How to Follow the Most Important People on Twitter for your Business


Who are the most influential and important people for you to follow on Twitter?  Which Twitter Followers will have the biggest impact on you?  

How to Follow the Most Important People on Twitter for your Business
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Light Bulb Moment. The Most Powerful People on Twitter may not be the ones that you actually need to follow. The Engaged People are!

The answer might surprise you. And no, it's not @BarackObama, @justinbeiber or @ladygaga.

In this post, you'll learn how to quickly identify the people on Twitter who will have the biggest influence on your business, products and services.  And they are much easier to find than you think!

The most important people to follow on Twitter for you and your business, are not necessarily the ones with the biggest following or the most “global” influence.  They are the ones that engage with you, like your content, respond to your Tweets and genuinely show some interest.

The people that engage with you may not be famous (or maybe they are!). They may not have 1,000,000's of followers.  They may not even be experts in your field. But they are the most important people to follow up with on Twitter.  They are quite possibly your “ideal client” because they are already warmed up to your content.

Here is how you find them:

  1. Set up a Twitter List for your VIPs.  To find LISTS on your Twitter account, look below your Profile picture and click on “Lists”. Then click on “Create List” to set up a new List.

    How to Set Up Lists on Twitter
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    Under your profile, click on LISTS and CREATE LISTS to start a new list.

  2. Give your list a great name to describe the people on the list. Remember that the List Name should pay them some sort of compliment. Include something about them being engaging, interesting, or generous with their retweeting of content.  There are many reasons why you will follow them.  And remember, that you can change your List Title later, should you choose to. My list for this purpose at Socially Sorted is as follows:
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  1. Add people to the list!  The best people to add to the list are those who:   
    • Indicate that they want more content from you
    • Retweet your content
    • Give great feedback or engage with you
    • Show interest in your products or services
    • Ask for more info or content from you
    • Comment on your blog posts
    • Share on any social media platforms (engaging with you) including Facebook
    • Answer your questions
    • Add your Tweets to their Favourites
    • Add you to a Follow Friday Tweet (and engage with you)
    • Add you to one of their Lists

All of these scenarios involve the other person making extra effort on Twitter – following you is not really enough to make it to this special list.  Yes, by all means, keep separate lists for people that are great bloggers, clients, local businesses, experts in your field, or people you want to connect with. But this List is for your VIPs.  People who have already made a connection.  They have to show some extra interest or engagement to make it to your VIP list.  Because you are going to refer to this list often!

Twitter Followers - Brian Murray example
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I love the Simplicity of this List. If you Talk to Brian Murray @BTMurr (@likeablemedia) you get added to his VIP/Engagers List.

Please Note:  You will find that many of the people that you add to this list, will most likely have similar interests or businesses to yours.  It just seems to work out that way, because like-minded people tend to find each other on Twitter.  And if they are retweeting your content, chances are they already like what you like…and what you post about.

How to use your List of VIP Engagers. 

  • Thank them publicly for their support, and Tweet out about them to other followers.
  • When you have content that these people will like, let them know. They could become your raving, referring brand advocates, so engage in conversation with them.
  • Ask their opinion. If you are developing a product or service, ask for their input.
  • Retweet their blog posts or content.
  • Add them to other relevant Lists.
  • Ask them questions about their lives and businesses – if they have engaged with you, engage back.
  • Find them on other social media sites.  Maybe they are more prolific on Facebook – go where they are to make connections in other ways.

HOT TIP:  Occasionally go to your LISTS and check Lists that You have been added to.  To do this, go to LISTS and you will see two options:

  • Subscribed to (including your own Lists and those of others that you subscribe)
  • Member of (lists that you have been added to).

Click on MEMBER OF and check the lists you have been added to. Sometimes we don't see the notification that we have been added to a list.  Respond to people that add you to lists – follow them, engage with them, thank them….and add them to your VIP list!

 So, what are you waiting for?  Head on over to Twitter and set up a list.  Be sure to leave a comment below telling us all about your list, what you have called it, and also tell us your @username so that we can connect on Twitter!  

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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is a Visual Content Strategist and founder of Socially Sorted, listed by Forbes as a "Top 5 Social Media Blog You Need to Know About". Donna helps brands leverage the power of visual storytelling and content strategy in their business. Her content has been featured in publications such as Forbes, Inc. & Entrepreneur and she is a speaker and trainer on visual content for the marketing and tourism industries internationally.

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  1. Lillian Leon

    Hey Donna

    Great article! Thanks again! I’d been wondering about creating lists myself and now, you’ve shown me a good reason for doing so. I’ve started a list called ‘Social Media Superstars’ and you’re the first on my list. (tho’ I’m not sure what went wrong – when I changed from private to public the number of members went back to zero?).

    Anyway, I’ll figure it – I always do… eventually! 🙂

    Thanks again. Talk soon 🙂

    • Donna Moritz

      Yay! Good one – Lists are great for keeping up with Twitter….even if just for fun and following friends. Thanks for the list add….hmm not sure why the numbers disappeared. I was sure I changed one of my lists from Private to Public before and it all stayed, so not sure why. If I find out I will let you know!

      • Lillian Leon

        Ooh, just checked it again and it’s all good now – must’ve been a delay on Twitter’s end. Yay. Thanks for offering to check it out tho’ Donna. You rock! 🙂

        • Donna Moritz

          Oh cool – glad it worked out! I was sure that it did transfer over eventually. Excellent!

  2. Kama

    What a fabulous tip! I love that idea, Thank you 🙂

    • Donna Moritz

      Love it! That’s great. Thanks for the feedback!

  3. Emma Roborgh

    Hi Donna, even though this article is now 3 years old I found it still relevant and really enjoyed it so thanks!
    I found it when on Google trying to find out how I find “influencers” on twitter. I’m trying to find influencers in Australia on the topic of social media marketing and so far only you come up in my searches, mainly through your involvement with SMMW15 (no I didn’t attend in person).

    Can you provide any tips/tricks on a tool where I can find them. It’s easy to find Americans but I’m specifically after Australians, are there any tips/tricks/tools/softwares you could recommend?
    Thanks! Emma

    • Donna Moritz

      Thanks Emma and wow, this is an old post – though yes, some of it is still relevant. I might have to repurpose it haha. To be honest when it comes to influencers, I would say SMMW and the speaker list is a great place to start. Also Problogger (I spoke there last year and Darren Rowse rotates his speakers every year). People like Darren Jeff Bullas, Todd Wheatland and Nikki Parkinson is a great speaker and top blogger so she speaks about social media too (Best Business Blog in Australia winner 2011). Jesse Desjardin (from Tourism Australia) is also one of the savviest people I know when it comes to social. And you could use BuzzSumo to search on content – that will show up influencers, but to be honest I don’t really know how to search on Australian’s specifically. It’s interesting though – definitely not enough of us speaking overseas (and it’s mainly the guys). The other confernece I speak at regularly is Social Media Tourism Symposium and they get some great speakers through though focused around Tourism. Oh – two more – Lauren Bath (Instagrammer) and Caz Makepeace (Y Travel Blog) are also great Aussie female speakers.

      • Emma Roborgh

        Thank you so much for your reply! That’s a great list to get started with. Thanks so much for taking the time to reply.



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