3 Ways To Find Communities On Twitter

by Anna M. Gonzalaz, @WebAnna on Twitter

We know Twitter is a great way to connect with others online, but how do you broaden your connections and find others with similar interests?

The first and simplest suggestion is to go on Google and search terms like:

You’ll notice on the Google results page,  you can click on  the word “similar” under the search result. This will lead you to more relevant sites and help you find what you are looking for (see picture below).

A second way to find people with similar interests is to use the advanced Twitter search function. You can search by words, hashtags, people, places, dates, attitudes and if the tweet contains a link.

Finally, hashtags are also a great way to find groups.

When you put an “@” (at) symbol in front of a person’s Twitter name, it turns their name into a hyperlink (URL) back to their profile page. The “#” (hashtag) symbol has a similar function. It creates a hyperlink to the search results of the term following the # symbol on Twitter.

For example, “#IranElection” will take you to the Twitter search results for “#IranElection.”

These are different search results than if you were to search Twitter for “Iran Election.”  When dealing with phrases, you cannot separate the words with spaces. It has to be all one word – just like if you were entering a web site name on your browser.

When I come across a new hashtag on Twitter, I first look at the stream of tweets with the hashtag on http://search.twitter.com. That’s usually where I can find clues to the meaning of the hashtag. If you don’t know what something stands for – just ask.

If the hashtag is big enough, someone will have blogged about it. So the second place I usually search is on http://blogsearch.google.com/ – Google’s search function for blogs.

To find new hashtags, just watch and read what people are tweeting about. You’ll also notice the most talked about subjects are listed as “Trending Topics” under the search function on your Twitter home page (not to be confused with your Twitter profile page).

Sometimes people create fake hashtags as jokes or as another way to deliver their message, like #INeedSleep.

Another great way to search trending topics is on TwitScoop.com. The site shows what Tweeters are talking about at the moment and gives a broader perspective than top ten trending topics show on your Twitter homepage.


Editor’s Note: This blog post was inspired by a conversation I had on the “Stars of PR” weekly radio show on VoiceAmerica.com. The show is live every Thursday at 7 AM Pacific Time. The show’s host, Cindy Rakowitz, is the co-founder of BR Public Relations and “is best known for running the public relations, promotions and modeling department for Playboy Enterprises for over 15 years” (from the show’s site).
The “Salute to Twittermania” show aired July 2 and included the following guests:

Newman Grace Marketing President @BHemsworth

Traditional journalist turned blogger @WebAnna

Anessa, Ann Marie, creators of the online community for single moms @WorkingMoms

Click on the video to listen to our conversation on finding communities on Twitter. You can also add to the conversation by leaving a comment!