One of the questions I get asked a lot is how to connect with the right people on Twitter. Of course, connecting with the wrong crowd can feel like speaking about ice skating in front of an audience of soccer fans. It can be very frustrating and time consuming.
This is one of my favorites quotes on the concept of Asset-Based Thinking, from the book “Change The Way You See Everything”:
“You always have something of value to add. Always. Identify your assets, never doubt them, put them out there for the right people to see and watch what happens.“
I find it to be very aligned with what I see happening with humanity in general and it also has a lot to do with the social web. With people turning more independent than ever before, finding ways to turn passion and talent into forms of income, we stand in front of new advantages and also new challenges. For example, most of the social platforms are free, allowing you to reach your prospect without investing in traditional media but at the same time, we need to make sure we are reaching that group.
Here is a 5-step process to help you identify the right people on Twitter:
1. Start Offline
Unless you have recently changed careers, you should know your industry pretty well. Who your vendors are, the competition, the leaders and so on. Forget the online world for a moment and see if you can first identify those key elements in the real world. I’m not saying that your industry will look exactly the same way offline and online but this will give you a starting point. If you’re clueless offline, guess what’s gonna happen online…
2. Identify Your Industry Online
Let’s now move to your online homework. Start by making a list of everything related to your segment, networks, blogs, groups, etc. In other words, where are your competitors hanging out, your vendors or colleagues. Most likely your prospect is visiting the same hangouts but you need to make sure you identify who’s who in your niche. You’ll find that connecting with prospects can be harder than connecting with competitors, in fact, competition sometimes turn into collaboration, but that’s another post…
If you are having trouble you can start by listing some keywords and terms to make that search easier.
3. Who Are The Top Influencers
A good way to learn more about your industry online is by finding the top dogs, the movers and shakers. This is actually pretty easy if you use tools like Klout or WeFollow, just search for the right terms and also try looking for a couple of different alternatives. Once you have identified these individuals, learn from them, see how they interact with people, how they engage in conversations, where they hang out and who are the followers.
If you follow these people around, they will show you where your industry lives.
4. Establish Listening Channels
Ok, so now you know who’s who and where to find them. I’m assuming you already figured out that in order to get to your prospect faster, you should be following the industry rockstars, the vendors, groups, colleagues and even competitors. Twitter will take you to their sites, blogs and other social platforms. You can’t ignore the rest of the web…
You need to keep listening, identifying existing conversations and observing how individuals behave. You can do this by establishing some tools to use:
- Search for specific terms on Twitter Search and “save the search” to keep monitoring.
- Monitor Twitter in real-time for different terms with Monitter.
- Organize your Feed Reader with subscriptions from the main blogs.
- UberVu let’s you track conversations around the web. You can subscribe to terms or keywords or setup email alerts.
Now you have more visibility of your industry on Twitter and have established some useful monitoring tools. When you find conversations or people asking questions, see them as opportunities to establish a new relationship. Join the conversation, answer those questions. Follow these people engaging in conversations in your niche.
Don’t take it for granted, just think about this: When did you have the opportunity to connect directly to an individual that is actually talking about what you do? Can you get any more targeted than that?
Having done your homework before instead of just jumping on Twitter to follow random people will have better possibilities for a happy ending. I also want to mention that this is not easy or quick but if you think that by massively broadcasting your message you might be able to reach a few prospects, you are in for a lot of frustration.
Also, this is just the beginning. Yes, now you are standing in front of your audience. Now what?
Tell us how you find the right people to connect on Twitter.
Photo Credit: hksusp