If you’ve been on Twitter more than a year and use it regularly, you have probably already noticed the extensive growth of the translation, language and interpreting communities of Tweeps. When I started using it about a year ago, the power users were only a handful, along with many people who weren’t really sure what Twitter is, how they can use it to their advantage and what to share (myself included).
Things have definitely changed! There are now hundreds of great Tweeps you can follow to benefit from what Twitter has to offer. But, how do you find and choose the right ones for you? Below are some of the ways I’ve used to expand my network.
- Find your professional contacts
Did you just attend a conference? Some people include their Twitter handles on their business cards (most translators still don’t do that). Otherwise, check their websites and/or blogs. If they use Twitter, you’ll find it there.
Browse through your Linkedin, Facebook, Google+ or email contacts, determine which ones you’d like to follow and, if you don’t find their Twitter name on those pages, search by name or company on Twitter.
- Twitter’s suggestions
In the Homepage of your Twitter account you’ll see a ‘Who to follow’ section at the right side. Click ‘View all’ and choose the ones that look more appealing to you. Additionally, when you open someone’s Twitter homepage, you’ll see a “Similar to …” section at the right-hand column with a few recommendations. Click on the names to check out the profiles and timelines of those new people to determine whether you’d like to follow them or not.
- Twitter lists
Many Tweeps use lists to categorize the people they follow. For translators, the most common names for such lists are Translators, xl8 or t9n (abbreviations for translation), Languages etc. I guarantee you that you’ll find interesting people to follow there. I sure did. Have a look at my main Twitter list for translators & language Tweeps.
- Search for hashtags
This is another great use of Twitter’s search function. You can search for the topics of your interest (usually #xl8, #t9n, #translation, #language, #L10n for translators or #1nt for interpreters, I included a list with more hashtags in a previous post), with the operator OR between the words, and see all the latest tweets that include one or more of those hashtags. In case of conferences, find out which hashtag is/was used for the event of your choice (just ask your followers if you’re not sure).
- Twitter applications
There are many (free) applications available online. I haven’t actually used any of these to find people to follow, but they look very useful.
Tweppi – helps you manage your followers, choose the ones you want to follow back, have a look at the people they follow etc.
Twiangulate – helps you find connections you have in common with another Tweep to see if your new contact has other connections you’d like to connect with
- #FollowFriday recommendations
Every Friday people use this hashtag (alternatively, #ff) to recommend their favorite Tweeps to others. That’s a great way to find new people to follow.
- Use Klout
Klout is a free tool that measures your influence on Twitter (among other things). Connect your Twitter account and find influential people to follow based on your interests. Browsing the topics is a good way to go about it, search for your favorite, e.g. translation, and find new great people to follow.
- Follow back
You receive an email every time someone new follows you on Twitter. Check out their Twitter page and see if they’re worth following back.
- Twitter chats
Join chats on Twitter that interest you and meet new interesting people. You’ll need to know and use the chat’s hashtag to participate or read it later (e.g. #IntJC for interpreters).
Paper.li (link directs to my page so you can have an idea what it looks like) is an online newspaper that displays tweets from the people you follow. So, to find new people to follow, you can read anybody else’s paper and check out the authors of tweets that interest you.
Are there any other ways you’ve used to find new people to follow? Any online apps that you use to manage your ‘Following’ and ‘Followers’ lists?