I’ve been on Twitter since 2010. So says Twitter. But you can’t believe everything you read online. Being on a platform and actually using it are two different things.

I’ve actually started using Twitter the way it ought to be used only in the last year or so. Initially, it was all peaches and cream, following everyone who followed me but I was not really engaging with anyone effectively.

As I became more comfortable with blogging and using social media as a means to network, Twitter became a comfort zone to explore at leisure. I do hope that these tips help you get a better experience out of Twitter.

[easy-tweet tweet=”6 #Tips to choose who to follow on Twitter. #SocialMedia” user=”shyvish”]

The key to know who to follow on Twitter and grow your Twitter followers organically. #Tips for #Bloggers


1. Identify your interests

Twitter can be overwhelming for first-time users. It helps if you can list out what your core interests are and start from there.

For instance, my interests include blogging, writing, social media, parenting, mental health and networking. So I try to work out my time on Twitter based on these interests and figure out whom to follow accordingly. How do you find people based on these interests? That’s coming up in point # 2.

2. Use hash tags when you share/ search for content

Assume you’ve written a post/ an article. Now the next logical step is to share it on social media. While a large chunk of my traffic comes from Facebook, I’ve found that a lot of conversations and connections also happen on Twitter around the subject of my post. So, here’s what I do.

Take this post, for instance. I’d share it on Twitter with the URL, the image and then certain hash tags, such as : #SocialMedia, #Blogging, #Networking etc.

Searching for a hash tag will show you accounts that are popular in your network, such as these. Click to follow them.

Screenshot (72)

When people search for similar content, they will stumble upon your post and share it or like it. Click through to check their bio and their timeline. If what they share resonates with you, they’re perfect to follow.

*Add-on tip: Use keywords in your bio so people know at a glance what your interests are.

3.  Use Lists

Of course you should use lists on Twitter! How else can you track everyone you follow? Remember those interests in Tip # 1? Well, those are a good place to start.

Add people you follow to lists that you can make. You can create both public and private lists on Twitter.

Know people in your network with large followers? Check their public lists on their profile and see the kind of people they follow. Add them to your list as well.

The surefire advantage here is that you get to see all related tweets by people who are in the same interest group in one space. This is different from the feed that shows up on your Home page.

4. Join a Twitter chat

This has to be, hands down, one of my favourite ways of finding people to follow. I try to participate in chat sessions on Twitter around my core interests: Blogging & writing.

In one space, you get to see everyone in those interest groups pitching in and sharing ideas. It’s a golden opportunity to find people to follow. Chat sessions use hash tags too, so keep an eye out on that ‘Trending’ sidebar and see if any interesting chat sessions pop up.

5. Join a Hash tag party

This has to be my second favourite way of connecting with people. (Oh, who am I kidding? I love them both!) For a blogger, especially, the hash tag parties (where we share links on a specific hash tag on a specific day) are a way to network with so many people in the space of just 24 hours!

Probably the best I’ve ever taken part in (and continue to participate in) is #MondayBlogs that is managed very effectively by Rachel Thompson. Hash tag parties have rules, so play nice and build your network.

6. Study people and engage with followers

Twitter is a social network so it stands to reason that you’d gain a lot by actually networking with others. I look at the way people with a large number of followers engage with their fans and study the chemistry.

Are they kind? Are they intuitively helpful? Do they make an effort to acknowledge others? Are they being human?

They immediately make it on to my list of people to follow.

*Add-on tips:

  • Try to gauge whom you want to follow and do it based on your comfort level.
  • You don’t have to follow back everyone who follows you.
  • Try not to put up tweets that are passive-aggressive in nature, saying, ‘Well, I’m never following ungrateful people again!’
  • Please do not send messages to people telling them that you are un-following them. I honestly don’t know how to respond to this one.

Use Twitter sensibly and you’ll find that it’s a pretty awesome experience.

Which of these tips have worked for you?

Do you have any other tips to share? 

*Recommended reading:

*Featured image & pinnable image courtesy: Shutterstock

41 thoughts on “6 ways to choose who to follow on Twitter

  1. That’s the thing about social media. It takes an enormous amount of time and investment before you see any returns. You’d have to focus on being on Twitter for at least 3 to 6 months before you see targeted follower growth.

    Participate in writing related chats, curate writing content, share writing tips, use relevant hashtags and build a following first. Once you establish yourself as an authority in your niche then these tips in today’s post will come in handy, Shivangi 🙂

  2. Hi Shailaja,

    As always, your tips are awesome and helpful. However, I am always in doubt that how to engage with my target audience that comprises beginners in freelance writing. Until and unless they follow me on Twitter?

  3. That’s why you shouldn’t do everything at once. 🙂 All this content is always there. You just have to bookmark it, put it in a folder and earmark a different month for each platform. That way you get access to all of it when you need it. 🙂

  4. I have been using Twitter since 2009 or 10, but not seen much value in it except that it’s one more platform to be on. But I liked your tips and I think if I follow them consciously I can gain value. But I am so overwhelmed with things, pinterest, Facebook and insta.

  5. I had never seen much value in Twitter before, it was just another platform. But I like your tips, and if I follow them correctly I might see some traffic. But thr truth is I am so overwhelmed with things, pinterest, nanowrimo, Facebook and insta.

  6. I have been twitter from the last few months as it is doing well for me compared to facebook. About 20% traffic is from Twitter. I completely agree with your view point. I try to interact there a lot.

  7. It can be challenging at first but after a few months of consistency it gets easier. Try these tips and see if it makes a difference

  8. I am on Twitter since don’t know how many years but have never really used it effectively. It was just limited to sharing post. Being regular here is what is challenging for me.

  9. Shailaja, this is the first ever post I read on how to use twitter! 😛
    I now know I will have to edit my list of followers and followings and it’s quite a lot of work. But, I know that now I will find twitter much more useful than just sharing my posts and forgetting about it all!

    Thanks a million, babe! Going off to re-do my twitter profile now! 🙂


  10. This is very informative post, Shailaja. I was having trouble understanding the who to follow, how to find who to follow, and the relevant hashtags. Now I guess I have an idea how to go about and around twitter.

    P.S. have left a tweet to this post’s tweet. Hope you revert.

  11. Thanks for this post !!
    I am on twitter for a considerable long time but only the few months have I been “somewhat” active.. Moreover its a challege to effectively use social media like Twitter ..
    And thanks for mentining about “Lists” .. Its something that I have not yet plunged into ..

    Glad to read and stay connected 🙂

  12. I know that feeling. I used to feel completely at sea until I took the time to learn some things 🙂 It’s helped, for sure.

  13. Trust you to be too honest 😛

    Well, shutting down BAR made me sad so I suppose I was using this as a way to share my tips. Plus this isn’t the first time I’ve shared my ‘wisdom’ 😉 And don’t worry, these won’t happen frequently. And twitter queen is a bit of a stretch, no? Hardly any following to speak of 😀

  14. People send out tweets/messages updating you about unfollowing? Wow! The kind of time some people have! I wouldn’t know how to respond to that one either.

    These tips are very useful. I haven’t used lists all that much; will do now. Thank you. 🙂

  15. Oh man… !!! I have always found twitter so overwhelming.. It did take me a long time understanding what it was all about. Yet there are things I still haven’t really got my hands on to completely and that is effective use of hashtags… But I do try to go through the latest trends and hash tags and do try participating in it.

  16. That unfollow message I too got and I replied to the guy too! 😀 I am funny that way. I thanked him.
    Good tips here, I try to follow them all but I do fall off most of the time.

  17. I dont really remember when I made my twitter account, but I only started using it around last week, so you can imagine how much this post comes in handy! 😀 I couldn’t make head or tail of what was going on at first, but by now I’ve fallen in love with it already.

    My first twitter chat proved to be quite fun. So far I only have bloggers in my network and twitter is a means to browse through amazing new blogs ^_^. I’m enjoying it a great deal!

  18. Okay, I’ll be honest – I’m not quite sure what to make of this post, but yes, I’m sure a lot of people will find it interesting. Though I must confess, when I come to ‘The Moving Quill’, personally, I’m looking for stories, flash fiction and maybe your stories about writing etc.

    All that aside, handy tips from the Twitter Queen 🙂 I’m sure plenty will find it useful

  19. I think sometimes I use way too many hashtags and I love hashtag parties too, whenever I get a chance to participate. Wonderful tips 🙂

  20. That’s very interesting and invaluable tips for people who are not so well attuned. I am still learning the ropes and recently discovered notes beyond 140 words. When I joined, I couldn’t comprehend how it works-reason I joined was to follow few celebs like AB and KJO-later I realize that it’s the Baap of social networking much better than FB. I was clueless for several years.

  21. A good compilation Shailaja.. I have not attempted lists but everything else is so much fun. I’ve met new people, learnt new things and had fun. This Sunday,I also went to a tweet-up 🙂

  22. Yes, I was rather surprised when I saw a couple of those messages in my inbox. It was along the lines of ‘I am sorry but you don’t engage with me, so I am not going to follow you anymore.’ Well, okay then. You be happy then 😉

    I do follow some really humorous people too and usually steer clear of controversial topics. That keeps me safe. Thanks for sharing, Rachna 🙂

  23. Sending messages to people to say you’ve unfollowed them? Wow, does someone actually do that? Very useful tips those. As for me, l really spend very less time on Twitter sometime going fit days without logging in. My main takeaways are humor and updated blog links. This l tend to follow funny people more. Also for blogging tips.

  24. I joined twitter, but am not a regular as I am with Fb. Guess, I still need to get used to the former. I do share my latest blog posts and I think I will do the #MondayBlogs too. That sounds helpful! Thanks, Shailaja for this post. 🙂

  25. He he, I agree. FB takes up a lot of time. I space my time out now. Especially with BB and two blogs plus writing the book, I have to watch the clock like a hawk, else nothing will get done!

    It’s worth trying, for sure 🙂

  26. Same thoughts as Tulika. I also never gave Twitter the time too. FB itself takes up a lot of my time, but then, I see some exciting things like twitter chats or Hashtag parties 😉 Maybe I’ll give my comatose twitter handle a revival shot. Thanks for sharing these tips.

  27. It takes a while to get used to, Tulika, but it’s a great way to network and I’ve found some amazing blogggers thanks to the network 🙂

  28. It’s happened to me and I wondered why people would take the effort to send such a message. I mean, I know you can’t possibly engage with everyone but why go out of your way to tell someone you are not following them anymore? Takes all kinds in this world.

    Thanks Mithila 🙂 Glad it helps.

  29. Is it really necessary to message someone saying that you’re unfollowing them? It’s the most stupid thing to do! I mean, there’s nothing to be gained by sending such a message. I’d rather tell the person what they’re doing wrong, instead of just making them sad or irritated!
    These tips are really amazing, Shailaja! I must get a little more involved in the hashtag parties. They sound pretty cool! 🙂

Comments are closed.