The articles here at Sprout Insights are designed to keep you informed about ways to improve your social media presence. But beyond the blog, our parent company, Sprout Social, has social media management tools that help you track and control that presence.

We’ve covered how to use the Scheduler and the Reports features of Sprout Social; now it’s time to focus on the ability to discover new people to follow on Twitter, especially those who could be valuable to interact with on the social media network. Following influential Twitter accounts is often the first step toward an online relationship that can yield new clients, good reputation, positive word-of-mouth advertising, or important news. Here’s how it works.

Finding People to Follow

If you don’t already have a Sprout Social account, sign up for your free trial. After you’ve logged into your account, click on the button titled “Discovery” from the menu bar at the top of the page.

There are four groups of suggested followers that Sprout Social can find for you. The first is “Your Followers,” or the Twitter members who are following you already. The next two are “Conversed with” and “Have mentioned you.” Those groups include people who you’ve either tweeted with or who have mentioned you in a tweet. The final group is “Location Check-Ins,” which lists the people who’ve checked in to your physical venue.

From any of those lists, you can view a profile in full, follow the account, mention the person in a tweet, or hide them from the suggestions. You can also review your past interactions with that person. Within each of those four groups, you can also look up recommendations for each of your Twitter accounts that are linked to Sprout Social.

Filtering Your Suggestions

Suggestions will automatically include any Twitter members you aren’t already following within the given metrics. However, in the box on the right side of your screen is a drop-down menu titled “Filter By.” Instead of the full list of anybody you can follow, you can pare down the list to see just the Influential People on the list.

Sprout Social uses a special algorithm to identify people whose 140-character tweets carry more weight than most. These are the Influential People, and engaging with them on Twitter could be more beneficial for your company than reaching out to the average user.

Again, you can review the Influential People within each list for each Twitter handle connected to your Sprout Social account. This casts a broader net for the important members who you may want to interact with on the platform.

Why It’s Important For You

Finding new accounts to follow on Twitter is a key element for succeeding within that social network. Regular updates to the list of people you follow keeps your Twitter feed current with the information that will be most relevant. It also shows that you are an active participant in the Twitter culture. Demonstrating your involvement to Twitter influencers may also increase the likelihood that they’ll follow you back in return.

Not only can Sprout Social find you new or return customers, such as the people who check in to your store, but it can also connect you to other important Twitter accounts within your industry. It might recommend leading writers or thinkers in your field, or companies that could become either rivals or partners.

Don’t forget, part of finding success in a social network is to be social. Especially for a small or mid-sized business, cultivating relationships online can help gather new clients and improve your reputation as a Web-savvy, customer-focused company.

This article discusses Sprout Social, our social media management tool for businesses. To learn about our editorial ethics and our commitment to objective coverage of the social media space, visit our About page.

[Image credit: Victor1558]