(Source: Twitter)

By Erin Marton

Perhaps you’re new to Social Media, or you’ve been playing “stalker” on Twitter reading updates and clicking links, but you haven’t done much to interact with your fellow ”Tweeps”. Well, it’s time to take the plunge; and fortunately in the ‘Burgh, we are lucky to have some of the most interesting and interactive people on Twitter. Our Social Media community is prolific, diverse, and, well…social. “Meet-ups” and “Tweet-ups” are happening all of the time locally, so in addition to utilizing twitter (or any other social media platform for that matter) as a source of information, it’s a great way to network and meet people who have common interests.

So, who can you follow that will help you make the most of the Twitter experience? This was a tough list to narrow down, and these people may not necessarily be those who have the most followers, or “tweet” the most often, but they all share some common traits that make a newbie to the platform feel right at home.

  • They interact with their followers

A question (or an “@”) directed to them is usually guaranteed an response

  • They often have a blog to accompany their twitter account

If you are enjoying their links and information, you can read more than 140 characters about the topics they are sharing!

  • They interact with you and others more than they talk about themselves

Twitter can easily become a stage for people to talk about their accomplishments, their interests, and their blog, but content can become sparse when it comes to sharing information from other sources. If you share an interesting or relevant link, these are the ”Tweeps” that are likely to “Retweet” your information!

  • They give you the warm-fuzzies

You won’t see long rants and complaints from these ‘Burghers. Well, not usually. If there are any they tend to be brief, and often very “tongue-planted-firmly-in-cheek”. For the most part however, they bring positive and inspirational information to you.

With those considerations in mind, here are our recommendations, in no particular order, for the “must-follows” amongst Pittsburgh “Twitterati”.

Yes, we are starting out with a “mommy-blogger”, but a mommy-blogger like no other. Although she has devoted followers across the country, Michelle’s heart is planted firmly in Pittsburgh. Although her blog of the same namefocuses on the adventures of a growing Alexis, her tweets tend to be broad-reaching, and touch on work, writing, and topics of general interest to locals. She also has a biting sense of humor, and is likely one of the warmest and fuzziest “Tweeple” you will ever meet in person. She will also probably be embarrassed that we said that, which makes her even more wonderful.

What’s not to love about a girl who has made it her mission to interview 100 inspirational Pittsburghers? The Blog that accompanies Kate’s twitter accountis a must read, but on twitter she is all about the positive things that happen in the ‘Burgh every day. It’s like getting a daily shot of sunshine.

Emily Levenson @emilylevenson (Photo Credit: Emily Levenson)

Emily is a local Health Coach whose “Custom Made Life” blog shares some delicious recipes and advice for people who struggle with various food intolerances. On Twitter, Emily is full of inspiration for all of her followers. She is perhaps one of the most interactive amongst local Tweeps, which is no easy feat for someone who can boast over 5700 followers!

Holly is one of the few who could honestly call herself a “Social Media Maven”. She does this for a living, you see, and her twitter account is a reflection of this. If there is a “right way” to use Twitter and other social media platforms, then Holly is a shining example, and one that all local Tweeps, newbies and veterans alike, can learn from. Also, if you really must judge by followers, Holly wins with a whopping 8900+.

Bob’s knowledge of Pittsburgh news and happenings is unrivaled. Of course, he does have a bit of an unfair advantage working for Visit Pittsburgh (who also happens to have an official Twitter account).

Mundania Horvath @steeltownanthem (Photo Credit: Mundania Horvath)

Mundania looks past smoke and steel and sees beauty in the design and architecture we see in Pittsburgh every day, but often overlook. She brings it into focus for us, and makes us appreciate all that our city has to offer. She also, like most of our recommendations, has a fantastic blog.

Followers of these boys (both on Twitter and Facebook) enjoy insider information on what acts are coming to the ‘Burgh, and they often have creative contests just for their followers.

Originally from Cleveland, writer Mel shares her experiences as she settles into her new hometown, Pittsburgh. Brutally honest about life, love and relationships, Mel is always entertaining and engaging. She is likely to become your Twitter BFF before you even know it.

There are many foodies to follow locally, but if you want a broad and fresh perspective on dining in the ‘Burgh, Suburghia is the girl to keep tabs on. She is quick to give recommendations on great places to dine out, and (are you seeing the trend here?), has a fantastic blog you can follow for more details on some great eats in the ‘Burgh.

There are many city-focused Tweeps in the ‘Burgh, but Only in Pittsburgh digs a little deeper than most, to provide a new perspective into the city. Sharing both original and user-provided content, they will keep you in the know when it comes to all things “‘Burgh”.

Whew! That’s quite a list to get you started! You will uncover so many more as you start to get involved in Pittsburgh’s social media community. Please share with us some of the “must-follows” that you discover on your journey, or ones that you have already found that you think should be included on our list.

Erin Marton is a REALTOR® and the Social Media and Marketing Director for PPM Realty in Pittsburgh, PA. She is also the author of the ‘Burgh Living Blog, and you can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.