If you are just starting to build relationships on Twitter, I highly recommend you check out Mike Whitmore's blog about getting started on Twitter. I saw Mike speak at a Toastmaster's conference in the fall about social media, and he does practice what he preaches regarding Twitter. If it wasn't for his kindness and his blog, I might have given Twitter up. I would have missed out.
Phase #1 – Is this thing on?
When I first started on Twitter, I wanted to connect with other people who have a passion for communication, leadership, public speaking and building relationships. I had no idea who these people were so I started out by following my friends and few influential people like Mike or authors of blogs I already followed. At this point, I felt like my tweets fell into an abyss of silence. Tweets do at first but persistence pays off.
Phase #2 – Tweet & follow
Tweet even if no one listening and follow,follow, follow. I have friends who are speakers, so I started following some of the people they followed. I googled and found blogs about speaking and leadership.I followed those authors. I commented on blogs. To my delight, the bloggers commented back and started to follow me on Twitter.
Phase #3 – The power of reciprocity
Once I started following some experts, I started to retweet their links and reply to their tweets. Most are grateful for the retweet and say thank you. Others are super grateful and begin to follow you too. Then they reply to your tweets. All of the sudden, your tweets are getting a response. Twitter becomes fun – keep supporting those like minded folks and those relationships begin to grow.
Phase #4 – Building relationships
One day it happens, after all the retweets and the replies – a conversation starts to evolve. My first real Twitter relationship was with Lisa Braithwaite, who is public speaking coach that I aspire to be like some day. We first bonded over our mutual love of cats and all things British. The conversation began simply enough with Lisa just commenting about my Twitter description and that evolved into a real conversation. Then other relationships began to blossom. Lauren Hug, whose niche is speaking identity, commented on my blog, and we began to chat with each other on Twitter. Then I began to connect with other great tweeps like Emma Sutton, Ovation Communication, and Donn King to name and many more.
I'm amazed at the relationship that is developing with these people. We support each other. They point out typos in my blogs. They ask for my advice and give their advice willingly and unselfishly. More importantly these twitter friends inspire me to keep writing, creating, coaching, and speaking.
Where are you in your Twitter relationships? If you are not on Twitter, give it a shot and be persistent. If you've given upon the Twitterverse, give it a go again. You never know what relationships will start, grow and blossom.
I would love to hear about your experiences on Twitter. Please speak your mind in the comments section or look me up on Twitter.