When it comes to engagement, networking is still your most powerful tool, even in today’s digital world. Social media is changing the way we network and has given us more options than we ever had before. You may not think of it this way, but Twitter is a valuable networking tool. Once you’ve mastered the art of tweeting, start networking. Your fellow Twitter users will put more value on what you have to say if they know who you are – so reach out!
Here are 6 tips to help you take advantage of Twitter’s networking opportunities:
1. People need people. Even when using social media, people are still the central focus of networking. Follow thought leaders in your industry and members of your target audience. It’s also helpful to follow competitors, any professional organizations relevant to your industry, and other businesses in your local area. Create lists to organize your regular contacts on Twitter (for example, “Clients” or “Favorite Bloggers”).
2. Don’t get lost. Pin a Tweet to the top of your profile and keep it from being swallowed by the timeline. Remember that according to Simply Measured, 92% of the top brands on Twitter tweet more than once a day – averaging around ten Tweets. Make sure yours aren’t lost in the shuffle.
3. #Conversation piece. Use #hashtags to start conversations outside your Twitter circle. Keep them in context with your Tweet though, and know that excessive use of hashtags looks spammy. In fact, Tweets that use only 1-2 hashtags get double the engagement rate. To track this engagement, use TweetDeck to track hashtags, topics, and handles in live time.
4. Go mobile. Utilize “Mobile Carrier Targeting” which allows you to target an audience based on their cellular provider or other criteria. According to Twitter, 80% of its followers use mobile phones to engage on the network, making this new targeting ability rock.
5. Show your stuff. Promote your products or services, not with a sales pitch but by focusing on how your business offerings benefit customers. Tweet links to your content. If you created an awesome video clip showing your product at work, Tweet about it. If you’ve written an eBook, Tweet links to it. If you have a blog, send out a Tweet to drive traffic to your newest post. If you just upgraded your website – tweet about it and invite people to check it out.
6. Share the love. Exchange comments, questions, and ideas. The more you retweet others’ content, the more likely they’ll share and retweet yours. Take advantage of the Quote Tweet button to add your own comment to someone else’s tweet.
As challenging as Twitter can be to use, it provides many rewards. One of the greatest rewards is the opportunity to network on Twitter.