Want to make friends and influence people (on Twitter)? Here are three foolproof ways you can step up your networking game today.
1. Create lists of your ideal network
If you’re not yet connected to the people and businesses you want to network with on Twitter, never fear: lists can help.
Create a Twitter list of those accounts you aspire to network with. Add all of the account you admire or seek to work with into a list, and you’ll be able to watch their every tweet. This way, you can jump in with your comments whenever it makes sense.
You’ll want to check into this list once every few days at least, to really see results. And it helps to set a goal for yourself for how many times per week you’ll interact with the accounts on the list – half a dozen? More? If you’re able to send even a handful of tweets directly to the members on this account each week, you’ll start to notice them noticing you. And once you’re on their radar, you can network to your hearts content: ask them questions, set meetings, etc.
In some cases, it makes sense to create more than one list and divide up the accounts into how you want to network with them. For instance, you might have a list of potential business partners, another list for the media, and a third list for your current clients.
2. Ask questions and follow up
Not getting any reactions to those amazing links and opinions you’re sharing? It might not be about the content after all… it might actually be because you aren’t asking anyone to engage.
To network on Twitter, you have to show that you’re a good listener. It’s not enough to send witty, interesting and insightful tweets – you have to elicit some in return, and actually pay attention to those who tweet to you.
One of the best ways to begin networking on Twitter is to ask questions. Many Twitter users are actually just dying to be helpful, and if you give them a chance you can develop a strong relationship. When asking questions on Twitter, you can either send the question out to your network in general, or (usually more effectively) send the question to one or two users specifically by @mentioning them.
Part of asking questions – whether on or offline – is showing that you care about the answer, so be sure to follow up when someone answers you. You can retweet them, reply to them, or otherwise show that you saw and appreciated their efforts.
3. Be valuable
No one will want to network with you if your last dozen tweets were auto-tweets from a broken app. Be valuable, and networking will come more easily.
How to be valuable will depend on what industry you’re in or the interests you have, but it helps to reflect the values of those accounts you want to network with. Are they all pretty funny? Tweet jokes. Are they discussing the future of your industry? Share your own insights. Reflect the values of your target audience, and you will be more valuable to them, increasingly the likelihood that they’ll want to network with you.