It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. The internet has changed a lot, but not that.
Okay, what you know is also important. But, today we’re going to talk about “who you know” and how to connect with people on Twitter.
The advantages of relationship building on Twitter are huge. Connect with new prospects and customers, develop partnerships to grow your business, surround yourself with like-minded people you can learn from and grow with, the possibilities are endless.
But how do you strategically build relationships on Twitter?
In this post, I’ll go over how to build a relevant following, how to make it easy for people to find you, and how to deepen relationships on Twitter.
Ready? Let’s get to it…
Follow First to Make Connections
If you’re first starting out or having trouble making connections on Twitter, consider a follow-first strategy. This is just what it sounds like – you find the people you want to connect with and follow them first.
Many of them will follow you back. And you can unfollow those that don’t later. This is a perfectly acceptable way to start connecting with people on Twitter. In fact, following first is one of the ways many social media influencers with huge followings grew their accounts.
But how do you find the people you want to follow first and connect with?
Take advantage of Twitter’s search feature and you’ll find all the people you can handle. You can search keywords or phrases, hashtags, or twitter handles. You can also search for tweets or accounts with those words in their bio.
My advice is to always search tweets. Bios might be more descriptive, but the accounts that come up at the top of those search results may not even be active on Twitter now. By searching tweets, you know for sure these are active users.
Just search a hashtag in the search bar:
Make sure you switch to the “Latest” tab on the search results page:
This shows you all the people who have tweeted that hashtag in reverse chronological order.
Again, this is a great way to find people with similar interest to connect with.
Make It Easy for People to Find You
While you’re looking for others to connect with, they’re looking for you too. Make yourself easy to find.
Use keywords in your bio, but not hashtags. At one time, including hashtags in your bio made it more “searchable.” Not the case anymore.
In fact, having hashtags in your bio is a bad idea. They don’t hold any more weight than the same terms in Twitter search, but they are clickable.
So why is that a bad thing? Because when people first land on your profile, they’re going to check out your bio. It’s a given. If they click on a hashtag, that takes them away from your bio to a stream that has nothing to do with you. And guess what? They ain’t coming back.
What a shame if someone who would have otherwise checked you out and followed you got distracted and clicked a hashtag, never to see you again.
Also, tweet out a lot of content with hashtags relevant to your industry. Remember, if you’re searching hashtags to find people to follow, they’re doing the same.
Create Deeper Relationships by Talking to People
The real relationship building goes past a simple follow. True connections are made when you start talking one-on-one.
When you start building your following with the above techniques, some people are naturally going to stand out – people you want a deeper connection with.
Here’s a way to use Twitter lists to build strategic relationships.
You can create a Twitter list by clicking your small profile picture in between the search bar and the tweet button and choosing the Lists option in the drop down menu.
Next, click the “Create new list” button in the right sidebar. That will bring up this pop up to name the list, provide an optional description and choose a public or private list. For this, I recommend private so people don’t get a notification you’ve added them to a list.
Click “Save list” and it’s created.
To add users to a list, go to their profile page and click the three dots next to the follow button. Then select the “Add or remove from lists” option.
This will bring up a list of your lists. Tick the box next to the name of the list and that adds them.
Now, choose 10 people you want to build a relationship with and add them to a Twitter list.
Make it a point to check that list a few times a day. If you just take 15 minutes before you start work, during lunch, and at the end of the day, that’s plenty of time to engage and start building relationships with those 10 people.
If you’re not already using TweetDeck, I cannot recommend it enough. In fact, I’ve already written an entire post on this site dedicated to the extreme awesomeness of TweetDeck. Check it out here: How to Grow Your Business on Twitter Using Tweetdeck.
My advice is to create a column for your list on TweetDeck. You’ll never miss a tweet from any of those 10 people.
Now comes the fun part – engaging with their tweets. But when it comes time to engage, don’t just like and retweet. It’s nice but it won’t really get you noticed.
Instead, be memorable. Instead of simply retweeting, add your own thoughts when you share with the quote tweet feature.
In case you’re not aware when you click the retweet button you have the option to add a comment. Use this feature to add your own quick thought to the retweet. Those are great conversation starters.
In some instances, you’ll have a lengthy back and forth. Often, a tweet won’t be enough characters to continue the conversation effectively.
At that point, move the discussion to a direct message. Just tweet something like, “Great convo! Have some more in depth thoughts – just shot you a DM :).”
When you do this, it’s important to tweet to people so they expect the direct message. If you haven’t noticed, automated DMs are out of control and I’m sure a lot of people (like me) don’t regularly check their inbox.
Sad to say, but I’m sure a lot of well meaning messages have missed me, hidden among the clutter of useless, “Thank you for following me – let’s connect on Facebook and LinkedIn and Instagram and SnapChat and follow my YouTube channel and hit me up on MySpace” automated DMs.
Seriously, this is what my inbox looks like right now:
Over time, you’ll start to develop a relationship with at least some of those 10 users on your Twitter list. At that point, move them to a new list so you keep in contact. Then replace them with a new person you’d like a deeper relationship with.
By doing this consistently, you’ll have a serious tribe on Twitter in no time.
Again, the right connections are the key to making Twitter a valuable resource for your business or personal brand. Follow these steps to find people, get found, and nurture relationships.
So over to you. Are you excited to try any of these techniques to meet new people on Twitter? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!