I’ve spent countless hours building trust and relationships on Twitter over the last few years. The relationships I’ve established have led to life-long friends, but have also led to new opportunities in business. What I’ve gained in building these relationships has been priceless, and in this post, I want to share with you the steps I took and still take to build meaningful relationships that last.
At the end of the day, relationships are what you need to first have in mind when you think about Twitter. A lot of people think about it as “Social Networking” and as a result, think about quantity of connections over quality. What’s more important than quantity, is the idea of creating real relationships built on real values and trust.
Every interaction, every tweet, and every reply isn’t just a conversation. These interactions are an extension of you, and ultimately a tiny piece of what could be a meaningful relationship. You see, relationships are the backbone of business. We hire for them, we work for them and we make decisions because of them. In one of our recent studies, it was relationships that ranked as the most important part of a sales strategy. Here are a few ways that you can start building relationships on Twitter:
Get To Know People On A Personal Level
You’re already a pro at Google searching – you know how to find exactly what you want. You pay attention to the news to see what’s important to the general public. But how are you connecting with people? Think about relationship building on social media, not just how to sell your product to the highest number of people, but how to connect with people and learn what’s important to them. Talk about things that go beyond business. Whether it’s music, sports, or family, these interactions allow people to feel closer to one another, and ultimately establish a connection or bond.
I’ve found that a Twitter search is a good way to get started. Start with your local area. Search your city/town and see what the conversations are. As you follow these conversations, you may find people who need what you have to offer. Think of key words you’d associate with your target audience and look for those.
Follow people and companies. Talk to them. Talk to them again a few days later (perhaps the three-day rule can apply!). Ask thoughtful questions. Be funny. Spark conversation, find out needs and wants. This will begin to create familiarity with your user name. Use Twitter to show the human side of your business. And remember when communicating on Twitter, it’s always important to keep calm and be nice to people.
By doing that, you’ll build trust and show these new connections why you should stay
Scratch Their Back & Give More Than You Take
It’s a simple idea, but one that can make a huge difference. Instead of wondering why people aren’t following you back, take the time to help them. Retweet their articles, comment on their blog posts, and give a Follow Friday when the time is right.
People want to know they’re important to you. If people like what you’re offering, they want to, and will, interact with you online. They’ll follow you back and ultimately put you in a better position to connect and establish a bond.
Go From Pixels To Flesh
If the conversation is going well and you’re getting followed back, it may be time to take that relationship to the next level and line up a coffee via direct message. In a direct message, you can have a private meaningful conversation one-on-one, without the watchful eyes of the entire Twitterverse.
Using direct messaging, you can exchange emails, phone numbers, and set up some time to meet in person or chat on the phone. While technology has offered us great advancements in our ability to connect with one another, the power of face to face is still unable to be matched for relationship building.
It takes work to build your brand on Twitter. By investing a little time and effort, you’ll find the right people who are interested in you and you’ll be able to build long-term relationships for years to come.
So what do you think? Have you started using Twitter to build relationships in business?