Twitter launched a service called “Suggestions for You” to make the process of finding new people to follow a little easier. The algorithms suggest people you don’t currently follow that you may find interesting. The suggestions are based on several factors, including people you follow and the people they follow. When you login to Twitter.com you’ll see the suggestions on the right side of your Twitter feed and in the Find People section. You’ll also see recommendations for similar users when you view another account’s profile. If there is a user that you’re not interested in following you can click the X button and they won’t show them to you again.
This new service undoubtedly was inspired by Facebook’s “People You May Know” feature. I’ve found many old friends on Facebook this way and I’m sure Twitter saw the value this feature holds and rolled it into their set of tools. Third party developers will be able to take advantage of this new feature soon through a new API so look for it to roll out in the applications you’re already using.
So “Suggestions for You” is a great way to find people to follow on Twitter, but it can also be a great way for other people to find you. Now more than ever it’s important to be following the types of people that you want as clients and to be Tweeting about things that they’re interested in.
On the Twitter support page titled “Suggestions For You – Discover Who to Follow!” at the very bottom of the page under the heading “Where do you get these Suggestions from? I need more followers, how do I get you to suggest me to other users?” they list a few bullet points:
- Twitter’s staff does not editorialize which users show up in Suggestions for You or similar accounts.
- Twitter search uses an algorithm that determines highly personalized suggestions based on the accounts you currently follow, the accounts followed by the users you have chosen to follow, and how other users express interest in Tweets made from these accounts.
- This should help you find the information you want to know (and some information that may surprise you) faster.
Of course Twitter can’t come right out and say how to get on the suggested list because people would try to game their system. They want the suggestions to happen naturally based on certain criteria. To help I’ve put together 10 tips on how to get on the “Suggested for You” list of your potential clients.
- Search for and Follow people you want to work with. If you’re a commercial photographer, search for Marketing Managers, Designers, Art Directors and Creative Directors in your area and follow them.
- Get your prospects to Follow you back. Interact with them by asking a question or answering one of theirs and when you do let them know you followed them and put a 😉 in your Tweet. They’ll get the hint you’re asking for a follow back. Hey, it’s worked for me!
- Birds of a feather flock together. If you’re following Marketing Managers, Designers, Art Directors and Creative Directors, odds are pretty good they’re also following other creatives who may need your services.
- Provide great information in your Tweets that is relevant to your prospects. Check out the information your prospects are Tweeting about. Most likely they’re Tweeting about things related to their industry. Find some online sources of information and Tweet links to articles you find. Better yet, do some research and write your own articles, then Tweet links to drive them back to your blogsite.
- Be consistent. Don’t get to far off topic with your Tweets. Sure it’s all part of being “social” to share other things of interest, but keep the majority of your Tweets focused on your prospect’s interests.
- Tweet regularly. One Tweet every few weeks isn’t going to work. To find quality followers you need to Tweet great information often, at least 10 Tweets a day. I suggest ReTweeting other’s 50% of the time, Tweet your own stuff 40% and Tweet general interest, funny links, daily activities, etc., only 10% of the time.
- This is business not personal. As tempting as it may be to Tweet about politics, religion and what you’re having for breakfast, DON’T. Some things are just to controversial or boring to go out in your business stream. If you want to talk about those things, open up another Twitter account and do it there.
- Keep it professional. Your business Twitter account is a reflection of your brand, don’t do anything to jeopardize it.
- Every so often ask for a ReTweet. The more your Tweets get ReTweeted by others, the more authority Twitter will give to your account, thus upping the chances of getting suggested.
- Build Twitter relationships with other Photographers that have similar audiences. You ReTweet their stuff and they’ll ReTweet yours. You’ll both benefit by expanding your audiences and increasing your authority with Twitter.
I’ve been following these 10 tips since I first started on Twitter. My approach has proved to be very successful in not only expanding my Twitter following but also building quality relationships with them. I’ve always had a steady stream of new followers but did notice a bump over the last month and have to think it is partly due to the “Suggested for You” lists.
Go to your Twitter Profile page and take a look at your past posts. What have you been tweeting about? Have you been providing quality information and links? Are you just following other photographers or are you also following potential clients? Are you interacting with your prospects on a regular basis? Evaluate your posts and make adjustments as necessary. Following these tips will not only help get you on the suggested list, but it will also help to build you as an expert in your field and keep you in front of and on the minds of your potential clients.