Twitter: a gold mine of relationships
Are you a daily Twitterer? According to a new study from Pew Internet about 15% of online adults are tweeting on a daily basis. That number has doubled in the last year, but why?
Two big things are happening. Twitter is maturing - it's grown far beyond the who, what, and where of people's dining or entertainment patterns. It's become a newsfeed for many AND people are learning to use Twitter as a seedbed for relationships. Twitter is a gold mine for nonprofit leaders and organizations who thrive on relationships.
I don’t claim to be a social media expert and am not writing as one. However, I am a devotee of both Twitter and LinkedIn and decided to devote a short series of blog posts sharing a few personal experiences (mine and others’) and insights on how nonprofit leaders are using these tools to grow their personal and professional networks while also advancing their organizational causes.
The first post introduced 4 Tips and Truths about Twitter;the first truth is: Twitter revolves around relationships. Rather than thinking of Twitter as a marketing tool think of it as a relationship development tool.
Here are some tweets from others supporting this notion:
These tweets were just a few exchanged during a May 30 Stanford Social Innovation Review webinar entitled, Leading in a Hyperconnected World sponsored by Living Cities. You can view a video replay here.
What does it mean to think of Twitter as a relationship tool?
Don’t be a twit with your tweets.
Be your authentic self and engage in relationship development. Think how you respond to people on-land who only talk about themselves. Twitter works the same way. It’s not all about you, so make sure your tweets aren’t all about you or your organization. Become a conversationalist.
Show interest in others by following people or organizations with whom you share mutual interests. Reply to their tweets and engage in conversations. If they do, say, or share something you find interesting share it by retweeting (RT) it to your followers. Ask questions and engage with those that respond.
For many this means moving beyond Twitter to other mediums that allow for conversations longer than 140 characters. Many conversations that began as tweets or re-tweets have moved into telephone calls, group conference calls, personal interactions, or face-to-face meetings. I’m amazed at how many relationships Twitter has spawned.
A small touch can have a huge impact on a relationship.
Here's just one personal example. Last month I met Bob at a conference where @ClaireD from Twitter was the morning keynote speaker. Bob subscribed to Twitter while listening to Claire and joined in the conversations using the conference hash tag (more on that in a later post). That afternoon I met Bob during the breakout session I was leading. We had a brief conversation and exchanged a few tweets over the next week. Out of the blue Bob (@nucidirector) referred to me as his Twitter mentor and invited me to breakfast or lunch. I discovered he lives in Athens, GA and last week I was there to speak at a conference and we arranged to meet for breakfast to talk Twitter.
Bob is the Executive Director for Nuci's Space. I knew nothing about the organization, but over breakfast became so fascinated with the organization and its work, that I asked if it would be possible to arrange a site visit while I was in town. Bob worked it out and I discovered an absolutely amazing organization that is perhaps the most innovative and creative model preventing suicide and promoting emotional, physical, and professional well-being of musicians. You can learn more about them here. What began as a couple of short tweets expanded into a real relationship. Thanks @nucidirector for jumping in and giving Twitter a try. Who knows what doors may open for the organization by connnecting with folks 140 characters at a time on Twitter?
How about you? In what ways have you used Twitter to develop or strengthen relationships? What insights or ideas would you suggest others consider when they use Twitter for a relationship development? Please respond below or tweet me @kevin_monroe