3 Ways to Connect More Deeply with People on Twitter

Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos.com, advises us: “Don’t network, build relationships,” because not only are those authentic friendships their own reward, but they also often benefit you or your business in the future. And who would have known that you could build relationships using only 140 characters at a time? Twitter forces you to keep your messages concise, but you can still make them powerful and meaningful as you converse with tweeps around the world.

Check out this special Mother’s Day Twitter clip on how Twitter has brought some people closer together with their tweeting mommies. I love how the mommy in the video says, “I like to think that we’re having a conversation.”

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Here are three ways to connect more deeply with friends you make on Twitter:

  1. Ask and Care About Them
  2. I remember being pleasantly surprised when someone I connected with on Twitter bothered to send me a quick message to ask what I do. When you first connect with someone on Twitter, check out the person’s profile and blog. If the blog has links to other social media accounts, reach out to connect with the person there as well.

    Personalize your first tweet to the person by mentioning his or her Twitter ID, leaving a comment about the blog or something you have in common, and finishing off with a question to continue the conversation. You should also take advantage of any extra character space in any of your tweets to ask how the other person is doing. I usually make a point to ask about the person’s day, week or weekend to get to know the person’s interests. When I notice that the person’s profile lacks a link to a blog or Facebook fan page, I also like to ask about these, so I can show my support.

    If you’re a good online listener, you’ll have tons to chat about!

  3. Utilize and Monitor Lists
  4. Once you reach a certain number of followers, it can be difficult to sift through your Twitter feed for the true gems, so add noteworthy people to lists to organize your followers into groups. This can be a very flattering gesture for other tweeps because it shows that you respect them enough to list them. Note that you can only curate a maximum of 20 lists with 500 tweeps in each one, but don’t forget that you can also follow lists created and owned by others.

    Keep your lists organized on Twitter client software, such as HootSuite or TweetDeck, which allow you to view many lists at once. These lists can function as your news feeds of relevant and important information and people. Every once in a while, check out your lists and respond to or retweet valuable tweets.

  5. Promote and Support Others and Their Friends
  6. St. Francis of Assisi once said, “For it is in giving that we receive,” and his quote couldn’t better describe social networking as well. Wouldn’t you be more likely to support a generous person who would support you in kind?

    One of the easiest ways to support others on Twitter is by including them in your Follow Friday (#FF) tweets as a way to recommend them to your community. Try to make a habit of sending #FF’s not only to all the new people you connect with, but also to people who made a difference in your social networking life that week.

    Don’t forget to promote others’ work too. Promote their quotes, thoughts, websites, blogs and articles by retweeting them. Whenever possible, include a personal recommendation or note at the end of the tweet. For example: “RT Title of Post http://link.here << really useful tips!” Hit two birds with one stone by retweeting another retweet to support both the promoter and the original person being promoted.

What other strategies do you use to build real relationships on Twitter?

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  1. Posted June 9, 2011 at 4:41 am | Permalink

    Samantha, Thanks for the valuable information. I certainly need to follow this as I have a long way to go in this area, particularly with Twitter. Currently, I’m focusing more on my work and writing/editing.
    However, I do feel that we’re well on the way to building an online relationship. We’ve connected, discovered we have a lot in common including some of the same online friends, work we do, living in Latin America (want to hear more about Peru), writing, etc.

  2. Posted June 10, 2011 at 2:23 am | Permalink

    Penelope, I’m so glad these tips could be helpful for you! =) Being such a kind person, I bet you’ve naturally been implementing many of these points already!

    And I’m so honored that you feel we’re building an online relationship! =) Ours is an example of how Twitter isn’t even needed. =) Hehe!

    Thanks so much for commenting, friend! =)

  3. Posted June 11, 2011 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Thanks Samantha for these valuable tips on building relationships in Twitter. I know that I get overwhelmed at times trying to keep up with so many friends on Twitter. I need to make some lists.

  4. Posted June 11, 2011 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Really great tips…love the one about creating lists…that’s worth adding to my to do list ~ different than a bucket list ;)

  5. Posted June 11, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the great information sharing on Twitter.

    I’m newer to Twitter and admit I don’t quite “get it” just yet. I’m usually more than a 120-character kind of girl and I struggle with how to express myself and how to get to know people, via this character limited media.

    You’ve got some great tips here and I appreciate getting to read more about using Twitter effectively.

  6. Posted June 11, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Hi Samantha love, did you know that my actual “feed” on Twitter is my saved search? I actually search for a term that my target audience would be posting and save the search and check that daily.

  7. Posted June 11, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    Is it my imagination or has Twitter changed the list feature. I do not seem able to put people into a list when I follow them anymore.
    And no my mother is not on twitter but then nor is my son. But lots of cool people are on there and they are following me and I am following them

  8. Posted June 12, 2011 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    Chirp! Chirp!

    Awesome Twitter tips, Sam, and you have a beautiful-looking blog!

    There’s so much you can do to utilize Twitter, it’s mind boggling. But with the good basics you’ve shared here, peeps should be well on their way to Twittering success. :)


  9. Posted June 12, 2011 at 4:35 am | Permalink

    Kim, I hear ya! Lists make all the difference to help me organize all of my Twitter friends! I don’t want to lose anyone! =)

    I’m so glad that these tips could be helpful for you, friend! =)

  10. Posted June 12, 2011 at 4:45 am | Permalink

    Haha! So glad that Twitter lists could be a useful idea for you, Tambre! =) Your growing network will thank you! =)

  11. Posted June 12, 2011 at 4:48 am | Permalink

    Same here, Chrysta! I have a really hard time keeping my messages short and to the point, even while using all the shorthand! Let me know if I can further support your Twitter journey in any way and thanks so much for leaving a kind comment, friend!

  12. Posted June 12, 2011 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    Karla, thanks for sharing your secret Twitter strategy! =) What a great idea to keep yourself in the loop! =)

  13. Posted June 12, 2011 at 4:58 am | Permalink

    Roberta, I don’t seem to have a problem with it neither on the Twitter website nor on HootSuite. Have you tried using a Twitter client software like HootSuite or TweetDeck! Makes my life a whole lot easier and it could solve your problem with lists! =P

    P.S. My sister is the only person in my family with Twitter and she doesn’t use it. =P

  14. Posted June 12, 2011 at 4:58 am | Permalink

    Melanie, thank you SO much for stopping by and for the compliment!! =) I’m so glad that you’ve left a stamp of approval on my Twitter tips! =) Hugs!

  15. Posted June 12, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Once again, excellent post Sam!!

  16. Posted June 13, 2011 at 4:27 am | Permalink

    Aw, Dayle, thank you!! I can’t thank you enough for your support!! =)

  17. Posted June 13, 2011 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Did not know about FollowFriday or what exactly the point of lists was. Great info. Excellent post as usual :)

  18. Posted June 13, 2011 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Good Twitter material, Sam. Also, something like this, perhaps with your intro and his, would be terrific for @birdify blog. Let’s help the young man, “neh?” (“Neh” = Japanese for “you know what I mean?”)
    Much love from Osaka,

  19. Posted June 14, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much, John! I’m so glad I could provide useful info! =) Let me know if you need help with anything. In the meantime, I saw your latest #FF follows and it looks like you’re a Twitter expert already! =)

  20. Posted June 14, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much, Saul! =) Turns out Bevan’s a character from my past. Didn’t realize that he needed help at all, but would be ecstatic to collaborate. I’ll continue to be in touch with him (and you!) =)

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