You build relationships through spontaneous, casual, open and 'dialogue' communications. This is primarily done in the communications medium of face-to-face and not in text - until Twitter. Twitter is powerful enough to use right now, but will become even more of a relationship builder as people use the 'group' function. That means you can talk to the world, but gather people in your community (or in Seth Godin's view 'Tribes') of interests to dialogue and influence.
Last weekend we had our great annual conference of Speakers Roundtable, (my Master Mind group, among other things), and I urged everyone to use Twitter well - which means giving value and 'grouping.' There was lots of interest and questions, so rather than just an email to my small group I thought I'd give my suggestions here on my blog - with links - on how to start, how to give value, and then how to use Twitter powerfully by grouping.
Twitter 101: Some aren't yet engaged, so...
- Here's how to start communicating on Twitter
- Some additional tips from my early experiences: The How and Why of Twitter
- From @MichaelHyatt on Beginning on Twitter - and he's a great person to follow
- When you've read/done some of these things, be sure you are using Tweetdeck or Seesmic. (more later on those.)
- You can be good and active on Twitter for 10-15 minutes a day, or a lot more. The more you put in, the more you get out. (Unless you get addicted, when the ROI will fall but still be very healthy. And a new fun hobby...)
- Twitter can't be explained very well (here's one effort) - it needs to be experienced. But once you've given a few dozen updates and are following a few dozen people or more and have been at it a couple of weeks, you'll begin to see the value in building: relationships, community, influence, information, traffic... and more (that's just my list.)
- Twitter is NOT about "What are you doing?" but 'what is of interest and value to your communities'
- Here are several great ideas from @ChrisBrogan on how to give value on Twitter. (Chris is also great to follow, but realize his 'giving value' post is set up 'tongue in cheek.') As you'll see, giving value is the only effective way to really build followers, and community. And influence. Happily, on Twitter there are many different ways go about it.
- To manage your growing stream of followers, you need to segment them into groups. To follow news events or conferences or topics you need to be able to segment them. To make sure you follow certain people you need to have a way to aggregate. That's why you need to use Tweetdeck or Seesmic.
- I prefer Seesmic right now, but these two User Interfaces, and several others, both work similarly in easily putting people into groups. You can have any number of groups (I have an A Group; family, company, must read. B Group - friends, good info, try to read. C and D groups - get to if I can. Many Tweets - here I put good people, but they just tweet so much they clutter my other streams. etc.)
- I'm starting a purely Speakers Roundtable Group (the motivation for all this) and urging them all to do the same, and I'll encourage them in the process as I'll be following all of them.
- This could go on forever, but by now you have the idea. Take one step at a time. Go slow or fast. Have fun with it.
- There are 1,001 blogs and posts on how to use twitter, and tools for twitter. Follow your preferences - there are no rules for Twitter.
- Here is one of many good places to go for Twitter (and tech) info - from @Mashable