How to Find the Best People to Follow on Twitter

Your Twitter account connects you to two separate networks. An incoming and an outgoing. Your incoming network needs to be fantastic for the service to be anything more than a complete waste of time.

There’s something like eight hundred million people touting that they can help you find Twitter followers. Which is just great of them. Some of them are even helpful.

But it doesn’t really matter if your incoming feed is garbage. Here are four different ways to find the best people to follow on Twitter.

Some sorta bird or something

Twitter bird by eldh via Flickr – Creative Commons

“Similar to you”

There’s a good chance you’d be interested in people similar to you. Unless you really hate yourself.

If you click onto your own profile, the box on the right includes a feature showing people who are similar to you. The problem with this function is it seems to go completely mental once in a while. I have no idea what criteria Twitter uses to decide what makes people similar, but the recommendations can be completely ridiculous.

Just check out the “Similar to you” box on your profile every couple of days and you’ll occasionally find somebody fantastic to follow.

Recommendations, I guess

The built in recommendation system for Twitter doesn’t differentiate between celebrities, completely automated feeds, and “real actual people.” It’s fairly useful because it gives you a constant stream of options, but you might as well just randomly add people if you actually intend on trusting this feature.

Unless you just want to follow celebrities.

Twitter’s search function

You know those #hashtags everyone’s always using on Twitter? Well if you search for one that interests you, you will find people interested in things that interest you. You can also search for just regular words, but that doesn’t sound as fancy.

If you try a search every day or two you will find active people discussing topics that you find interesting. And that’s probably a good indicator that you will enjoy things they talk about.

Actually interact with people

If you already follow a few interesting people, then just follow people that they are talking to. Check their profile once in a while and skim through the people who they seem to be having the most lively conversations with.

This is probably the best option, as it actually ensures you’re getting active users who engage others.

Never ever check trends

They’re the worst. They’re all ridiculous and useless and why are they even. Just don’t. You’ll have better luck just following anyone attached to a “Promoted” tweet.

For some reason or another, once something hits trending on Twitter, the average user starts attaching nonsense to it. If you’ve had the misfortune of ever checking out a Trending page on Twitter then you know.

Regardless of how many followers you have or how engaging your followers are, you can enjoy your twittering by ensuring that the side of the stream you can directly control is in good shape.

Stop working out ways to trick people into following you, and just start having genuine conversations with people you find interesting.

  • Tammy

    Twitter is a wonderful resource. At the beginning, I just didn’t get it. I couldn’t see what the fuss was about. Then again, I was only following a couple of my friends (who weren’t very active) and so my timeline was empty. Yup, Twitter is boring if that is how you use it.

    Over time I learned the ropes, adding news agencies and persons of interest and friends of friends. Now I love how easy it is to get involved in conversations – by not making it about you.

    I have conversed with authors and members of the news media (and Timmy from Think Geek!). It has drawn people to my blog, but not because I am shoving them in that direction, but because they are interested in finding out more about me.

  • Chris stops procrastinating

    Excellent tips – I’m just getting into Twitter and I think I need all the help I can get.

  • Steve

    Great tips. I especially think you’re right about the trending topics. I check them out every once in a while, but I never find them all that useful. For the most part, I just try to have genuine conversations with as many people as I can. That can be hard though since many people just don’t seem to want to interact much.

    Twitter can be a hard thing to crack, but if you work hard enough at it, you can really make it fun.

  • Jen (Scarlet Wonderland)

    LOL “unless you really hate yourself”! Good article xx