Ok, so I know I’ve waxed poetic about Twitter before—it’s my favorite social tool for so many reasons. The other day, I was thinking about the relationships I’ve formed on Twitter and how they’ve led to other relationships and opportunities…all fueled by Twitter. A giant network that leaves my heart feeling full and my future feeling bright. Here’s a play-by-play of what’s worked for me to form relationships on Twitter, and how you can, too:
Discover: After you’ve been on Twitter for a little while, you’ll get a feel for discovering new people and companies to follow based on your personal interests. Figure out whom you want to reach out to: A company you’d love to work for? A potential mentor to show you the ropes? I’ve found this tactic to work especially well during my job/internship search and connecting with new opportunities once I moved to a new city.
Craft a Tweet: Once you’ve figured out your target person or company, write them a message—in 140 characters or less, of course! Let them know briefly why you’re reaching out and that you’d like to connect further off Twitter. For example: “@PERSON! Hi! Love what you do in the NYC startup space. I’d love to learn from you. Maybe we can connect offline?” or “@COMPANY Hello, I’m interested in your internship program because XYZ. Whom should I reach out to about upcoming opportunities?” I’ve also tweeted to local businesses about partnering with them for a fundraiser: “@BUSINESS Hi there! I’m hosting a fundraiser for XYZ. Would love to partner with you. How can we best connect?”
Make It Happen Offline: When I meet a new connection, I like to meet for coffee. If you can’t meet in person (or even if you can), tweet them a coffee, thanks to Starbucks (say what?! So cool). I’ve done it before to someone who gave me great advice and loves social media as much as I do. Whether you’re meeting in person or over the phone, be sure to: 1) discuss in greater depth your purpose for meeting; 2) ask questions; 3) tell your story; 4) let them know your plan. And, most importantly, listen.
Follow Up and Say Thanks: I always like following up with an email to thank the person or company for their time and advice and let them know that I’d like to keep in touch. And hey, now would be a great time to tweet them a coffee. It’s great to keep the social aspect full circle and treat them to meeting again.
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