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Dan McDonnell on Making New Friends and Mastering Lesser-Known Twitter Features Without Third Party Apps

My name is Dan McDonnell and I am the Community Manager for the American Evaluation Association.

Since its conception, Twitter has seen dozens of third party applications sprout up to make new features and functionalities available to users. While these apps (such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Buffer and others), do offer new and interesting toolsets in the way of Twitter monitoring and publishing, many of these features are available in the vanilla (basic) Twitter client. For today’s Saturday AEA365 post, we’ll cover a couple of quick hit Twitter tips on how to use these standard tools to unlock useful features and find new connections.

Hot Tip: Seek Influencers and Friends through Hashtags.

Have you been following any interesting hashtags lately (#eval, for instance)? Click the hashtag as it appears in your Twitter (or do a quick search for the hashtag) and follow users who appear on the ‘Top’ results list. Twitter’s algorithm populates this tab with Tweets that have caught the attention of other users, so you’ll easily find producers of great content that are liked and shared by other users.

In addition, try clicking the ‘People I’m Following’ tab on the search results page to see if anyone you are following is tweeting with the hashtag. You may find some unexpected connections with your followers!

Hot Tip: Connect with Fellow Attendees Before the Event.

Are you attending an event soon that has a hashtag? Use the above guide to see find other users tweeting in advance of the event, and give them a follow. Reach out and introduce yourself! You may run into them at the event, and that initial point of contact can put a name to a face, and create a lasting connection that goes beyond the event.

Hot Tip:
Check out New Followers, Suggested Users

Keep an eye on who is following you, and if they seem interesting, follow them! In all likelihood, a new follower discovered and followed you because of a shared interest, which makes for a great follow back. However, I’d caution against auto-following back anyone who follows you – this is a quick way to clutter your Twitter feed and make great tweets and users harder to see. Check out a handful of your potential new follow’s tweets and evaluate the content. (Keep in mind, any tweets that start with an @mention won’t appear in your normal Twitter feed unless you also follow that @mentioned user – more details in my last Twitter post). If it seems interesting or useful, follow away!

Another great way to find new followers is to use Twitters ‘Who to Follow’ feature in the left sidebar. Twitter will auto populate this box with suggested users, based on who you follow, your profile and Tweeting habits. Make use of the ‘Refresh’ or ‘View All’ buttons to scan a full list of new potential followers to add.

Hot Tip: Don’t Forget about the Discover Tab

The Discover tab (shaped like a hashtag/pound sign) on Twitter’s top navigation is another great resource for new connections. This feed shows recent activity of your followers, including popular tweets, breaking news, and interestingly, the tweets that your followers are favorite-ing.

You know how Facebook sometimes shows pages or posts that your friend has ‘liked?’ Think of this the same way- you’ll see tweets that users you follow have given their stamp of approval to, which will bring new Twitter users to your attention. Pretty cool.


Hot Tip: Add your interests to your Twitter profile to get followed.

Want to ensure that you show up in searches for your interests, and in the ‘Who to Follow’ box on the sidebar? Edit your Twitter profile to include the subjects you plan to tweet about the most. Not only does this ensure you show up in search, but it also helps set expectations for your followers on what content you’ll be tweeting about.

How do you find new, interesting users on Twitter to follow?

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.




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