I spry with my little tweet … direct access to strangers via Twitter

Today I got this Tweet from Sarah Price from I Spry Digital:

@theriteseries. Thanks steve for the mention on your blog yesterday. look forward to meeting you @OBM_NT

Direct access via TwitterIt struck me as the perfect trigger for a quick reflection on netiquette and a reminder of how Twitter can give you laser-focussed access to decision makers and prospective customers.

I have done the same thing with people I am keen to connect with. My most recent use of this technique was with Damien Ryan, Alice Springs mayor.

Let me explain.

Replies and mentions

It is good netiquette when you are mentioned by another person on Twitter or they share something you have tweeted, to shoot them a quick thank you. This is made simple because Twitter sends you an email whenever your Twitter name (or handle) is mentioned in a Tweet.

In Sarah’s case, we both have overlapping interests and it was a pleasant surprise for her to want to touch base when I am back in town.

Of course, sometimes life gets in the way and it is understandable if you miss the moment. Mind you, there is no statute of limitations on courtesy and even a thank you some months later will still be valuable, of course you might need to give it context then so the other person knows what you are talking about!

Damien Ryan and your prospects

Along with tipping your hat back to people who mention you online, I always tell my clients there are a couple of ways to get noticed on Twitter by ‘twits’ of interest to you.

And by ‘twits of interest’ I mean prospective customers and people of influence relative to your target markets such as journalists, social communicators, decision makers, relevant authorities, etc.

The first way to get noticed is to simply follow the person’s or group’s Twitter account. At that point, they receive an email alert to tell them that your Twitter account is now following them. If they are anything like me, either at that moment or at regular intervals they will look through the list of whose following them and choose whether to follow you back or not. Either way, you have been noticed.

The second way is to tweet a message to the world but include your target person’s Twitter account. Here is a tweet I sent on August 15, aimed at piquing the interest of the Alice Springs mayor on a local issue and possible solution, namely, building upon a Chamber of Commerce suggestion that local retailers should get websites to fight the online onslaught:

@damienjryan would love your thoughts about this post on #AliceSprings retailers and the Chamber working together bit.ly/RITE-alice

Sadly, upon this occasion, I didn’t hear back from Damien but the blog post did spur a discussion with others.

On other occasions, this approach has opened doors and sparked conversations. In Damien’s case, I can understand why this prolific ‘twit’ might not have responded – overload. I must ashamedly acknowledge that there have been times with people’s mentions of me on Twitter have gone unresponded for some time due to a flurry of unrelenting busyness demanding my attention away from the social sphere temporarily.

So, when you use the Twitter listening tools I discussed on Sunday and you see some Twitter activity by a potential client or person of influence, have a stab at following them or sending out a tweet with their username included, preceded by the ‘@’ symbol. You never know what new opportunies are just a tweet away.

If you have any Twitter introduction stories to share, particularly in relation to doing business in the Northern Territory, please leave some comments below.


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