Twitter is a powerful social media platform, but to gain new followers, you also need to know the best types of businesses and/or people to follow as well. While following people like Ellen DeGeneres or Lady Gaga is fun, it’s more effective to find people and companies that are more compatible and complementary to your business.

How do you get the ball rolling in the right direction? Here are three steps:

1. Search

If you sell ice-climbing equipment online, it’s best to obviously follow anyone who has an interest in ice climbing. If you own a hamburger joint in San Francisco, you might want to follow foodies who love a good burger, and so on.

How do you find these people? The easiest way is by going to Twitter Search.

On the main page, type in any keyword or phrase that you’d like into the large search box and make sure it’s specific enough for your business. In my example below, I used the phrase, “small biz” because accounts that use this phrase in their tweets or bio are typically the type of accounts that I’m interested in following. As you can see below, there’s a lot of information returned on the phrase, “small biz.”

Twitter returns everything relating to the keyword or phrase you search. You can get more specific by clicking the different tabs (people, photos, news, etc.) on the left-hand side. For our purposes, I focused on the people tab as seen below.

I am then given all Twitter accounts with some sort some connection to my “small biz” phrase. Browse the different accounts; check out their bio and last several tweets. This should provide you enough data to see if it’s valuable to follow. If so, you can start to interact with them in a appropriate manner.

2. Reach out

When reaching out, remember to be yourself and try to be helpful. Back to our ice-climbing example, if someone tweets that they’re in the market for ice-climbing shoes but are confused by all the choices, provide them info to understand the differences. Ask them questions about what their needs are. Establish your expertise and lend a helping hand. If you do this, there’s a higher probability they’ll check out a link in your profile, or will at least visit your website.

3. Localize

You can also narrow down your search by location. Using our San Francisco hamburger joint example from above, If you type hamburgers into the search bar, click on the people tab on the left-hand side and change the location tab from everywhere to near you. All the results will match your location as seen below:

So there you have it: A quick and easy 3-step process to finding interesting and relevant Twitter accounts, which will inevitably result in a strong Twitter following, and hopefully more business! How do you find Twitter accounts relevant to your business? Leave us a comment or share with us on our Twitter account.

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