Now that you’ve set up your Twitter profile, the next step is to start building a following. The first step in doing that is to follow others. Twitter can seem overwhelming at first, and just who you should be following can be difficult to figure out.

To help you get started in following, here’s 4 broad kinds of people to identify and follow on Twitter.

1. Customers 

You can find a Twitter user by searching for an email address. Mine your email marketing list and find your customers on Twitter (and Facebook too – it works the same way). Following your customers will prompt a large portion of them to follow you back. And even if they don’t follow back, you can use Twitter to easily keep an eye on what your customers are talking about, what’s important to them, and what their interests are.

2. Competitors

You know that saying about keeping your enemies closer? Your competitors may not be your enemies, but they are, well, your competitors. By following them on Twitter you can not only keep up with what your competitors are doing, you can create positive digital connections between you and the best of your industry.

3. Industry Networkers

Identify influential people in your industry and follow them. Be sure to also follow professional organizations and such, even if you’re currently a member. Just like doctors keep us with the latest in medicine, you need to be dialed in to what’s happening in your industry.

4. Interesting People & Places

You should keep your Twitter feed, and all of your social profiles, as focused as your marketing message in general. But there’s nothing wrong with being an interesting, fully rounded person. If you’re a wedding cake maker, but you’re also really interested in design, then by all means share that with your followers. Find design related Twitter feeds and follow them. Then judiciously share the interesting tidbits with your followers.