Networking off and online both have their learning curves. For some going to a networking meeting and shaking hands and exchanging business cards is much more preferable to understanding the intricacies of social media. Take heart! Since this technology is fairly recent we are all learning. There is no one out there in cyberspace who can claim to have been on Twitter for five years or more. Why? Because Twitter was started by Jack Dorsey in 2006. It has been less than four years and now Twitter is a household word! I'm sure there are many, many more ways to be useful but I'll stop here for now. If you know some special ways to make Twitter more effective, please share them with us!
So now you have engaged, you've followed and you are tweeting your little heart out. What is next?
Here are a few more ideas to get you started:
1. When someone follows you, you can send them a direct message saying "Thanks for the follow, how can I help you?" or if you see they have a similar industry, ask a well pointed question.
Find Out About Your Customers
2. Use Twitter as a way to learn what your customers want. Post a question or read the questions that are posted. Twitter is used very effectively for customer service. For example if you are in sales with product XYZ, you may decide to find out if your product is well liked, or if customers are complaining. If they are, find a solution and share it on Twitter.
3. Use Twitter to find sales leads. Is someone expressing frustration about doing their taxes? Are you a tax preparer provider? If so, reach out to them. Or, begin posting some tidbits about cutting taxes.
4. How do you know that the information you are sharing on Twitter is valuable? If you provide useful value driven information, you will find your tweets are not only read, but retweeted to others. (RT) Reciprocate, if you find someone else sharing valuable information that you enjoy, retweet their blog posts.
Show that you care
5. Send your followers a link to a great blog post (this does not have to be yours), an observation that is insightful or a quote. Others may enjoy quotes and I do on occasion, yet if all you are sending is a non-stop stream of quotes you may find people will unfollow you. Make your information leads useful such as links to video, eBooks, white papers, etc.
6. Find like-minded colleagues on Twitter. Joint ventures are all about working together toward a mutual end goal. In this climate of competition your greatest adversary may turn into your biggest networking friend. Look up like minded colleagues, follow them and read their tweets. When you have an idea of how you can work together, message them if they are following you, or post a comment such as @FeliceGerwitz, please follow me so I can message you privately. If that doesn’t work, they are not interested.
Be Informative and Knowlegable
7. Once you know what your prospects are interested in you can set up a news feed via Google. In this way you can monitor the latest information, such as banking or stocks. Perhaps they are avid sportsmen and enjoy fly fishing or hiking. Monitoring these keywords will bring you to interesting websites that you can send along with your tweets.
8. If someone asks for example, where can I find a good blog from a literary agent, I can tweet this information even if it is not for self promotion. You get by giving and everyone is more than tired with those who only self promote. Or, if someone is asking for the best Quick Books expert, and you know of one, make a recommendation.
I'm sure there are many, many more ways to be useful but I'll stop here for now. If you know some special ways to make Twitter more effective, please share them with us!