How Do You Find People to Follow on Twitter? Use Twitter Lists and Tweet Chats.

When starting out on Twitter, it can be overwhelming when trying to work out how to begin following people – with so many to choose from, who do you follow?  Where do you start?  

There are countless numbers of Twitter tools that will give you suggestions for who to follow (ie Hootsuite, Sprout Social to name just two).  But if you want to drill down a little more into “who” is appropriate and beneficial for you to follow (and who is more likely to follow back) then here are a couple of quick tips for you to get you going with Twitter! And the best part? Even more than “following” – you will most likely create great connections with other Twitter users by using some of the strategies listed in this post.  

When finding people to follow on Twitter, there are a number of reasons why you might choose to follow them, including:

  • they are thought leaders in your niche
  • they are your ideal client
  • they produce products and services of interest to you or your clients, and/or are useful to your business
  • you can learn from them or their products and services
  • they are a partner or prospective partner or business associate for your business
  • the person is your friend
  • the list goes on.
We talked about some creative ways to be “social” on Twitter in order to attract more quality Twitter followers here.  In this post, I want to talk to you about two more simple ways to find great people to follow.  These are:
#1  Use the Twitter Lists of Others

Before I start on this, I have to say that I highly, highly recommend that you set up your own lists on Twitter.  I recently wrote a post about how to set up and use Twitter Lists strategically and creatively.  Please check the post out here if you are not very familiar with Twitter Lists. It includes some great tips for getting started.

Setting up your own lists does not necessarily mean that they will fill with people quickly.  How can you start to fill them with people that you follow (and hopefully will follow you back)?  Easy!  Think of people that fit into the categories above (or service those categories) and go to their profile.  Start with the thought leaders in your industry.  If you are a writer, you might go to some accounts of famous authors, or perhaps book publishers.  In my niche, I follow various thought leaders in social media. Alternatively, it may be that you get a little cheeky and find the account for your local “competition”.  Or perhaps follow your local council/shire/sporting organisation/Tourism Office – as they will no doubt follow a lot of the local businesses in your area.  Use their list to find local businesses to follow too.  Once you have worked out which people are likely to have great Twitter Lists, then go to their account, scroll down below their profile picture and click on LISTS.

You will then see all the lists that the person or company is subscribed to (or a member of).  For example, if you looked up my account you would see the following – all the lists that I have (a) established (b) subscribed to or (c) have been made a member of by another Twitter User.

Socially Sorted - Twitter
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Find the “Lists” of another person or business on Twitter

It is a virtual smorgasbord of people to follow!  For example, if you are interested in social media (and I am hoping you are, given that you are reading this post) – you could visit my account, check out who I follow and follow some of those same people. Here are some of the lists that I prepared earlier…feel free to not reinvent the wheel and check out some of the great people I am following by visiting my account at @sociallysorted.

Lists to Follow - Socially Sorted
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Why reinvent the wheel? Find some great lists and use them to follow some great people!

For example, if you are a budding video marketer, you might visit the accounts of @gideonshalwick or @colligan and @RETrainingVids and see who they have saved into lists.  If someone has already made a great list, go and check it out!  Not everyone uses lists, but for those that do, I am sure they will have some great people for you to follow!

#2  Participate in Twitter Chats

What is a Twitter Chat you may ask?  Well, a Twitter Chat is something that has become very popular.  Basically it involves a group of like-minded people getting together to chat under a particular “hashtag” on a topic of common interest (at a pre-determined time).  Everyone uses the same #hashtag during the conversation (which usually lasts 1 hour) so that it is easy to follow along (and the conversation can be searched on via the designated hashtag).  There are chats on Twitter for almost every topic. For example there is an #edchat for educational professionals, a #cookingchat and a #TNI (Travellers Night In) for travel enthusiasts…and a whole swag of social media chats.  My favourite social media chat at the moment? #likeablechat from the team at Likeable Media.  If you are looking for Social Media Chats to follow, I can highly recommend this article from Social Fresh about popular Social Media Twitter Chats.

How to Get Chatting?  I would suggest that you find a chat that resonates with you and:

  • Search under the hashtag for the chat and see if you like the content of previous chats
  • Put the time in your diary (check if the chat is in another time zone – to see if the time suits you.  For one of the chats that I do, the US participants are having a lazy Sunday night in, while I catch them at morning tea on a Monday!
  • Join in the conversation and remember to add #xyzchat (the relevant hashtag) to your tweets
  • Take note of those people that interact with you and retweet or @mention you during the chat – these are great people to start following.
Twitter Chats are a great way to find new people to follow and (in return) you will get followed by new people as well. The more you participate, the better. Some chats work on one theme for the whole session (usually an hour), others have a guest “tweeter” who you can ask questions of and will guide the discussion.  I particularly like #likeablechat because they include a series of 5-6 questions around a particular theme – participants respond to the questions and it really provides for some engaging conversation and great social media ideas.
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Likeable Media hold #likeablechat every Sunday Night at 10pm EST – drop by, say hi and join their social media conversation.

Just remember, that although it is definitely worth joining a chat with a decent number of participants, you may want to start with one that is smaller, to try it out first.  Joining a massive Twitter Chat can be overwhelming as you try to keep up with the rapid fire tweets. Have fun finding a chat that suits you!
So, there you have it…two easy ways that you can find new, relevant, fun, and sociable people to follow on Twitter – while engaging and encouraging others to follow you back as well!
Tell me, have you used lists before?  If you have, provide the link to a list that you love below (belonging to you or someone else), so that we can all check it out.  


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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. Krishna Everson

    Brilliant tips Donna. Thanks for sharing your knowledge so generously. There are some amazing resources, if we just tap into them. It’s good to know that Twitter is more than a super highway, that there are useful paths that can take us to our chosen destination!! We just need a bit of a road map. Thanks for providing yours. Cheers!

    • Donna Moritz

      Thanks so much @KrishnaEverson (anyone reading this should follow her by the way – great marketing tips!). I thought Twitter was a waste of time two years ago, but to be honest most of the great connections I have made have been through Twitter – I am enjoying it more and more for the engagement factor! Love your comment – it is a piece of beautiful writing in itself! Love the road map analogy! Hope you are having an awesome weekend! :o)

  2. Taty Hindes

    Those lists make so much sense! I think I need to go to a social media holiday… so I can set up my twitter account and enjoy it.. I use it very little and was wondering why I got people following me (following me where?!).. so much to learn, thanks so much for sharing your tips! xxx

    • Donna Moritz

      ha ha that’s funny Taty. Yes it can seem a little strange at first until you get used to how it works. I took a while to warm up, but now I love it! I think, as with anything, take it one step at a time. Start by following a few people, and tweeting, and build from there. Thanks for your feedback – have a great night!


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