Several years back, networking required a great deal of work. People had to attend events and memorise other people’s numbers. It had to involve a degree of proximity. Luckily, times have changed and networking has become easier than ever before. Millions of people have embraced social media platforms like Twitter.
It has a simple, streamlined approach that facilitates fast, informal conversations. Its real-time communication capabilities make it a great platform for you to expand your network. As you will soon come to learn, there are many easy ways to use Twitter for networking.
1. Finding The Right People To Follow
The starting point for great networking is finding the right people. There are many tools that you can use to do this. Twitter Search lets you use search operators to search for specific keywords and people. You can therefore use it to search for influencers in your market or people talking about your field of expertise. In the “Who to Follow” tab, Twitter offers a directory of people that you might be interested in following. The suggested accounts are based on who you follow already. Some of the people you find and follow will return the favor and follow you too. Therefore, the more users you follow, the more users you will attract as followers.
2. Show Your Followers Your Personal Brand
Once you have searched for and connected with the right people in your niche by following them, you will have to ensure that your profile markets your personal brand. Details in your profile such as your bio and avatar determine what people think of you. A killer bio can get you more targeted followers. Your bio space has a 160-character limit meaning you will have to make the most out of every word you use. You should get your priorities sorted and start by including the most important information that you would like to get across to your targeted followers.
For example, if you are a graphic designer, start by providing this information other than writing about your addiction to football and golf. You may therefore have to exclude some hobbies. You should also include relevant keywords to enable people to find you during searches. For your avatar, you should use a recent photo of your face. For an organization with an account managed by many people, the logo should be used as the avatar.
3. Tweet Consistently With Your Followers In Mind
Your followers need to hear from you on a regular basis throughout the day and week. You therefore need to maintain an online presence by tweeting consistently. You should however take their interests into consideration. Ask yourself whether your tweeting is too much to the extent that you are filling up their feed with irrelevant tweets. In such a case, they will most likely ignore or block you.
The content you tweet should show others your interests. You can share current issues on your field of expertise, share advice, ask questions, solicit for opinions or post links to interesting articles related to your niche. In that way, you’ll have people reach out to you with comments or ideas of their own. This gives you an opportunity to add value by demonstrating your knowledge of your field as you also gain knowledge from the other users. This adds value and helps you attract even more followers.
All of your tweets will have an impact on your network. Think about how your tweets will be perceived by others. Make sure they don’t come off as being too sales-oriented or pushy. There is no harm in tweeting about what you are doing once in a while. Just make it fun and interesting, and don’t overdo it to the point that a visitor to your profile sees no relation between the information on your bio and the content in majority of your tweets.
4. Show Interest In Other People’s Tweets
You cannot successfully use Twitter for networking without showing interest in other people’s tweets. You need to respond to other peoples’ comments and questions. This can be done by typing @ along with their Twitter handle orby clicking the arrow button. Give a feedback or comment on others’ tweets. If the tweets contain a link to an article, give your opinion or whether you agree or disagree with the article and the reason for your decision.
A great way to show interest is by retweeting. Retweeting someone shows that you are paying attention to what they are saying and find them to be interesting. It is a way of showing interest in networking with someone without being too pushy. If you add some personal comments to the retweet, they’ll find out a bit about your personality before beginning more one-on-one networking.
5. Create A List of Influencers – Your Personal Learning Network
With Twitter, you can create lists of people you think are worth paying special attention to. This feature enables you to quickly read tweets from a certain list. Other people can also follow your list if they have an interest in the same subject. The list can be an important source of information. Create a public list of influencers in your industry and let each one of them know that they have been added to your list. As you come across people to add to your list, inform them that you have added them to show your recognition.
6. Share Your Network
As you continue to meet people on Twitter, you’ll come across people who have a lot in common. You should take the initiative and introduce such people. This will strengthen your network. The people you share contacts with will most likely do the same with you.
Does it start and end on Twitter?
After you successfully use Twitter for networking, you can go the extra mile. Spend time networking beyond Twitter. You can exchange phone numbers and talk over the phone or even chat on Skype.
Twitter is a great networking tool. Unfortunately, few people utilize it for this purpose. Make Twitter one of the important tools in your overall business networking plan and reap the benefit of establishing unlimited and valuable connections.