[tweetmeme] Anytime someone raises the subject of Twitter at a networking event I’ll frequently hear this comment, “I just don’t get it,” or “It seems like a waste of time.” The truth is that many people are using Twitter successfully for their business. To get started, you have to learn how to connect with people on Twitter.
In my last blog post, I explained how to show Twitter users what you want to talk about. This time, I’m going to offer some tips on setting up your Twitter profile, and how to go about following people and sending messages.
Include Keywords in Your Twitter Profile
First impressions are just as important online as they are when you meet someone in person. So, take the time to review your Twitter profile. Select the appropriate handle that represents you or your business, use a professional photo of yourself, not one taken while you were on vacation. Include a link to your website or blog and write a bio that includes keywords so when people search for your profession, they’ll have a better chance of finding you.
Resist the Urge to Automatically Follow Everyone Who Follows You
Now it may be tempting to automatically follow everyone who follows you, but keep in mind that the larger the number of followers you have, the harder it will be to stay in contact with everyone. A more effective tactic is to follow those people you want to do business with, or are effective thought leaders in your industry since you may want to retweet their content to your own followers.
Automation is NOT Your Friend
Finally, it may seem easier to send out an automatic welcome message to everyone who follows you. But you’ll have a better chance of connecting with people if you personalize your messages. And don’t automatically try to sell people something with your message. Instead, share something useful with them, so they feel like you actually care about them.
In the next installment of this Twitter Networking series, I’ll talk about the power of retweeting.