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How to Use Twitter to Build Business Relationships

  • By Cathy Goodwin
  • Published 01/6/2009
  • Writing for the Web

Posting to your Twitter account can increase your exposure, attract website traffic and communicate your brand to thousands of prospetive customers and clients. You will gain maximum benefit from Twitter (and avoid common pitfalls) when you follow these steps when you first open your account. First, take a few moments to design a home page on Twitter that communicates a friendly, professional brand image. Originally I just uploaded my “sleepy cat” logo to the original Twitter pale blue background. Response rate increased when I changed the color scheme. Then create a profile that includes your URL. When deciding whether you”re “legit,” strangers will check out your website. Of course if you”re networking for business, you want lots of visitors to your site, so this is a good thing. And you never know who will become your next client. Add a photo to display with your Tweets. If you use the default Twitter avatar you might as well hang out a sign: “I am a flake.” Even if you”re not. Think about why you are Twittering. Are you looking for friends or creating a professional network? Twitter is good to get acquainted with lots of people and to create an image. So get very clear on what you want to communicate.

Now you’re ready to start adding Twitter follows and followers. To get started, identify 2-3 peo

ple who have twitter accounts and go to their sites. Look at the conversations. Click on the names of folks who are doing the postings and you”ll be led to their sites. Be selective with personal tweets. Each Tweet can be viewed as a line of copywriting. Do you want to tell the world you had tuna fish for lunch? Or share the gory details of your latest visit to the doctor? It”s very tempting but I would encourage my own clients to choose their “warm and fuzzy” image as well as their business brand. Consider writing about your dog, visits from family or your appreciation of nature. When in doubt, opt for discretion. Your next step is to write 6 to 12 tweets. Pick topics that will communicate your desired personal and professional image. When potential followers come to your site, they will scan your tweets (and maybe your profile). If you have no tweets, they will be suspicious. Now you can go out and recruit some followers. Just find some Twitter dwellers who seem to be good candidates for a connection. They might be colleagues in your field, potential clients, or just interesting people. Click on their “follow” buttons. That”s all you have to do.

Keep an eye on your numbers. Ideally you will have a balance of followers and follows. If you follow a lot of people but nobody follows you, you will raise a flag. But if you have thousands of followers and only a few follows, you need to have important content that others will enjoy.


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