Building solid relationships in 140 characters

2010 November 25

Several weeks ago, I was invited by ING Bank in Amsterdam to share my thoughts on how social media can be utilised effectively by companies. We talked about the many ways companies can use platforms such as Twitter, facebook and LinkedIn for various purposes such as brand-building and networking. I stressed that social media was not about broadcasting a message over and over again but rather a place to build a community by networking, engaging and listening to what people are saying. A question was raised about whether it’s indeed possible to build meaningful relationships on Twitter. My answer was “YES”! It really is amazing how much you can achieve with 140 characters.

When I first started blogging, I used Twitter as a channel to promote my blog posts. However, Twitter soon became my main channel to network, share my expertise and build my brand. I discovered that people are a lot more accessible via Twitter. Many of my clients discovered me on Twitter and my followers play a large role in helping me to promote my blog posts. Without social media, it would have taken me a lot more time to build these meaningful relationships.

Ten tips to build solid relationships using Twitter

Here are ten tips to help you build and engage with your followers on Twitter:

  1. Join a discussion. Respond to questions by offering relevant information
  2. Tweet about interesting articles and add a comment or a question
  3. Mix the topics of your tweets. For example, if you tweet about travel news, you could mix this topic with other topics like photography, architecture or the environment
  4. Retweet interesting tweets from your followers
  5. Screen your followers and get to know them. The DM function is especially handy to move a conversation out of the public space
  6. If you have a new follower whom you find especially interesting, send a tweet to say hello and to thank him/her for following
  7. Share a bit about yourself (an upcoming holiday, an opinion or your thoughts on the weather!)
  8. Share your good news (such as an achievement)
  9. If one of your followers has good news to share, congratulate them and join in the euphory
  10. It’s ok to broadcast your own content but keep broadcast-type tweets to under 40% of your tweets.
3 Responses leave one →
  1. January 4, 2011

    That’s a great guideline to use! Definitely more important (and more fun!) to correspond with others on Twitter than to just broadcast information.

    I’m gonna send a link to this to a few Tweeps I know that are new to Twitter and wondering what in the heck to post.

  2. March 4, 2011

    Thank you!!! I hope more folk get to see this article. A timely article to say ‘don’t only tweet your links’!
    Rather – engage, chat and take an interest in what your followers are doing. I love twitter, was born to tweet and took to it like a ‘duck’ to water, I could happily spend the whole day just tweeting!
    It’s amazing the conversations you can have with 140 characters and the things you can learn. I have also made some really good friends via twitter, had a few tweetups with more to come.
    Love it
    Thanks again
    and @3days_in_london

  3. velvet permalink*
    March 7, 2011

    Thanks for your comment Cindy. Hope to see you around on Twitter! :-)


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