6 Tips for Networking on Twitter
I have been on Twitter for over 2 and a half years and have garnered nearly 16,000 followers. My experience so far has ranged from fun to irritation. I have had my account hacked into a few times, I have followed people in hopes cultivating a networking relationship only to be snubbed, but I have met some great people around this world that like to share and give so much that just renews my faith in people sometimes.
If you are new to Twitter and I know some are still learning it. It is essentially a mini 140 character blog. I know sometimes that does not sound like a lot, but you can get your message out there in those short burst. Remember short, regular messages go a lot farther than you think they and they can be very very effective in the long run.
Over the years, I have gone to many different networking events from BNI to IBN to Leads R US to Speed networking events and I have seen business people leave with stacks of leads and I have seen them leave complaining that they will never come back because that group has no clue what they are doing. What it really boils down to is the message that is being presented.
I have come up with some ideas to help you become a better networker not only on Twitter but in person as well.
1. Be real
- use your real name or business name
- use a recent picture
These really work on all the social platforms that you are using whether it be Facebook, Linkedin, FourSquare or insert your latest and favorite social platform here. Make your bio about you, because your blog or website will take care of your business. I have learned that people want to do business with people they like and that they have similar interests with and that leads me to point #2.
2. Follow those people that interest you and that you feel can help you grow your business whether they be across the street or around the world. Some of the best ideas I have had for my blogs have come from friends that I follow from India or England. Do your best to make a connection with them. I try to and I do not always succeed to “direct message” every person that follows me and make some comment about their profile or latest couple of Tweets to let them know I have read it.
3. Your followers, are seeking knowledge and information; if they are not run from them. Remember the slogan “Givers’ Gain”. Every year, I would do a booth at the local Chamber event and I would rent a popcorn machine. I knew that people loved popcorn and I was not really willing to spend big dollars on promo material that will very likely be tossed into the garbage can or given to the kid to play with, but I know they all would eat popcorn. I had them all coming to my booth for the freebie food.
So, offer some sort of freebie from you or your business, if you are a Realtor offer home selling tips that really work. If you are a SEO expert offer some SEO tips that are amazing and make us want to come back for more and pay for it. Remember, everyone loves free and as I always say, “if it ain’t for free; it ain’t for me!”
4. Be engaging, you would not go to a party and just sit there and not talk to anyone. Well, at least, I hope you would not. Get out there and talk, find new people to engage and bring them out you never know who may be your biggest cheerleader or give you that next great idea. To have a friend you need to be a friend.
5. ReTweet it, if someone says something that you find funny, interesting, newsworthy or you just feel like it retweet it (repeat it). By ReTweeting you help promote your friends and you help introduce them to our circle of friends. Again, think “Givers’ Gain”. If you help promote someone they will help to promote you, but make sure you are promotable.
6. Take Time, unlike going to a weekly BNI meeting or monthly Chamber event that can consume a fair amount of time in driving and so on, it really does not take a lot of time to do Twitter or Facebook. However, you still need to make the take time to do it. I, personally tweet 20 to 30 times a day from everything from what I am making for dinner to my latest blog posts to several ReTweets. I try to make it fun for me and those that follow me, but also informative. I try to ReTweet those tweets that I think will help me with my blog and business. There are tools that I think help with the time issue as well. I love to use Hootsuite and I set up columns so I can more closely follow certain people or conversations.
I don’t think you need to sit on Twitter or Hootsuite all day, if you have a smartphone they all just about have some version of for your phone whether it be a Android, iPhone or Blackberry. But, as in any networking event repeated exposure to the group is key.
In the next post, I will do things to avoid in your networking on Twitter and other Social Media site.