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Who should you follow on Twitter?

Finding the right people to follow on Twitter can be a daunting task for the beginner.  This post is intended to provide the new Twitterer with a few tools and techniques to help them on their way.

First step is to follow some twitter giants like @JasonCalacanis who has over 44,000 followers and follows over 52,000. Others can be found at http://twitterank.com under their Top 50 Twitterers. People on that list are doing something right and it can help to figure out what is working and how people are using Twitter.  

A fun method is to find celebrities like @lancearmstrong, who gives his 13,000 followers a rare look behind the curtain as he trains for his next Tour de France.  His followers get nuggets like where he is training, who he spends time with and immediate notification of when he is peeing in a cup for anti-doping control.

Search.twitter.com is a very useful tool in finding people to follow. There are endless ways to search but the following are a few techniques I use.

1.) Hashtags are the pound sign (#) followed by a short series of letters that signifies an area of interest.  By entering this at search.twitter.com you can see the “stream” of people talking about that area.  Some examples are TCOT and TLOT, the Top Conservative/Liberal On Twitter. If you would like your tweets to be included in the stream simply include the hashtag in your tweet.  (this will be covered further in how to gain followers)

2.) Searching a keyword can lead you to people tweeting about that subject.  Searching “social media club” might lead you to @chrisheuer the founder of the Social Media Club.

3.)I like to mix geography with a keyword, for example, searching “social media club dallas” would lead you to @vargasl who is involved in the local chapter.   Or searching “Christmas in Grapevine, TX” would lead you to @grapevinegurl who tweets about Grapevine for the visitors and convention bureau. 

Brands you are interested in are an increasing good follow as more and more embrace twitter.  @zappos leads the way, especially if you like shoes.

These techniques will get you started in developing your own style of how many people you will follow and what tool you will use to manage your stream as it grows.

Twitter On!