I just joined twitter, now what? … Finding ‘fit’ friends.

Following the successful Midlands FM Forum session on Social Media last week there have been a number of questions related to how to find the ‘right’ people to follow. Rather than respond individually I thought a blog article would be in order.
Firstly its good news that the queries address how to find friends, not to increase followers. Dont get trapped into the scams and spams of increasingly followers. As you use twitter people will recommend you and follow you. Believe me!
Check out first
Before following someone I tend to read their last dozen tweets or so asking myself do I like the fit, the balance of work, information, interest and or social chat. By fit, I tend to look at whether they are pushing products or pushing themselves too much. Do the tweets show a one way channel or a conversation? is there even a person on the other end listening?
Using lists
Lists are an easy way of seeing who is tweeting on subjects of interest to you.
In the case of FM you could start with my FMForum list and FM lists:
but generally look at the lists of those you already follow, or indeed the lists that other users may have placed you in.
Follow Friday
Keep a twitter ear to the ground for recommendations from those you follow already. These are usually made on fridays (but not always)  and uses the hashtag #FF or #followfriday.  People get recommended for good reasons, check them out and follow if the ‘fit’ is right.
Friends of your friends
Have a look through the people who also follow those who you follow.
Within architecture, construction and FM there are many good lists to check out. Try
UK Construction follow @subutchers http://twitter.com/UKConstruction
ArchitectLeague another from Su, mainly for architects but has some great twitter users http://twitter.com/ArchitectLeague
FMLeague one of mine which needs up dating – for FM globally try http://twitter.com/fmleague
Twitterbase  from Building.co.uk – who’s who on twitter http://bit.ly/awT9vS
Using hashtags
Set up a search for hashtags specific to your sector and check out who is talking about that tagged topic. (Put #subject into twittersearch for example) Again for FM and built environment try these searches
#fmforum  (midlands fm forum)
#wifm (women in FM)
#be2camp (exploring web2.0 in the built environment)
#be2campbrum10 (be2camp event in Birmingham August 12th)
#be2campEast (be2camp event in Essex, June 24th)
#be2campNW (be2camp in Manchester June 15th)
Please feel free to add other routes to finding friends or send me a message at @fairsnape

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