Why Twitter is the place to get engaged

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Networking on Twitter using the @ tag

If you think Twitter is just about retweeting and posting links and short statuses, you’re missing out big time.

Twitter is perhaps most useful for those of you who are looking for a place to do some serious networking. Other social networks allow you to connect with business professionals and the relevant people in your industry but most of them expect you to have some sort of pre-established relationship with the other person before you can directly address them.

When it comes to Twitter, the only thing that separates you from some of the most brilliant minds in the world is that glorious little @ symbol. In the world of digital marketing I’m talking about people like Rand Fishkin, Avinash Kaushik and Guy Kawasaki.

Not only does the @ tag allow you to directly address the people you are following, but it also allows you to address those you are not following and who are not following you.

When you write a tweet using the @ symbol, you address the person directly. Furthermore, as Jay Yarrow writing for Business Insider has kindly explained, only the people that follow you and that follow the person you are @-ing will see the tweet.

@ Tweeting someone is a fantastic way to do the following:

  • Give credit for a link or article in which they have been mentioned
  • Get them to give you a response – if nothing else, what a fantastic way to get attention
  • Answer a question they have asked
  • Recognise or welcome a follower
  • Begin building a relationship – if you want to associate with someone, this is the perfect way to do it

So, if you want to lay the groundwork for working relationships, begin thinking about how you’re going to @ tweet prospective clients/customers.

Also, try to remember to keep your @ tweets relevant and useful. If you begin doing it too often, chances are you’re going to get ignored and worse than that be negatively perceived by that prospective client.

As with almost any form of direct marketing, there’s a fine balance between being bold and being pushy. Make sure you’re not overstepping the marker.

Written by Candice Landau