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Twitter’s “Who To Follow” List vs. Who To REALLY Follow

January 11, 2013

You’ve all seen it – social networks these days are suggesting to us which users to follow, which Pages to “Like”, and which connections we might know.  But how much should we really be listening to these suggestions? 

Twitter’s “Who To Follow” List

There are two places where you will see Twitter’s suggestions for who you should follow.  First of all, if you click on the #Discover tab when you’re signed in, you’ll see a tab along the left hand side of your screen that says “Who To Follow”.


This section claims to gather suggestions “based on who you follow and more”.  Go ahead and take a scan through this list, and we’re betting you’ll see a number of celebrities and big brands that may or may not fit within your target markets or the audience that you’re trying to reach.  When deciding who you’re going to follow, it’s extremely important to refer back to your social media strategy.  You should be following users that either provide you with re-tweetable content that your followers would find useful and valuable, or users that you know fit within your target markets and target audience.  There are other reasons and strategies for following different groups of users of course – but in most cases these two groups will be your primary focus.  Most of the time, following a ton of celebrities and stars from your favourite reality show won’t provide huge success for your business. 

That being said, not all of Twitter’s suggestions are always completely useless.  If you take a scan through, you should be able to find at least a few accounts that are related to your industry or your target markets.  The list is not a complete and total write off – we just want to be sure that you use caution!  It can be a quick way to find SOME relevant users, but we certainly wouldn’t recommend using this as a primary resource for finding users to follow.  As always, it’s extremely important that you refer back to your target markets, your products & services, and your goals & objectives.

The second place you’ll see Twitter’s suggestions is when you are viewing the profile of a specific user, or searching for a specific term.  You’ll notice on the left hand side a small area with 3 or more suggestions of “Who To Follow”:

Who to follow twitter suggestions

Who To REALLY Follow

So if we’re taking away the “easy way out” option you might be asking – well who SHOULD we follow?  Don’t worry – we have a couple of suggestions for finding high-quality followers and accounts to follow.  

First of all, is a fantastic resource.  Use the “Twellowhood” feature to find highly targeted Twitter users based on geographic locations.  This is an especially recommended tactic for any businesses that deal with a high quantity of local customers.  Use this tool to find Twitter users in specific cities, states and countries.

Even if you don’t rely on a lot of local customers – this tool can still work for you!  Check out your Google Analytics and see which cities and states/provinces your website traffic is coming from.  You can also check out the geographic location of your Fans using Facebook Analytics.  Using these types of resources, you can discover where your current customers, website traffic, and Fans are geographically located.  You may want to try building followers in these major cities or states/provinces.  

FindTwitterUsersByStateAnother fantastic feature within Twellow is their categories.  If you haven’t already – get signed up for Twellow using your Twitter account and get yourself listed in some of your top categories!  Once you’re all signed up, you can use this site to find other accounts in the categories that most interest you.

Maybe you have a Twitter account that frequently shares recipes and cooking tips.  A quick search on Twellow will find you multiple categories that you might be interested in.

For example, there are over 15,000 Twitter accounts listed in the subcategory “Chefs“.  Maybe some of those chefs would be interested in seeing your recipes or cooking tips!  Or maybe you would be interested in sharing some of their content?  There are lots of other categories that might be relevant to you too – check out the Meal & Menu Planning, Kosher Food, Recipes, and Restaurants lists.

If geographic location is important to you, you can even further subdivide these lists by selecting a specific location.  We highly recommend going in and playing around to see what categories you can find.  Once you find the category you want, all you need to do is click the “Follow” button to start following!

Chefs On Twitter

Aside from Twitter’s “Who To Follow” suggestions, you can also check out the “Categories” section which is also listed under your #Discover tab.  You can search for any category that you choose and Twitter will provide some suggested accounts to follow.  For example, here are some suggested Twitter users in the “real estate” category:

real estate twitter users
In addition to the categories, check out any “Lists” that individual users have made that may be relevant to your target audience.  To find these lists, simply go to a user’s profile and click “Lists” from the left hand tabs.


There are many other ways to find relevant Twitter users within Twitter.  For example, do a search for one of your major keywords or #hashtags.  Twitter will provide you with a list of tweets, top photos, top videos OR a list of people that mention that term.  A quick tip — to see an unfiltered list of tweets and get as many results as possible, be sure to choose “All” rather than “Top” or “People You Follow” at the top of the results.


You can also get involved with Twitter chats and build highly targeted followers by engaging with REAL PEOPLE that are taking part in a Twitter chat.  It’s great to find chats that are highly targeted towards your industry.  Here is a massive list of Twitter chats, along with their dates and times.

There are lots of other Twitter directories online where you can get yourself listed and find users based on categories and tags.    You can just google “Twitter Directory” to find the latest and most popular directories, but here are a few: WeFollow, JustTweetIt, TweetFind, and Twibs.  There are also Twitter List Directories you can check out such as Listorious.

Another 3rd party tool we would recommend is SocialBro‘s “Discover Twitter Users” feature.  This feature allows you to search for Twitter users by setting a TON of different filters – you can choose the time zone, the language, even limit the results to Verified or Influential users.  You can also filter based on the number of tweets per day, the age of the account, or time since the last tweet – this is a fantastic way to ensure you’re not following any stale accounts!

Discover Twitter Users

Still looking for more suggestions?  Try importing your contacts from Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail or AOL.

We want to know – what techniques do you use to find highly targeted Twitter users?

Make sure to Follow Us on Twitter for more social media tips and tricks!

Untill next time,

Miss Mediosa – Social Media Management

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