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Writers: Who will you follow? by Rochelle Melander

Last week, we talked about who to follow on Twitter. Here’s a quick recap of the people you might be interested in following:

*Fascinating, intelligent people in your niche.

*Organizations, conferences, and other groups in your niche.

*Your favorite writers.

*Your colleagues.

*Agents and editors.

So how do you find these people?

*Look at the blogs or websites you already follow. Most of these people, companies, or organizations have a link to their Twitter account on their website or blog.

*Search for people by name under Twitter’s search tab.

*Search for topics you are interested in on Twitter using the hashtag (#) with your topic such as #books, #gardening, or #globalwarming. Twitter gives you the option to look at results in three categories: Tweets, People, or Videos. Follow the people who tweet regularly and well about information you need or want to know. As a reader, I appreciate #fridayreads, which helps me find other avid readers as well as good books.

*Twitter now allows you to create and collect lists of people you follow. For me that has been editors, agents, booksellers, and authors. If you are not sure who to follow, take a look at the lists that other writers have made and follow the lists or the people on the lists!

*Find people through hashtag search:

*Use a search tool to find people to follow in your niche:

So, are there rules about following people? Twitter gives users a follow limit. No users can follow more than 1000 users a day.  Most users are limited to following 2000 people but can follow additional followers as they gain more followers. In addition, there are some informal but helpful practices that will help you build relationships with those you follow and those who follow you:

*Follow people who follow you (unless they are insane). If you have a small Twitter account, it’s pretty easy to follow everyone who follows you. As you gain more followers, you might want to use a followback tool such as These tools will automatically follow the people who follow you. It also offers a tool that sends an automatic direct message to anyone who follows you.

*Give a shout out to new followers. It’s always a joy to have someone speak directly to you on Twitter. If you can, welcome new followers by acknowledging them in your Twitter feed.

*Send a welcome message. Say hey to new followers with a message—though try not to abuse it with a real salesy pitch.

Your turn: Next week I will be talking about what to do on Twitter. But for now, I am curious to hear from you:

*What’s your strategy for following people?

*What Twitter management tool do you use (e.g., HootSuite, SocialOomph, etc.)

Leave your answers in the comment field below. Thanks!

2 Responses

  1. Sandy Stuckless

    I used to follow everybody, but since I’ve hit my follower limit I’m more selective and I’ve begun unfollowing inactive users and those not following me back.
    My philosophy is ‘I want to interact with people that want to interact with me.’

    1. writenowcoach

      Sandy, I agree. It is much more fun to have a small list of active people to follow than a large list of inactives or spammers!

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