So, you’ve read about
the great creative-minded, energetic, all-around wonderful people I’ve met through Twitter in Charleston (and far beyond)…how I’ve become “friends-in-real-life” with many of them…how I’ve organized lunches/crafting get-togethers/dinner “tweetups” AND they’ve shown up…The real question may be: How did I FIND all these people, anyway? And, after I found them, how was the connection made?
Have you wondered how you can connect with similar folks in your local area (and beyond) as well?
In today’s “Twitter Tuesday
”, I’m going to take you back to May of 2009. It was on this month (May ’09) that I began “growing” my Charleston (SC) circle on Twitter. I did it intentionally. It was hard work. It didn’t happen overnight. But man, oh man, has it been SO worth it! I’ll also share 5 power tips you can use to grow your connections on Twitter! Before we begin, be sure to follow me on Twitter
if we aren’t connected already!
Back to that day in 2009…
We’d made the decision that we were moving to
. At the time, our home was in
…2 hours away. Not too far, but far enough that I didn’t know many people in
. I had an idea to see if there were marketers in
who were tweeting. I decided to pull up my twitter account and start searching along these lines. Long story short, I found plenty of marketing professionals (and advertising, public relations, etc.) in the
area (and beyond). Each time I found someone who felt like I shared similar interests with, I’d “follow” her/him. Many times, she/he reciprocated with a follow-back. We’d converse via tweets, and many times, a connection was made!
How did I find and connect with so many great folks?
I preferred (and still do) to find people on my own and add them one-by-one, over time. I have also heard of accounts being shut down/suspended, and I didn’t want to risk that for a quick inflation to my followers count. Not worth it, at all. Yes, this approach takes longer than one click of the mouse. It was a several-weeks-long process (just an hour or so a night) and then ongoing from there (meaning I still look to connect and add people just about every day). The neat thing about it is that you can do it at your own pace, and it isn’t a numbers game. Yes, you want to grow your followers, but that alone isn’t at all the motivation. It’s about actually making connections, meeting people, helping each other, and ultimately becoming friends with those who you really connect with. In real life.
Tips on Finding People on Twitter in Your City (and Beyond) Who Share Similar Interests With You:
1. Begin at the Twitter “search” box. Type in the name of your city. Press search (the magnifying glass graphic). Don’t stop here! On the results screen, click on the “tweets near you” tab. This will display a list of people who are tweeting NEAR YOU about your search term. Why your city name? Well, people love to tweet about things that are going on in their hometown. By you looking for people near you tweeting about your (shared) town, you’ll easily find a good string of folks to start with. After you’ve found folks tweeting about your city, near you, don’t necessarily follow each one of them! Take the time to click on the person’s profile to quickly read her/his bio and tweet stream. This will help you make your follow decision. If you’re not quite sure about someone, you may also visit his/her website via the link on their Twitter profile.
2. When you’ve come across a person on Twitter who has similar interests and lives in the same city/region as you, take a moment to explore his/her twitter “lists” if he/she has created lists. You may find that he/she has created a list such as “Charleston Artists” or “Charleston Advertising Agencies”, etc. These lists are great places to dig a little deeper as well. Scan the list in the same way you would your previous searches. Look for similar interests, scan recent tweets, visit her/his blog, etc. Don’t follow everyone on the list. Be selective and pace yourself.
3. Add at a pace you’re comfortable with. Beware of adding hundreds of connections in a short period of time. I like to add a few people each day. This allows me the opportunity to really follow my tweet stream and interact with new tweeps at a pace I’m comfortable with.
4. Looking to connect with people on Twitter outside of your region, who are in the same/similar industry as you
? You will still get started at the “search” box. It’s such a helpful and underestimated tool! This time, type in the term that relates to your industry, such as “advertising”. Conduct your search. Look on the “people” tab to scan people results.
5. Look for Twitter accounts for local organizations for your industry. For example, the National Association of Women Owned Businesses has a Twitter account. As a biz owner myself, I may wish to scan their followers and see if there are any locally (or beyond) who match my interests.
These are 5 getting-started tips. More to come!
Laura Catherine Otero is a marketing professional and blogger in
Charleston, SC who has been active in social media since 2005. If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to this blog via Email or RSS. Laura can also be found on Twitter (@LauraCatherineO), Facebook, and LinkedIn.