Relationships are everything.
They are the backbone of business and are a key aspect of our own lives. Whether we like it or not, relationships have shaped us as individuals. Whether it’s the relationships we had with our parents or classmates as kids or the relationships we’ve developed with peers and colleagues throughout our careers – They’ve shaped us. They’ve impacted our biases, our opinions, our beliefs and who we are as a whole.
It’s shocking to some people to think that you can build a strong relationship with someone through the internet. We all know that online dating has taken off over the past decade but that’s not the type of relationship I’m talking about. I’m talking about relationships that are completely professional and/or platonic.
Over the years, I’ve established many relationships solely through forums, Twitter, email and Facebook. I’ve connected with people all over the world and recognize that these relationships have given me new insight, new opportunities and new perspectives. Here are three dead simple tips that will help you in developing meaningful and authentic relationships through Twitter:
Retweet Content From Relevant People
It’s the idea of you scratch my back, I’ll scratch your back. If you want to build relationships with people, you need to be willing to do more for others than you do for yourself. When you think of the individuals excluding superstars like Shakira and Lebron James, the people with the larger followings and success via Twitter are frequently engaging and sharing other peoples content.
If you follow folks like Hiten Shah of KISSmetrics or Robert Scoble, you quickly can see that they retweet people on a regular basis. It’s these retweets that give them an opportunity build deeper relationships with these individuals. A retweet is one of the biggest forms of flattery on Twitter. Once upon a time it was #FollowFridays but those are so 2008. Today, it’s all about the retweets!
Don’t Always Talk Shop. Be Human.
Some marketers and sales professionals talk about business 24/7/365. It’s a bit much. We understand that you love your work and we all understand that you’re a hard worker. But we really don’t want to hear about it every minute of every single day. It gets old. It gets boring. It’s important that you throw in a bit of your personality into the content you’re sharing on Twitter and not simply acting as a robot.
People want to do business with people. If you’re simply a newsfeed filled with links with nothing else, people aren’t going to feel connected to you. Share information about what you’re doing on the weekend. Share information around what your interests are, what TV shows you’re watching or what you think of a recent hot topic. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll notice a blend of tweets that cover everything from marketing and the hustle to sports and the Lego movie. Give people a glimpse of who you really are and it will work wonders for building meaningful and more authentic relationships on Twitter.
Take Your Relationships Offline
I’ve built life long friendships through Twitter. I’ve met people who have helped me in my career, in life and in times of struggle. I’ve found people who I can lean on for support and built relationships that are so strong that I wouldn’t trade them for any money in the world. While there are many friends who I’ve met on Twitter that I’ve never met in person, those who I’ve met face to face tend to be the individuals I have the strongest relationships with.
Twitter is great but nothing can replace face to face interaction. At the same time, tools like Skype and Google Hangouts increase our ability to developing strong and meaningful relationships. You can only say so much with 140 characters. Sometimes you need to exchange emails, connect on Facebook or take your relationship a step further and meet up for a coffee or lunch. Either way, moving your communication from tweets to another form of interaction is a great way to strengthen and develop a deeper relationship with people.
Sometimes people get freaked out by the idea of meeting people from Twitter. I’m here to say that Twitter is like a 24/7 networking event where anyone from anywhere can become connected. It’s a powerful tool and one that has changed the way we interact as individuals and also as a species. Twitter has changed government, business, relationships and is constantly shaping the way we receive news and information. It’s no longer okay to ignore Twitter. It’s going no where. So why resist?