How to Use Twitter to Build Relationships for Your Business

Last week, I went to a new doctor and noticed that he was the only one practicing in the office. This prompted me to ask him all kinds of questions about owning his own business, marketing that business, using social media for marketing, and how he finds the time to do it all by himself.

From that conversation I learned that he knows the importance of social media and being present online, but he isn’t sure how to divvy up his time between the different networks.

To save time, he posts information on Facebook and automatically has it sent to Twitter.

Though this technique sounds great in theory, it won’t help him build the type of relationships he’s looking for.

On social media, having a presence and being present is not the same thing. If you want to build relationships on Twitter, you need to do more than just push out content from other channels.

Instead, you should focus on being present and look for ways to engage with the audience you want to reach.

How do I find the right audience?

For a doctor, Twitter could be useful for building relationships with potential patients, but it could also be an effective tool for connecting with colleagues.

Other audiences might include: business owners, industry experts, community leaders, reporters, or bloggers. These are the people who will help you expand your reach and get in front of the people who may not know your business.

How to find and organize members of your different audiences on Twitter:

1. Use Twitter search effectively: Just like your target audience, you too should be using Twitter search to find relevant people to follow. Use keywords and hashtags related to your industry or your target audience to find the right people to begin connecting with.

2. Make it easy for people to find you: Keywords are important because many people use Twitter’s search function to find new people to follow. Make sure your target audience can easily find you. You can find what keywords others are searching for by using Google’s Keyword Planner.

3. Create Twitter lists: Twitter lists are a great way to organize your followers so you can engage with the right people at the right time. Create lists of your customers, prospects, competitors, or any other category you think may be useful for your business. Once your lists are created, you can easily view and engage with individual categories. This is a great first step in building relationships with your followers.

4. Follow who they’re following: Your new followers are more than likely following people who have the same interests as they do (prospects), as well as businesses like yours (competition). This is a great place to continue finding the right Twitter audience for your business.

Once you find the right people, it’s time to engage.

One of the main things my doctor is missing from his Twitter account is the engagement piece of the social puzzle. Building relationships on Twitter is one of the most important aspects of the tool.

Unlike other social networks, on Twitter your business has the ability to reach out to other businesses or consumers without having to connect with them first. This gives you the opportunity to reach out to people you otherwise wouldn’t have the ability to reach.

You can reach out to people who may not know your business and start a conversation with them, or retweet something they’ve posted.  Being social should be your number one goal when it comes to Twitter.

Pay attention to the content they share on a regular basis. When you learn what people are interested in, you can create and share content that’s relevant to them. This will help move the relationship forward, positioning you as a source of useful information.

Take things a step further.

Take your new Twitter relationships to other social networks. Find your new connections on LinkedIn or Facebook and connect on those platforms too.

You should also look for opportunities to move your social connections to your contact list. This will not only offer a better way to stay connected, but will also be the best way to keep people informed and up-to-date with everything you have going on.

The next time they need a product or service that your business offers … you will be the first one they think of!

Do you use Twitter for building business relationships? Let us know in the comments below.

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