Searching Twitter for People to Follow

Once you start your Twitter account you will find that Twitter offers suggestions on people to follow. If you login to Twitter, you will see on the right side of the screen the people who are following you, “Followers” and below that “Who to follow.” When you are first starting out, there may not be many suggestions, however as you follow more and more people Twitter will interpret your interests and make more (and presumably better) suggestions for you.

The top listing in the suggestions is frequently, but not always, a promotion, which you may, or may not, want to follow. You will know it is a promoted Tweep by the “Promoted” box next to their handle. I find the promoted Tweeps don’t seem to have any real connection to me or my interests, but other than that the suggestions are generally pretty good.

You can either click on the “Follow” next to their Twitter handle or click on their handle and review their profile to see if they are indeed someone you want to add to your list of followers. Clicking on the X to the right of their handle will delete them from this list.

If you click “Refresh suggestions” you will be served up additional people you can follow.

Browse Interests to Find People to Follow

Below this  you will find “Browse interests” and “Find friends”

Clicking on the Browse interests link opens a full page “who to follow” and allows you to look through Twitter by categories such as Business, Funny (not to be confused with funny business), Government, Sports, Travel, Technology, Health…By clicking on a category you will find people who have similar interests that you can choose to follow.

For example, I clicked on the category Food & Drink and a list of 81 people to follow came up.

Or if you have a specific topic that you are interested in you can enter that into the search box directly. For example, I can enter “chocolate” and anyone who expresses in their profile will be listed. Similarly, if you want to find people in your town or region you can enter that in the search box. (Hint: this is a great way to connect with people in your local area!)

The more people you follow, the better the suggestions made by Twitter will become, especially if you are searching for a particular niche or region.

Keep in mind that if you want people to be able to find you, then you should be sure to complete your Twitter bio with the keywords or terms that you want to connect over. If you are an artisan chocolatier in Loveland, Colorado with a retail store downtown then you would want to include all that in your bio so people in town who love chocolate will be able to find you easily.

When you are searching on interests and when you are writing your bio, think about the various ways that people might search for your topic. For example, not everyone will think to search on “chocolatier” but “chocolate” is an easy search term.

Twitter Tips Connecting Local Businesses and Customers

If you have a business that is local-centric? By that I mean, does your business rely largely on local customers? Many small businesses do, and of those that do, most of those customers come from 5 miles away or less!

Of course you can a website and be visible to people across the country, and even across the globe. But this doesn’t necessarily translate into getting those local customers who will call you on the phone or walk in your door.

So how does a small business attract those customers who work or reside nearby? Social Media venues including Twitter are an important part of your internet advertising campaign to reach those ideal customers.

You can actually use Twitter to find folks you live in your city or town or even neighborhood–or if they don’t live there, they frequent the area, maybe because of work.

Searching for Local Tweeps

Since people who tweet (aka “Tweeps”) at least once in a while will tweet about things that are going on around them, places they have been locally, etc, you can search on tweets that are about things going on and other places that are near your business.

Some of these things are pretty obvious, but you can search by City name, a business name, a special landmark, a museum, the library, a community event such as a parade or fundraiser.

In your Twitter account, in the search box type the name of your city, town or neighborhood and see what comes up.

For example when I searched on Loveland Colorado today I saw that one of schools had a problem this morning, there was a Pet Expo last weekend, some local job postings…


If I click on the “People” link, then I will see people and businesses that list in their profile they are from the Loveland Colorado area. You may find that if you search on “Your Town” including the quotations you will have a more refined search, so try it both ways.

Click on the Advanced Search link and you will get to a more detailed search screen. Here you can list you town and a distance you want to search for people (in some locations you may be able to see a tab in your initial search Tweets Near You…but this feature does not appear to be available to all of us!)

You can also enter your business name in this search function and see if anyone is tweeting anything about you. For example, I entered Loveland Museum as the phrase I was searching on and selected tweets from within 15 miles of Loveland and saw a nice Tweet about the Museum from the newspaper.

Follow Found Tweeps

One of the things local businesses want to do with their social media accounts is to follow people who are in their area. To follow someone that you have found through this Advanced Search function (or that you found by other means) click on their name


and when the new box opens up (they call it a flyout) click on the follow button.

Following other people and businesses in your area is a great idea if you share common interests. It doesn’t mean you have to follow every “Tom, Dick or Harry” in town, but it CAN be a great way to connect and meet other people who you might not otherwise meet. You’d be surprised what you can learn about your town or neighborhood by following people on Twitter.

How Does This Help?

Twitter and other social media venues are about engaging in the conversation. So if someone is tweeting about something in your area you can enter the conversation. This can be social or business or both.

For example, if you are a photographer in Loveland you might search on ‘photographer or photography’ near Loveland to see what people are saying about photography in the area. There might be other photographers tweeting about a great shoot or you might find someone looking for a wedding photographer.

If you carry specialized products, you can search on the brand or a phrase that relates to that product and see if people are searching for it, giving you an opportunity to let people know that they can find it at your store.

I’ve found people who are coming to Loveland and are looking for places to see. This can be a great way to let folks know about your favorite park, event, or restaurant.

For more tips on how to use Twitter to connect with local customers, read this article.

Twitter: Growing Healthy 5 Year Old

If you convinced that Twitter is a fad, a waste of time or not important for business, I understand. That’s pretty much what I thought when I first learned about Twitter.

Since then I have learned a lot more and actually started using Twitter…albeit kicking and screaming at first!

Twitter is now over 5 years old and still growing.

Businesses are finding great results from Twitter.

I’ve made invaluable business and personal connections through Twitter.

My own book and website Refuse to Diet have both been helped by Twitter and The Gratitude Book Project of which I am a co-author became an Amazon best-seller–largely because of our use of Twitter.

Twitter can be used as a way to connect with people in your industry or with potential clients or with people who have similar interests.

I believe Twitter is a good tool for business. Will it be a great tool 5 years from now? Maybe, or maybe something else will take its place…but for now I see it as healthy and growing, and going mainstream and a vehicle that should be used as part of your Internet Advertising That Works!