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While it may not happen in a single 140-character line, Twitter opens the door for connecting with potential clients, building relationships, finding new employees and satisfying cravings for water cooler chats, all of which can lead to opportunities. Both new and not-so-new Twitter users often ask how businesses can benefit from the service. These stories illustrate how Twitter makes it possible without doing any icky hard selling.
The key to landing clients through Twitter is to build relationships with the right audience. Jon Phillips of Spyre Studios has many followers who are small business owners, freelancers, designers and developers. “Being active on Twitter, replying to people and retweeting helps a lot. Also I’ve been included on many lists of ‘Tweeple to follow if you’re into…’ which has made my followers count increase significantly. It’s like a vote of confidence from the owners of those blogs,” says Phillips.
Design by Reese‘s Reese Spykerman, web designer, finds that Twitter leverages and expands her existing network. “I had some clients who were early adopters of Twitter, and their networks started following me. It was a very accessible and quick way for referrals to build without necessarily needing an introduction. Like six degrees of separation, but with fewer degrees,” she says.
Gaining New Clients
DJ Waldow of Bronto met a prospect through Twitter who knew of the company and valued the company’s industry insight. When it came time for the prospect to find a new vendor, he went to Waldow and turned into a client. Bronto built a relationship with the prospect through Twitter, which helped the company stay in the prospect’s mind.
Hiring New Employees
Ben Kunz of Mediassociates hired an assistant media planner he first met on Twitter. Of course, he didn’t hire her solely because they connected on Twitter, but Twitter made the introduction. “I think the real lesson is there is value in connecting personally when searching for a job, and Twitter can help with that,” Kunz says.
Kristen Beireis watches for potential team members on Twitter. When she sees tweets from the right people in her Twitter stream, she follows them and listens to their tweets. “I get to know them and I get to know what kind of work they do that way. Twitter allows me the opportunity to see what’s going on in their brains when it comes to the type of work we do,” Beireis says.
Author Christina Katz sold at least one book with a tweet. I interviewed her for my blog and tweeted a link to the interview with a short introduction to the topic. Several of my followers read the post, with one claiming he was off to buy the book.
Several software companies found me through Twitter. They knew I did software reviews, so they tweeted asking if I wanted to look at their products; they then received publicity from the published reviews.
Many journalists have quoted people they’ve met on Twitter, which makes sense to me considering via Twitter I’ve met intelligent people and participated in chats about public relations, writing, editing, small business and social media networking. To help you use Twitter effectively, you might want to read 10 Golden Rules of Social Media, why people don’t follow back in Twitter and how to network with Twitter.
How has Twitter helped your business?
Photo credit: aldo cavini benedetti