The development of a business network online is an important step towards success. Too many people use Twitter as a social tool only by spending time tweeting inane details of their daily lives. If you are running an online business, you need to tap into the ‘networking’ aspect of Twitter or risk falling behind your rivals. Twitter is growing incredibly quickly and is likely to pass the 500 million user mark pretty soon.
It offers real-time communication and is a fast paced environment, perfect for getting things done. When networking, you need to get in touch with people you want to know and also find ways of establishing relationships with important individuals in your industry. Below are five ways to improve your networking skills on Twitter.
Follow & Be Followed By The Right People
If you don’t find the ‘right’ people, then your networking attempts will be in vain. Who are the ‘right’ people? Anyone who has an important role in your industry or has a connection with such an individual. Locating people in your niche on Twitter is pretty easy thanks to the search tool. The ‘Who To Follow’ tab is extremely useful and enables you to quickly browse accounts suggested by Twitter. You should also participate in Follow Friday as you may come across some important people the Twitter search has missed.
In order to get the ‘right’ followers, you need to show people who you are and what you stand for. It should be possible for someone to know what you’re all about before they have even read your tweets. An informative bio and suitable picture will go a long way towards getting the right kind of people on board.
Avoid Silly Errors
Making foolish and basic errors on Twitter is a quick way to send potentially interested parties running. Common mistakes include an unprofessional profile picture, lack of a bio and having too few followers in comparison to those who follow you. In addition, your content needs to stay related to the industry BUT you must also engage with your audience in order to avoid being seen as self-serving. Also, too many updates will annoy your followers while too few will make people think you’re not all that important nor are you taking Twitter seriously. It’s not easy to get everything right so focus on avoiding errors first and work from there.
Put Yourself In Their Shoes
This means you should analyse every tweet you send from the perspective of your followers. Does it come off as being too salesmanlike, arrogant or pushy? The key to networking success is to consider how your tweets and account will be perceived by your contacts. Above all, steer clear of sarcastic remarks because people can’t tell the tone of your comments. It’s all too easy to be misunderstood and such mistakes can be disastrous.
Be A Retweet King (Or Queen)
It can be difficult to say ‘hello’ to someone on Twitter as a means of breaking the ice. Yes, it’s unbelievable but true to think some of us are still shy behind a computer screen! Another method of asking someone if you can network with them is by retweeting them. This shows that you are listening to what they are saying and agree with it so much that you feel like sharing it with others. Perhaps you can add in your own opinion at the start of the retweet so that the person being retweeted knows a little about you and your viewpoints. After a while, you can contact them directly to find out if they are interested in networking with you.
Your job is to add value to the lives of your followers. If you can’t continually think of new facts and figures relating to your industry, try asking a question instead. When doing this, remember to stick to your niche as you will hear from people genuinely interested in the question and you may receive some compelling answers. You should also take the opportunity to let your followers know that you are listening by retweeting their answers or coming up with your own answer. A good idea is to take all the answers and total them in the form of a poll. This shows your followers that their contribution is welcome and appreciated.
As one of the world’s fastest growing and hyped social networks, Twitter is the perfect platform for entrepreneurs to get in touch with like-minded people and expand their range of contacts. It’s also important to make connections beyond Twitter and other social networks. Begin by taking on Skype or via the phone and work from there. Maybe you will get the opportunity to meet some of these contacts in person at conferences for example. Like it or not, you need to know people in your industry to succeed and Twitter is the ideal way of breaking the ice.
This article is written by Kate Willer. She likes social networks, Google Android, mac security and psychology. She is interested in IT services, computer upgrades, computer repair, different computer apps and loves travelling and skiing. If you want to contribute to TechDrink, get in touch.