What Industry Experts Look for On Twitter

Posted by Melissa in Business Tips, Social Media on January 17, 2011

Last year I wrote, Finding Your Value in Twitter. I discussed finding information and building relationships and how I found my value in Twitter. I am downright picky about who I follow on Twitter because I have particular reasons for using it. I want to easily find great industry-related articles, I want to learn, I want to see what the experts have to say and keep up with friends/conference buddies. I don’t just follow everyone, but I do talk with anyone who tries to talk to me (except for spammers).

What do Industry Experts Look for on Twitter?

I thought it might be interesting to contact some people in the industry and ask them what the look for in a Twitter stream. I asked “What Do You Look for In a Twitter Stream?”. I got some interesting responses from some of the people I respect the most in this industry.

Bruce Clay – BruceClay.com

I react positively to the person first – more respect = more interest. Then the theme/topic is at play.

I am turned off by language and noise: if profanity or a language I do not understand it is off, and if it is “noise/spam” it is off. Ditto for emails, so this is a good signal for you

More on Bruce

Bruce’s blog is a must read at BruceClay.com/blog/. Bruce’s business twitter stream is at @bruceclayinc. If you see Bruce at a conference I recommend you go up and say hello. He is a very nice guy.

Lee Odden – TopRankMarketing.com and TopRankBlog.com

Great question Melissa.

I rarely follow new people on Twitter these days, but when I do, the things that stand out for me are: Do they post useful, interesting and clever content on Twitter? Am I connected to the person elsewhere online or have I met them in person? Do they engage at large? Do they engage with me or our brand on Twitter? What do they do for work & what topics are they interested in? Relevance, moderate frequency and engagement is my short answer 🙂

What I avoid are one way, generic, irrelevant and overly aggressive (do this for me, look at this for me, me me me) Tweeple.”

More on Lee

Learn more about Lee Odden here www.toprankblog.com/lee-odden/ and read his blog everyday TopRankblog.com.

Rand Fishkin – CEO and Co-Founder of SEOMoz

Hi Melissa,

It’s very important to me that a Twitter stream contains content (either in the tweets themselves or in links) that I wouldn’t have discovered through other channels (Hacker News, Techmeme, Alltop, TechCrunch, etc.) and find valuable as a startup guy/organic marketer.

Twitter streams that contain primarily personal or “status update” style content may be fun and interesting, but I’m unlikely to subscribe to them.”

More On Rand

I recommend everyone keep an eye on the blog at SEOMoz.org. Rand is another man I recommend you approach at a conference. He is as welcoming and kind as anyone I have ever met.

Jordan Kasteler – Blue Glass Partner

Hi Melissa,

The sharing of knowledge, usually in the form of links, is what draws me to Twitter at all. If Twitter was without links I would hardly pay attention. This transcends from my personal preferences of only reading non-fiction for the sake of learning and obsession with documentaries, but I think most users would agree that without friends sharing what they love Twitter wouldn’t be what it is today.”

More on Jordan

Jordan is a nice man and has a smile that lights up a room, yet you know you are sitting next to genius when he is around. Go say hi if you have a chance to meet him and check out his watches 🙂  Learn more about Jordan and follow him on Twitter.

Joe Hall

In order for me to follow someone on Twitter they must be original, or positioned in a place to further my business goals. Being original means producing original ideas and content. If I look at your Twitter bio and it says something like, “SEO/Social Media Guru that loves Foursquare and Dancing With The Stars” I am not following you. Examples of original users that I follow: @oatmeal and @fantomaster. Both of these guys often share things that you won’t see anywhere else.

Being strategically positioned will be different for each person. But for me, because I own a start up, I think its important to follow folks that can one day help further my business. For example, I follow @jbruin because she writes for Mashable. I like retweeting her because she produces good content, and I want to constantly stay on her radar. Though, I also will follow other folks that aren’t as well known as @jbruin but are active members of the industry I am in, and thus can help later on if I pay attention to them now.

Oh and then of course there are others that I follow just because they are awesome folks, but they don’t get a special mention, because they don’t need it!

More on Joe

Joe is a super nice guy who is the creator of  WhosTalkin.com, a very fantastic tool for those in our industry and for businesses as well. To learn more about Joe please visit his personal blog.

Jennifer Laycock

I’m looking for either resources or personality. I don’t spend much time on Twitter anymore, so if I’m going to follow someone, I either want to know I can trust their judgement to deliver ONLY really good quality content worth clicking on, or, they need to be entertaining enough to bring a smile to my face.”

More On Jennifer

Jennifer is the Editor-in-Chief of SearchEngine Guide.com and a faculty member of Market Motive. She is well-respected in our industry and full of knowledge.

What You Can Take From This

I asked these great people for their opinions because as we all know Social Media is booming. HOWEVER, so many people are just doing it wrong! They have no plans or goals and they behave badly on Twitter and other platforms. If you look at what the experts are looking for – facts, information, personality, relationships, appropriate behavior… – and try to offer these things you could start creating a successful Twitter stream.

Recent Articles On Twitter

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Don’t Believe Everything You Hear / See In Social Media

14 responses to “What Industry Experts Look for On Twitter”

  1. Translation Services UK

    I find that if you simply only post quality content that people take something away from followers and industry experts fill start to follow you. You don’t even need to post often, just post quality.

  2. Melissa

    Great point!

  3. Dan Cristo

    Reading through these guys responses to your question, I see the following trends: quality content, unique content, and limited personal updates.

    It seems to me that in order to make the above happen you’ve got to be the one creating the content. Sure you can share content from others, but chances are you won’t be the first to share every time.

    Creating quality content that even the experts find new and fresh is a tall order. If you’re able to do that then chances are you are already an expert in your own right.

    Seeing it’s the SEO industry, EVERYONE claims to be an expert. But there’s a difference between self-proclaimed experts and industry recognized experts. The difference is that other experts are following you back.

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