Nothing is sadder than a new Twitter account that doesn’t have any friends, and today I’m going to help you remedy your wallflower ways. This is weird, but on Twitter, it takes friends to make friends. Sort of like middle school. Anyway, here are 11 places you can find existing friends and make new ones on Twitter.
Twitter actually has a pretty decent people finder, which can be accessed by clicking ‘Find People’ from your Twitter.com home page. On it there are four ways to find people:
- Find on Twitter. Search for people by user name or by real name. Particularly useful if you have someone in mind or already know their user name.
- Find on other networks. Search for people by syncing Twitter accounts with email addresses in your Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail, or MSN accounts. A good use of your contacts lists stored in these accounts. Actually, I think it would be cool if you sync Twitter with your Facebook friends, but that will probably never happen.
- Invite by email. If you can’t find friends, invite new friends to join. Especially useful if you’re the only one in your town who is on Twitter. Hard to imagine, I know, but when my mom joined, she was merely the third person in my hometown tweeting.
- Suggested users. Follow these popular Twitter users as recommended by Twitter. Getting on this list is like winning homecoming queen in high school. Unless you’re really pretty and really popular, it won’t happen. But some of these people are worth following.
Twitter Search also allows you to search by some pretty strict parameters, and this is useful if you’re looking for other tweeple who are in your geographical area or are interested in the same things you are.
- Search by region. Enter a destination and select your search radius. I search by region when looking for new tweeple in the Springfield, Missouri area, so I can add them as @tweeples_guide friends.
- Search by keyword. Direct Twitter to search by exact words or phrases, tell Twitter to search for any words you provide, or exclude the words you’re not looking for. I find this useful when I’m looking for other bloggers. I search for any key blogging words that bloggers often use in their tweets (i.e. blogger, wordpress, post, etc.).
- Search by hashtag. Similar to the keyword search, but specifically searches for words with the # in front of them. (Vocab lesson of the day: the pound sign also goes by the name octothorpe.) In Springfield, we use the #SGF hashtag to identify which Springfield we’re talking about. SGF are our airport initials.
While I often use the sources listed above because they are quick and easy, the sources below tend to turn up better quality tweeple even though they’re not as speedy.
- Blogs. I read a lot of blogs. So many. And if I like a blogger well enough, more than likely, they are going to be a fun person to follow on Twitter. If the blogger knows what they’re doing, they’ll have a link to their Twitter profiles on their blog’s home page.
- Twitter profiles. While it’s totally inappropriate to go to someone else’s profile (especially someone you don’t know personally) and start following all of their friends, the Twitter profiles of your close friends are great resources to find other people you might like to get to know.
- Mentions (formerly @replies). In my circle of tweeple, we tend to mention one another in our conversations quite a bit. If they start mentioning someone I’m not following and engaging them in conversation, chances are that I know them and will get a kick out of following them, too.
- WeFollow.com. This “user-powered Twitter directory” allows tweeple to tag their Twitter accounts with keywords and lumps like-minded tweeple according to those keywords.
Now that I’ve provided 11 places for you to find Twitter friends, there is no excuse for not joining the party. And while you’re in the twitterverse, if you find new places where new friends are plentiful, leave ’em in the comments!