Friday, March 27, 2009

How Do I Get People to Follow Me on Twitter?

Hopefully, you saw my earlier post about Twitter, and you already have your account all set up. And hopefully you are out there tweeting your heart out! But do you have followers? Or are you tweeting to an empty room?

If you're like most new Twitter users, you don't have a huge following yet. And trust me, I know how discouraging this can be. It's sort of like being at a party but being stuck in the bathroom, isn't it? You can hear everyone talking about how cool the party is, but you just don't seem to be in on the fun yet. Well, I am about to show you how to open that door and join the party!

Fortunately for us that are "stuck in the bathroom", there are some really cool Twitter tools available. Today, we're going to focus on one called TweetBeep. TweetBeep is a free service that allows you to essentially "stalk" other tweets. Now, as scary and crazy as it sounds, it's really not that bad! It's actually a great way to find other Twitter users who share your interests!

So, if you're ready to get the party started, click this link, sign up, and log in! Then come back here and follow these directions to get things going!

Setting up keyword alerts with TweetBeep:

1. Log in to your TweetBeep account and click the link that says "New Keyword Alert". You should see a page that looks like this:

2. In the first box ("Settings"), you want to name your alert. Choose a short name that will be easily understood later. For instance, if you want to search for users who like Artfire, just call this alert "Artfire". You must fill out this box. (All the other sections are optional, but you have to fill out at least one other thing in order to set up an alert.) You also need to tell TweetBeep how often you want it to search for you. While you can tell it to look every hour, it can be pretty tiring to deal with an hourly email, so i set mine to once a day. Choose whichever you prefer!

3. In the 2nd section ("Keywords"), you can tell TweetBeep to look for certain key phrases. Let's discuss these sections a little more in depth:

* For illustrative purposes, I'm going to use the phrase "artfire artisan studio" and show you what you will get if you put that in each box. *
All of these words: TweetBeep will tell you when a tweet includes all those words, but they may not be in that order. For instance, if someone tweets "I was on artfire talking to an artisan with a cool studio" that tweet will show in your results.
This Exact Phrase: TweetBeep will ONLY tell you when that EXACT phrase is found. Using this box will exclude the example tweet above.
Any of These Words: Your results will include any tweet where artfire, artisan, or studio is used.
None of These Words: Your results will exclude any tweet where artfire, artisan, or studio is used.

This Hashtag: a hashtag is essentially a word preceded with a number sign, like this: #artfire. Hashtags are used to identify certain common topics in tweets. If you wanted to look for tweets about artfire, you could type #artfire here and this would return all tweets with that hashtag.

You may also set up what language tweets you wish to see in the settings section.

4. In the "people" section, you can track certain Twitter users, or certain people that others are tweeting about.

* For this example, I am going to use "JennNinja" (that's me!) *
From This Person: TweetBeep will alert you every time I tweet something.
To This Person: TweetBeep will alert you every time someone tweets something to me.
Referencing This Person: TweetBeep will alert you every time someone tweets about me.

5. In the "places" section, you can set up your alert to tell you when someone mentions a certain place. You can also tell it to alert you to references near that place by changing the "within x miles" option.

6. The "attitudes" section will allow you to look for tweets that are in a certain mood. For instance, if you wanted to see who likes me, you could use the people > referencing section by entering "JennNinja" and then check "positive attitude".

7. The last section ("links") will allow you to look for tweets containing links.

8. Once you've decided what you are looking for, hit save. You will be taken to a screen that shows all your alerts like this:

Now, all you have to do is wait and check your email! Pretty soon, you will get an email containing up to 50 tweets that meet your alert criteria!

Ok, now that you have TweetBeep all set up, what do you do with it?

Well, you can use those tweets it sends you to find people who are interested in what you're selling! For instance, I use my account to search for things like "handmade" and "scrabble", because I know that these are topics that I can talk about! When I get my search results each day, I can scan through them and choose to follow users I think may be interested in me and my studios! Additionally, you can look for fellow artisans by entering terms like "artfire", "etsy", or "1000markets". When you find someone whose tweets you like, just follow them! Twitter will send them a message that tells them you are following, and, ideally, they will check your page out and follow you in return!

* I realize this is a SUPER long post, but before we go I have just a few warnings for you*

1. Be sure you are specific in your alert terms. If you enter a term that is too broad, you may end up with a lot of useless tweets. It's ok if this happens, though, because you can always go back and edit the alerts you have set up. Just keep tweaking them until you find what works for you!

2. Don't follow people just for the sole purpose of promoting yourself. It's totally fine to talk about your listings or your blog or whatever, but people can tell if you're just stalking them to make a sale. And trust me, they will unfollow you! (And nobody wants to be kicked out of the party, right?)

NOW - go forth and set up your TweetBeep alerts! Good luck, happy stalking, and may the force be with you!


Janet March 27, 2009 at 1:16 PM  

Okay, so that seems pretty stalkerish... and yet I have taken your advice and done it! I'm sure I'm not using twitter to its full potential yet - I've only got a handful of followers and only follow a handful of peeps, but at this point I just don't see myself gathering up the masses and tweeting at them. As for Plurk, I'm not even in the bathroom... I'm more like over at the neighbours, spying on the party with a zoom lens. Very Rear Windowish, me.

Still, it would be nice to hook up with some like minded folks, so now I'm tweetbeeping for all things handwoven. :)

(Hee hee... my word verification for this comment is "ranter" - how great is that?)

Janet March 27, 2009 at 2:16 PM  

Gnaaaaaaaah - good thing TweetBeep only sends 50 tweets at a time! Note to self: although it means something very different to handweavers, to most of the planet (and beyond!) the word "shuttle" refers to the space program.


Jenn March 27, 2009 at 5:19 PM  


i did the same thing by just searching "handmade" in my first alert... it was INSANE the number of tweets i got!

once you get it refined enough though you will start to love it... and once you find someone who has great tweets, go check out their followers as well... because chances are you will like THOSE tweets, too

p.s. LOVE the rear window reference... I'M IN UR COMMENTZ COMPLIMENTIN UR TASTEZ


Marion's Dream Works March 27, 2009 at 9:52 PM  

I have a Twitter account but haven't started using it yet. Hopefully once I start I won't end up in the bathroom for too long - thanks for all the info Jenn!

Karrie March 28, 2009 at 9:04 AM  

This is great! tomorrow is going to be a crappy day so I will be able to sit down, read, study, take notes and try these things. Test me on Monday!...LOL!

Jenn March 30, 2009 at 10:30 PM  

so how'd it go karrie?


funkyfrED November 18, 2010 at 2:16 AM  

No one wants to follow me :-( Will I be stuck in the bathroom forever??

Help me please!


Grape Ape December 15, 2010 at 5:15 PM  

Man I dont think I have ever had someone random follow me!!

I was lucky to come across my favorite account and have no clue how to find some like it...

Blake Shelton is amazing!
Guns_N_Gravy is amazing!
Steve Martin is amazing!

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