It might be hard to believe but many business owners still have the impression twitter is just a waste of time. They truly don’t understand how using twitter will have a positive impact on their business. So the question you may be asking yourself is, how you start attracting new customers and prospects from twitter? The answer is my building relationships! It all starts with building relationships and on twitter there are a few different stages.
Casual conversations – Casual conversations on twitter start by just responding to the tweets from the people you are following. You might respond to a question or make a remark about the tweet or possibly re-tweet something you liked. All of these actions start a conversation and raise the awareness of the person you are engaging. Over time your relationship will progress and parts of the conversation may take place through direct messages.
Direct Messages – Through direct messages or DM’s you can engage one of your followers in a private conversation. In order to do this the person you are following needs to be following you back and most likely this has already happened from the casual conversations. Direct messages allow you to have a one on one private conversation with the people you are following on twitter allowing you to take the relationship one step further. At some point these DM’s will lead to the need or desire to have an actual phone conversation to explore additional projects, possibilities, or needs.
Phone Conversations – I am assuming you know how to use this! If you have been on twitter for a long time you may need to freshen up on your phone skills i.e. talk in full sentences beyond 140 characters! (it will be ok) Phone conversations allow you to explore all types of possibilities.
Meeting face to face – Eventually someone you have been tweeting for months or even years will be in the same city or the same conference you are attending. This is a great opportunity to take your twitter relationship to an actual live in person environment! Many people I have formed relationships with on twitter feel like best friends, great clients, or huge contributors to my business.
At any stage you may acquire a new customer, prospect, referral partner, vendor, advocate, or friend. I have had all of these relationships happen in each of the four relationship stages on twitter. I would like to give credit to Delores Williams who stated me thinking about the four stages of the twitter relationship by mentioning it on Twitter Talk Radio with Angie A. Swartz.
Remember twitter is similar to any network. People do business with people they know, like, and trust. You can create know, like, and trust on twitter just like you can at a business network, association, Chamber of Commerce, church, or club. If I still have not convince you to start using twitter in your business read 7,11, OK How about 11 Top Reasons Twitter is a Must Have for Your Business.