In order to get the most out of social media, you must develop an ever-expanding network. How do you do that? Who should you follow on Twitter and connect with on LinkedIn?
The people I follow and connect with on a daily basis on Twitter and LinkedIn are the most important factor on why social media has been such a rewarding experience for me. It’s definitely not about the numbers and each social media user has his/her own ‘strategy’ regarding the people they interact with. I don’t follow back automatically everyone that follows me on Twitter and wants me to join their network on LinkedIn. My follow numbers on Twitter (5,564 followers, 2,036 following) might look a bit far apart but, trust me, there is a thought process behind it 🙂
So, if I’m following you on Twitter or we are connected on LinkedIn, it’s probably because:
- I know you personally
- You tweet or share in a language I understand
- We are in the same LinkedIn group and we have talked there in the past
- You are one of my current or past clients
- You write interesting or insightful tweets, posts, articles
- You share interesting links about translation, interpreting or linguistics
- You engage with me regularly
- You sent me a personalized invitation to connect on LinkedIn (please people, stop using the generic invitation if you don’t know personally the person you are inviting to join your network)
How do you find and choose the right people to follow or connect with? These are some of the ways I’ve used to expand my network on LinkedIn.
Get LinkedIn to help you
Use the ‘people you may know’ feature, accessible from your home page or your contacts page. LinkedIn will make suggestions based on the people you are already connected to – the more people you connect to, the more accurate these suggestions get.
Friends of friends
It’s likely that you will have common acquaintances (or ‘mutual connections’) with some of the people with whom you are connected. Look at their connections list in their profile, and find the people you have in common.
LinkedIn will give you a list of all the people who have worked at a given organization. If you add the organizations you have worked for to your profile, LinkedIn will keep you updated when people who work there join up.
LinkedIn groups help you find like-minded people to connect with. If you strike up a conversation with someone in a group or find what they have to say interesting, try inviting them to connect.
Use Advanced Search
Next to the people search at the top right of the LinkedIn interface is an Advanced button. If you click it you will find a page where you can do an advanced search for people by profession, company, or whatever’s relevant to you.
It’s similarly easy to find great people to follow on Twitter.
Find your professional contacts
This includes colleagues, existing clients and other professionals, like your website designer. Maybe you just got back from a networking event. Many professionals include their Twitter handles on their business cards so they’re easy to find. Otherwise, use Twitter’s Search function to find them by name.
Suggestions by Twitter
In the Homepage of your Twitter account you’ll see a ‘Who to follow’ section on the right-hand side. Click ‘View all’ and then click on the names to check out the profiles and timelines of the accounts that look interesting to determine whether you’d like to follow them or not.
Many Twitter users 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. Given the high number of linguists that I follow, I have four (yes, 4!) such lists full of great linguists that are active on Twitter, check them out:
#FollowFriday (or #ff)
Every Friday, Twitter users use these hashtags to recommend their favorite Tweeps to their followers. That’s a great way to find new people to follow.
Search for hashtags
Another great use of Twitter’s search function. You can search for the topics of your interest (usually #xl8 for translators or #1nt for interpreters), 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 (for example #ata55 for the last ATA Conference).
These are the most regularly used hashtags by language professionals:
#xl8 & #t9n for translation, #xl8or for translator, #L10n for localization, #1nt for interpreting, #language, #CATtools, #g11n for globalization, #i18n for internationalization, #terminology
What is your favorite way of finding people to follow and connect with? Do you follow everybody back automatically? Let us know what you think and what is your follow/connect policy on social media!
Thank you, Catherine, for accepting my invitation and kindly taking the time to write to our blog. 🙂
My social media strategy is exactly the same as yours. I definitely do not follow everyone back. I only follow those who contribute with interesting things on Twitter. On LinkedIn, I only accept invitations from those I already know somehow or that writes a personal message explaining why they would like to connect with me. I absolutely despise those who randomly add people without even knowing them.
What about yours? Do have any strategies to follow people (back) on Twitter and send a friend request and/or accept people’s invitation on LinkedIn?