I get asked often what the big deal about Twitter is in a business context.
Truth be told, for a huge number of Twitter users, it’s of little value as they spend a lot of unfocused time on it with little idea why they are doing it. That said, Twitter definitely has a lot of strategic uses.
One thing you can do with Twitter is build a network of professional peers. If you’re an expert (or aspiring expert) within your industry and want to build a better network here’s how it goes:
- A couple times a week make a point of tweeting an interesting link (to your own blog post or to someone else’s insightful blog post or article).
- Make sure to make the tweet as interesting and/or provocative as responsibly possible.
- Make sure to use a link shortener/tracker like bit.ly so you can track all links (and measure which tweets get more clicks and thus are more compelling).
- After tweeting, do a search for folks in the industry who you’ve tweeted for and want to follow you (i.e. a search for “web developer twitter” brings up something like 40,000,000 results).
- Follow a few of the folks who you find in your search who are interesting.
Keep in mind that you only want to follow a few folks at a time so your ration of following vs followers doesn’t get out of whack.
What happens in this process is:
- A certain percentage of people you follow you back (and you may want to purge a few of those who don’t from time to time).
- A certain percentage of people who follow those who you follow/follow you will become aware of you and follow you.
- If your tweets are topical enough you’ll get picked up in Twitter/Google search and followed that way.
A couple notes:
- This will take a while but you’ll end up with a quality network of peers.
- This will not likely generate thousands of followers, but a network of hundreds of quality followers is WAY more valuable anyhow.
- Definitely experiment with different type of tweets to see what generates interest/followers.
- Make sure you have good quality information in your tweets/links – the whole process falls apart if you don’t!
If this is approach that makes sense for you, good luck!
If this is not what you’re looking for, check back as we’ll post on building a local network and also on building a network within a specific vertical.