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Twitter: You're Really Following Yourself

Posted by Anna McCarthy on Mar 28, 2016 8:00:00 AM

While Twitter is generally a fun way to stay updated with what your friends are doing or even keeping up with the latest celebrity pairings, it can also be a valuable way to learn more and expand your knowledge in your industry or competing industries. The ‘Twittersphere’ is full of information that you could be using to your advantage, but if you’re only following people who share the exact opinions as you, you're really following yourself. And although everyone loves to hear themselves talk, what could you possibly be learning? 


While recently scrolling through the Verge Pipe Media Twitter feed, I found most of the people we were following were either Higher Ed Twitter accounts or people practicing and posting about Inbound Marketing. Both of those are fine but when it comes to learning new things, we already know what they are tweeting about.

The same goes for young professionals entering the workforce. Following parody accounts or all of the Kardashian clan won’t get you anywhere and definitely won’t help you find interesting information (although it can be very entertaining). If you really want to stay on your toes and be in-the-know about what’s going on inside your professional world, follow people who are not the exact same as you, but someone who will share interesting ideas or different takes on similar subjects.

Eli Overbey wrote an interesting article where he discusses his key to following new and interesting people. Every three months he swipes his Twitter clean and un-follows everyone. He then finds someone who he respects in the business world and follows accounts that person follows. While this can be tricky, the key is to do your research and find that person who is successful in your field and follow people who post relevant information.

Following someone who is outside of the normal bubble of people can not only be educational, but can also help you think outside of the box and could even improve your business.

Another important point I MUST touch on is the importance of not following everyone who has a Twitter page or who follows you. While it’s great to engage with your followers, as some may be incredibly relevant to your business, it is important to know whether they are posting important information or if they are re-tweeting everyone they follow. This would hurt you rather than help you. Doing this clogs your Twitter feed and prevents you from seeing the noteworthy information others are posting.

There are many websites which can help you find relevant Twitter accounts to follow and will allow you to check them out before you follow them. This can help you find the truly useful accounts and information to follow. Tweepi can help you identify users who would be interested in your brand, easily see who follows you versus who does not, and can notify accounts via email or twitter messages which could lead to them checking your profile or even a follow. Twellow is another useful platform where you can find new accounts. It even allows you to break down those accounts into different categories. This can help you sort out the different types of users to help you find information easily based on what you are looking for.

Pro Tip: Follow one person who you completely disagree with. Sounds awful, right? Although it can be aggravating to see posts that you disagree with, it’s a good way to keep you on your toes and can help you understand where other people are coming from and their views on the certain topics, as terrible as they might be.

For more pro tips check out our FREE E-Book to help you improve your inbound marketing skills.

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