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Tools to Engage Influential Twitter Users

To begin your success on Twitter, identifying influential Twitter users should be your first step.  This will give your company a group of people to strive to engage with and give you direction.  The following 5 tools are going to make gathering your list of users much easier.

5 Online Tools


Wefollow is a great place to start your quest of interacting with influential Twitter users.  Users are categorized, “tagged”, by interest then ranked based on their number of followers.  The different tags are endless and include: bicycling, journalism, SEO, food, and social media.  If you plan to target an industry, Wefollow is the best place to start!

When you add your account and tag it to a category, you will be ranked and listed in that category.  This ranking will help you attract new followers.
Twellow is a resource to gather a more specific target list.  Twellow is “the Twitter yellow pages” and is a search engine for Twitter profiles.  You can search for multiple qualifications at the same time; for example, “New York mobile marketing” has three different qualifications.   Twellow searches through all profiles that are public.

TwitterCounter is a tool used to learn more about your own Twitter account, as well as others.  TwitterCounter shows statistics on your followers, those you follow, and tweets.  Information is displayed in a graph where you can view hourly, weekly, and monthly statistics.  Based on your history, TwitterCounter can forecast the number of new followers you will gain.  To get the statistics for any user, type in their Twitter name and immediately the results are given to you.
Topsy is a search engine for Twitter.  Enter in a keyword and Topsy will give you real time results by searching through Twitter.  You can narrow your search to within the past hour or broaden it to the past 30 days.  This is a useful tool to track what is being said about your brand and competitors.
Now that you have targeted the most influential Twitter users in your field, you need to start the conversation and keep track of your followers and who you are following.  Through Tweepi, you will be able to do four actions:

  • Flush: Tweepi will set you up with a spread sheet of all of the users you follow who do not follow you.  Do not unfollow users simply because they are not following you back, if they contribute great content.
  • Reciprocate: Here you will find a list of users who follow you while you don’t follow them.  Following users who want to have a conversation with your company is crucial to your success using Twitter.  Don’t follow spam accounts or irrelevant users because this will clog your Twitter stream with content that isn’t useful.
  • Cleanup:  The cleanup spreadsheet shows you who you follow along with statistics about their Twitter usage.  This is the place to unfollow users who haven’t tweeted in a few weeks.  Inactive users are just increasing your following number and distract you from engaging with prospective or current customers.
  • Follow: By entering an “interesting tweep’s”  Twitter handle, Tweepi will show you their followers.  This is another tool to find relevant and influential users in your field.

Beware of online advertisements that boast “3,000 new followers on Twitter for just $9.99!” The only way Twitter will be useful for your company is to put in time to engage with relevant consumers.  You only want followers who are in your target audience, not 3,000 fake Twitter accounts.

3 Best Ways to Get a User’s Attention and Engage

Now that you have a group of influential users, you must get their attention to begin to engage with them.  Repeated exposure to your brand is the way to get an influential Twitter user’s attention.  Here are 3 ways you can begin the conversation.

  1. Blog comments: Twitter is frequently used by blog authors as a way to share new blog posts.  When you see a new post, read the post, and if you have a relevant thought about it, comment!   If you frequently comment, the author will begin to notice your company.
  2. Answer questions on LinkedIn and Quora: Both sites proved the ability to ask and answer questions. To engage with people answering questions is the way to start.  As always, only respond when you have a new, useful answer, not a repetitive one.  Once you begin to have a presence on LinkedIn or Quora as someone who contributes helpful content, you will have the privilege to ask questions.  It is good etiquette to answer many more questions than you ask.
  3. Retweets and promotions: If you come across a useful blog post that is shared through Twitter, retweet it!  If you have enough characters, add a note. By retweeting an event or cause looking for donations, the other party will be appreciative.  In turn, they are likely to thank you and notice your company.  For example, if @FoodBankCENC is promoting a food drive in your area, and they are a target Twitter user, put out a tweet promoting their food drive.

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