McGraw-Hill recently sent me a copy of The Tao of Twitter by Mark W. Schaefer, who also wrote Return on Influence. I like the sub-title of his newest book: Changing Your Life and Business 140 Characters at a Time.
The book offers useful tips on building followers and using Twitter as a competitive advantage. His credentials include consulting and teaching and he was named by Forbes magazine as one of the top 50 social media power influencers of the world.
So how does one gain useful followers? The first thing you should do is do not look for a shortcut by purchasing them. He writes: “Unfortunately where corruption can occur, corruption will occur, and Twitter is no different. There is a cottage industry dedicated to bullying accounts of blank followers and then selling them to unsuspecting buyers for instant “credibility.”
In no set order, here are four tips, based on Schaefer’s advice, to find the followers you need and want:
1. Find Twitter users by location at LocalChirps, Tweetie, and TwitterGrader.com.
2. See Wefollow.com to find people associated with certain interests or keywords. FilterTweeps allows you to search through Twitter bios based on combinations of words and locations. You can also search based on the size of one’s followers. Tweelow.com has a directory of Twitter members by categories.
3. For a list of Twitter lists check out Listorious.com
4. To find people by keywords or location, look at the advanced search function found not on the main Twitter site but at https://twitter.com/#!/search-advanced.
Lastly, here are four great tips, word-for-word, from Schaefer:
5. “Once you are on Twitter for awhile, you will notice that people will place you on public ‘lists’. There are generally categorized by a special interest or geographic location. For example, I might be on lists for ‘marketing experts,’ ‘bloggers,’ or ‘business educators.
“If you click on somebody’s name and view her profile, you can see every public list she has created and every public list she is on. Dig into these lists, and you will probably find a goldmine of interesting people to follow.”
6. “At the top of the main Twitter home page, you will see an icon called “Discover.” If you click on that, you can see ‘Activity.’ This will show new people that your followers are following. There’s a good chance these would be good contacts for you, too.”
7. “Also look for lists that follow your key stakeholders. For example, if you find a competitor that keeps lists, you might want to check it out and ‘steal’ his followers. All of these lists are public information, so there are no ethical problems with this at all.”
8. Tracackr is a tool that allows you to find and follow people who are influential in your space. It allows you to identify the ‘authorities’ in your industry who can mean the most to your business or your client’s.”
Schaefer’s blog can be found at www.businessesgrow.com and he can be followed on Twitter @markwschaefer.
Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.
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