Building and revisiting relationships on Twitter
Just like any other social media channel, Twitter can be used effectively to produce positive results or it can be used ineffectively and do nothing for your business. The secret is in your acquaintanceship with it and your ability to leverage everything you can to make it work effectively for your business. If you have a Twitter account that is rather large, you should evaluate it on a regular basis to make sure all of your followers are people whom you want to follow you. Also, you will want to follow the most appropriate people as well. It is possible that you had a Twitter connection with certain people in the past and, at the time, you decided not to connect with them anymore. Perhaps it is time to re-evaluate if you may want to reconnect with them.
Always pay attention
If the person on the other end makes the effort to give you feedback — any kind of feedback — you need to have the good manners to respond to him or her. If the person has a negative comment about you or your business, you still need to acknowledge the issue and connect with the person to prove to him or her you are sincere about wanting to make things better. You need to impress upon the person his or her needs and wants are important to you and that you will do everything possible to improve.
The minute you start to have a discussion with the other person, you are building a relationship. If you are in a relationship (even if it is at the beginning), you have a social responsibility to keep the discussion going. That means if he or she tries to contact you (through e-mail, telephone, instant messaging, etc), you need to be there to respond. Nobody likes to be ignored. How would you feel if someone did that to you?
Ask relevant and intelligent questions
In an effort to build a relationship with the other person, you need to make sure your discussions are substantive and relevant to the reason the two of you are building a relationship in the first place. First of all, it is important for you to understand who the person is and what they need from you. If he or she is not a person with whom you already do business, he or she may be a prospective client. You should consider that all people with whom you are connecting are valuable to your business. You must keep that mindset at all times.
Be mindful of how you respond in writing
Because it is difficult to truly read emotions in written content, people tend to substitute unusual things for emotions, such as all capital letters when they want to come across loudly, an abundance of exclamation points, etc. None of these techniques are actually appropriate and the person on the receiving end most likely won’t appreciate it. You can make any point effectively if your approach is correct. Use your words effectively and you will get whatever you need.
Be careful with auto responses
You should save your auto responses for when you are not available and need your voicemail to take messages. Of course, it is very important to remember that you need to call the person back at your earliest convenience. Don’t leave him or her hanging for any reason. Even if a question has been asked, you need to acknowledge that and get back to the person as soon as you have been able to come up with an answer.
Always be gracious
If someone is kind enough to pay you a compliment or share something that you have written, it is critical you show your appreciation. A thank you will go a very long way. Even though you are limited to 140-character maximum with Twitter, you should still be able to find a way to be polite.
If someone is nice enough to follow you on Twitter, you need to build the relationship with him or her to the best of your ability and do everything to give that person what he or she need and he or she will most definitely return the favor. Twitter engagement is a beautiful thing and it is also a lot of fun. It helps you to build and strengthen relationships in an extremely productive manner. If you want others to follow you, you should appear interesting, informative, involved, personal, kind, considerate and unbiased.
Michael Cohn is the founder and chief technology officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications. He has more than 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies. We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. For a free assessment of your online presence, let’s have coffee.