How to Use Twitter for Networking

Have you ever wondered how to get the attention of a high-level person of influence? Or perhaps you’ve been dying to get an interview at a highly reputable company, but don’t know how to get in the door? 

Well I have good news for you. Twitter can help. Sure it’s a long-game, but when used correctly, over time Twitter can have a valuable impact on your ability to get noticed by influential people and organizations, or to build and grow your network.

Here are five ways you can use Twitter to build your network.

  1. It’s not about the number of followers you have, but in how you use the platform that makes a difference. For example, you can tag others in a tweet to get their attention. In fact, they’ll get a notification that you tagged them, which is a low-touch introduction to who you are without any commitment on their end.
  2. Because Twitter allows only 140 characters per Tweet, you have to keep it short and as a result it’s considered a low commitment for anyone you’re Tweeting with. And for this reason, Twitter can be a more effective platform for engaging with influential people who can’t or won’t take the time to connect with you on LinkedIn.
  3. Twitter lets you engage with the whole world of Twitter -- not just those you are following or who are following you. So follow ANYONE you admire, trust and like on Twitter to see what they are interested in, where they are speaking, what conversations they are engaged in and how you might ultimately make a connection with them.
  4. Now let’s take Twitter to the next level. When you go to your Twitter profile page, you’ll notice a tab at the top, just below your cover photo that’s called “Lists.” Click that tab and you’ll see an option on the right side bar to create a list. Use this special and often overlooked feature to create a list of influential people you want to keep track of. The best part is that they will get a notification when you add them to the list, which is a great way to get their attention.
  5. Finally, make use of hashtags (#). Hashtags are like radio stations. Remember the old-fashioned radio dial? Well think of a hashtag like that and it will be easier to understand. Using hashtags allows you to listen and monitor conversations that are going on in the Twitter-sphere. By using hashtags you can also engage in a larger conversation with people you didn’t even know existed and in this way, you can and will grow your network. So if you’re going to tweet - always include a hashtag to reach more people.
  6. And as a bonus...the next time you go to a conference or event, try tweeting from the event using the event hashtag.  Use this tactic to meet people online in Twitter who are at the event that you can then connect offline with in person at a later time.

How have you used Twitter to grow your network?