Building genuine relationships on Twitter is a great way to promote your business. As you start to use Twitter to help your company grow, it's important to remember that it's not just about the number of followers you have, it's about building a strong community of followers that already have a significant number of followers themselves, and your customer's ear. They are what we call 'connectors' - thought leaders, industry experts, influencers. A quick and easy way to develop a relevant Twitter community is to find these connectors and build relationships with them.
Building strong relationships with influencers increases the chances of gaining an audience that is willing to listen to you and building your own solid community.
Hereís how you can build relevant connections on Twitter:
1. Find influencers who are already following you.
Your current network is the best place to start and find connectors. Use an app like Followerwonk to see how your Twitter followers rank based on social authority, which is identified by the retweet rate of their last few hundred tweets. Retweets are strongly correlated with a healthy community; hence, itís a great way to identify followers that you should reach out to. Make sure that theyíre involved in your industry, otherwise you wonít be building the right community.
2. Check out your competitorsí connections.
The best thing about Twitter is its transparency, which makes it easy to obtain data for competitive research. Your competitors have networks that may include influencers who are directly related to your industry. These people find your competitorís content worthy enough to link to, so why not try to build a relationship with them? They could link to your content next time. You can also use Followerwonk to find them by using each competitorís Twitter handle instead of your own.
3. Seek out influencers in your niche.
Using social authority as your guide, zero in on the personís focus. Look for those whose messages are aligned with your companyís value and vision. Start off with a list of 15-20 people who would be perfect to nurture relationships with and are not only influential, but are also directly involved with your company values; five of them should feel a little bit out of your reach and well-known in your industry.
4. Follow and interact with people on Twitter.
To establish a community, you need to focus on the conversations you have. People are surprisingly responsive on Twitter, so donít be afraid to reach out to those you may not have the courage to connect with in person. Make sure you bring value when reaching out - offer help, your opinion, and a kind word. And donít ask for anything, especially a follow-back. Build relationships by being a giver.
5. Use alerts to track where your industry influencers are mentioned or share their thoughts online.
You can use Google Alerts for this. The key is to help your influencers, so when youíre notified of a good article they've written, share it on Twitter.
6. Add value outside of Twitter.
Promoting your influencers increases the likelihood of their receptiveness to your Twitter advances. Share events your influencers are speaking at, causes they support, and books they write. Comment on their blogs and offer help.