Lately there has been a spurt of activity in the office with lots of new people joining Twitter (after a LOT of encouragement). After grumbling for a while, they sign up, follow Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber and then inevitably the question is asked ‘Soooo…what now? Who do I follow?’.  So for those of you who are new to Twitter, here’s a few tips on finding interesting people to follow.
1. First off, stand up and ask loudly “Is anyone else here on Twitter’. This works best if you are in an office or surrounded by people you know. It works not so well when in the middle of the supermarket or at the doctors. (believe me).  Twitter is rapidly gaining in popularity (over 190m users) so chances are there are a few people who you know who are already very familiar with the ins and outs of this micro blogging platform. Ask them who they enjoy following then check these people out for yourself. Ask your Facebook friends too.
2. Import all your email contacts and let Twitter see if the people who you email are also on Twitter. Instant party. Same with your LinkedIn connections (different kind of party).

3. Go to search.twitter.com and search for topics that interest you. Maybe ‘iPhones’ or ‘photography’. Or ‘UX’. Whatever is your passion. Take a look at some of the people who come up in the search and follow them.


4. Go to www.klout.com. Take a look at some of the people who you know of on Twitter by entering their name in the search box. Have a look at who these people are influenced by (klout displays these) and follow them. For example @mashable is influenced by @benparr (one of the editors of the Mashable blog).

5. Follow lists created by others. For example Harvard Business Review (@HarvardBiz)  has an Innovation and a Leadership List of accounts on Twitter that fall into this category. You can follow this whole list (including any new additions) or select just a few individual accounts to follow.  



6. Check out some hashtags. If you see some posts coming up in your Twitter stream that have the same hashtags repeatedly, then enter the hashtag (eg #apple) into the search box at the top of twitter, and all the tweets with that hashtag will show – even people you are not following. Check out some of those tweeps and follow the ones who seem interesting! If they don’t turn out to be as fascinating as you thought – just unfollow!


7. Check out trending topics in your area on www.trendsmap.com. This will show you the recent tweets on the top topics in your region and also a list of popular people who you can also check out.
Got any tips of your own that you think might be helpful to Twitter newbies? Post them in the comments below. And in my next blog post I’ll have some tips on tweeting and getting new followers to engage with.
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