If you are on LinkedIn why not send a message out to all of your contacts asking if they are Twitter, and ask the same question again in your e-newsletter or in a customer survey.

You want a way of spreading the word about your business to new contacts:
Is there anyone tweeting from membership organisations who are placed to share your quality advice? NB: I use the words “quality advice” advisedly - they are unlikely to be share your sales pitch!

You want to track down a particular product, service or piece of advice:
Just ask! But remember that this is a worldwide resource so if you are looking for something locally remember to state where you are.

You want to become an influencer in your own right:
You can click on the number of followers someone has and it will display a list of their followers. You should also do two things to make it easy for people to retweet your pearls of wisdom in order to catch the eye of new people:

Now, make sure your own tweets are not too long to retweet in their entirety. A number of times I've gone to share some great info but it would require me to do some tricky editing of the original message and I may have neither the time nor inclination to do that.

The best advice is to keep tweets below 114 characters giving plenty of room for a comment and RT @mention name before the original tweet.  You can help yourself greatly by not giving yourself a long Twitter user name  in the first place and by shortening any referred to weblinks by using something like For example my blog: becomes, saving 12 characters

Finally, think twice about following someone who tweets morning noon and night, you may lose the will to live in trying to sort out the wheat from the chaff. There's no point in allowing their stream of consciousness to render you unconscious!

I’d love to hear if you have any other advice about deciding who to follow on Twitter - get in touch!

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