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With millions of using Twitter daily, the Twitterverse gives you the ability to reach out and connect with anyone else who uses the site, no matter how successful, or hard-to-reach they are.
However, there are nuances to networking on Twitter. Here are some ways to network like a pro:
Find the right people:
When networking on Twitter, make your life easier and start with the influencers already following you on your current network. There are several tools you can use to do this, but Followerwonk allows you to drill down to a niche in your search.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you may not have the courage to connect with in real life! In my experience, people are surprisingly responsive on Twitter and a lot more open to connecting and starting conversations. One of Twitter’s strengths is its transparency. From @RealGrumpyCat to @Google you can see everything everyone is tweeting. This aspect makes it easy for you to use your competitor’s networks that likely include influencers who are directly related to your industry.
Tip: If you directly reply to a person, it will only show up in their feed and the feeds of mutual followers compared to if you include your response in a retweet, where it’ll show up for all of the people who follow both of you.
To build your network, you need to focus on the conversations you have, treat it like you are building a customized community. When you reach out, make sure you are bringing value, offer help, a kind word or even a token of knowledge. Make sure to give and not expect anything in return, including a follow-back (you are trying to build a relationship!).
Tip: Set up alerts to track when your influencers are being mentioned. This can be achieved through multiple apps like Google Alerts, Fresh Web Explorer and many more. Another important tip to having proper Twitter etiquette is to point people towards relevant resources and maintain relationships with them outside of Twitter. Share events they’re speaking at, comment on their blogs and help them in all ways possible.
Although Twitter allows for everyone to interact, it is crucial to do so with poise. Make sure you stay on topic (especially when talking to professionals), avoid being annoying or overbearing (don’t retweet a person’s entire feed), and don’t assume one tweet means you have an established relationship. Connections aren’t built overnight, keep your correspondence casual, once you make a genuine connection with someone over time on Twitter, work up toward asking for his or her email/contact.
Tweet with caution!:
Now that you’re using Twitter to network, be aware that recruiters and potential employers may read anything you write. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have a little bit of fun or personality in your feed but it does mean that you shouldn’t say anything that would reflect badly on you. A good rule of thumb is that before hitting that submit button, make sure you would be okay with your boss or another industry professional reading your tweet. You need to prove yourself to be someone worth listening to, and the only way to do this is to add value to yourself and your brand.
What to actually display on your Twitter homepage:
A strong and concise bio:
Use your characters wisely! Everyone who checks your page will look for this and evaluate you based upon what they find. The best Twitter bios can assist in networking. It's best to combine personal information and professional details as well as a link to a web page such as your LinkedIn, personal website or Google profile, as these will be the most informative to someone checking you out for the first time. It's also best to stand out from others and differentiate yourself as much as possible.
Using your full name on your professional Twitter account is key. If you’re lucky enough to secure your first and last name as your Twitter handle, capitalize on that. If your name is already taken, be creative and use periods, underscores, symbols etc to remain as authentic as possible. Your online identity builds your personal brand, so avoid obscure handles.
If you are planning on using your Twitter for professional networking, RESIST THE URGE TO USE A SELFIE! Instead, use a professional headshot. Read here about the 5 best tips to taking the perfect profile picture! Twitter is an incredibly valuable tool where you can make some really great connections.
If you want to learn more about how to network with Twitter and other social media sites, you might be interested in ProSky’s Social Media Marketing course. Remember, to make sure that you’re considerate and to make sure that the content you put out is a good representation of yourself. Put your best foot forward and be proactive.