- Twitter can be the easiest kind of networking you’ll ever do.
- Twitter can be the quickest source of information.
- Twitter helps you with market research.
- Twitter is human.
But first things first. How do you get started?
Go to Twitter.com and sign in. Create a profile and have a look around.
If you’re familiar with Facebook, forget all you know – Twitter is nothing like Facebook.
So once you’ve got a profile and a few people to follow. What next?
Here are some dos and don’ts:
- Do – be genuine. Try to talk in as human a way as possible. Remember it’s a wee tweet in a flowing river, don’t get knotted up about it.
- Do – be legal, decent, honest and truthful. It’s useful to apply the ‘would I say this to the person’s face?’ test. If you aren’t sure – don’t do it.
- Don’t – tweet while angry or drunk.
- Do tweet regularly, but not too frequently – you’ll find your pace. If you’re not sure aim for two or three tweets a day. If you’re too busy to do this, you can use a programme like tweet you later to schedule your tweets.
- Do – check regularly for responses, people taking to or about you and respond.
- Do – follow people back. Generally it’s a good idea.
- Don’t – link your tweets to your Facebook or linked in profile. They are different things should be used differently. Be careful if your twitter feed appears on your website too.
- Do – use hashtags. A hashtag is a way of catching all the tweets and twitter conversations on a certain subject. It’s an easy way of fishing the tweets you want to follow from the twitter stream. For example an event like this might use #business&bagel, during a game of sport or tv show, you’ll find tweets on a subject by searching the hashtag #oldfirm or #xfactor, say. It means you can see what people you don’t directly follow are saying.
- Do – use lists. Once again it helps you find what or who you want quickly. You can create lists of people under a certain topic. For example you could create a bagels and business list. You can also follow other people’s lists – does a competitor have a list of industry people they are interested in? Then you can follow that list too.
- Do – listen as much as you talk. More than even. Reply to other people – answer their questions.
- Do – be generous. Share things you like, recommendations and kind words. It goes a long way.
- Do – be nosey. Use twitter to see what people you’re interested in are saying, what they are posting. Talk to them if you want to get to know them.
- Don’t – be a stalker. Don’t bombard one person.
- Do – delegate if you’re too busy. But make it clear which human being is talking, better still start twitter accounts for each person in your organisation.
- Do – talk privately. Use the Direct message – DM – facility to talk privately when you need to.
- Do – let people know what’s new – have you written a new blog post or offered a new service for example.
- Don’t – hesitate to block and report people. Spammers and idiots are a pain for everyone, just get rid of them.
- Don’t – be miffed if no one replies to you. There are a lot of tweets out there. Have another couple of goes and if it doesn’t work maybe you’re not saying something that‘s engaging people.
- Do relax and have fun – once you get the hang of it, it’ll be the easiest kind of networking you’ve ever done.