Using Twitter to Network and Learn from Your Peers

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We’re all on Twitter to talk about things we enjoy and share our knowledge with others. That’s why we join any social media channel. However, most of us focus more on trying to get something in return as opposed to being genuinely curious and interested in learning from others. We invited digital strategist, Brittani Warrick to talk about how we can network effectively with our peers. Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Brittani Warrick
Topic: Using Twitter to network and learn from your peers
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: Why is networking important on Twitter?

The best thing about Twitter, as our guest pointed out, is that it’s a great place to meet new people. If you’re on LinkedIn, you’ll know that it’s an ideal platform to network with professionals across various industries and experience levels. Twitter is a more fun platform to do the same thing.

Cindy mentioned another good reason to network on Twitter. Apart from expanding your network, you also learn more about your industry, other industries you’re interested in, and the latest tools and technology that people in those industries are adopting. It’s a good way for you to explore new opportunities as well.

Q2: What kind of people should you network with?

When you can get access to all kinds of people, why not network with them all? You don’t have to stick to your industry, for like our guest mentioned, by expanding your network to include people from various expertise and backgrounds, you can get so much more from your time on Twitter.

Another way to look at it is as our friends from NOW Marketing Group said. Network with people who like the same things you do. This means you’ll engage with those outside of your professional conversations. That’s ok, good even. These are the people you’d make friends with in real life if you’re at a party. Twitter shouldn’t be any different.

Q3: How do you find the people you want to network with on Twitter?

Brittani said she’s found a lot of great people lately in Twitter Spaces. It’s no surprise—audio-only conversations are growing by the day.

When networking for professional reasons, do what Rachel suggested. Start by following publications and popular media for your daily feed. Then look for prospective employers or people you’d like to collaborate with, and then localize your network by following people in your region or even city. This way, you can convert online friendships into face-to-face meetings quite easily. From there, look for people they follow and those who follow them. Use hashtags and mutual followers to identify new people to connect with.

Q4: Share some tips for engaging with your peers on Twitter.

Brittani’s top tip is to be yourself. Authenticity is essential on social media and even more so when you’re looking to make friends and establish long-term connections. It’s the foundation of any good relationship.

Madalyn shared another hot tip: create custom GIFs. Not only is it a great conversation starter, but it also makes you stand out from the rest of the crowd.

Here’s a video of how you can make your own GIFs from a video.

Q5: Name some practices you should avoid when networking on Twitter.

Christine told us about some of the biggest no-nos of Twitter networking. Don’t sell your products or services in other people’s conversations or out of context, don’t try too hard to be clever in your bio and compromise clarity, don’t ignore your notifications, and never misuse the direct message feature.

It should be common sense, but unfortunately, many people need to hear what Pavel said. Insults, swear words, and offensive words are a strict no when networking on Twitter. Be nice and build real relationships.

Q6: What are some lessons you’ve learned from your peers?

One of the most important lessons we all learned on Twitter, as our guest reminded us, came from Alexa.

Earlier in the year, Alexa joined us to chat about digital accessibility on Twitter. She taught us so much, and many of us on the chat have since started making out content more accessible on social media. Here’s a summary of that chat. Check it out—you won’t regret it!

Rachel from Express Writers told us about the importance of putting yourself out there. Instead of waiting for others to connect with you first, go ahead and start a conversation. Make it a conscious decision and a priority.

Another essential lesson, not only for Twitter but also for life, is to listen first. Most people tend to listen without paying attention. While the other person’s talking, they’re thinking about how they want to respond without showing any interest in their opinion. This can happen both in Twitter Spaces but also in real-time Twitter replies. It’s both insulting and annoying. Don’t be that person.

Q7: How do you apply those lessons to your own social media presence?

Staying true to her advice on the previous question, our guest told us about how she does what she loves to do most. She’s always engaging with her network however she can. It’s important to enjoy yourself while networking on social media.

Fernando told us how sharing small details from your personal life can go a long way in establishing your personal brand and relating to people around you. So many people doing this. It’s not a tactic, but an inevitable part of being human. We want to tell our friends about the things in our life—you can do the same on Twitter. Choose wisely what you share, though, because as with anything on social media, it can also backfire.

Q8: How has peer-to-peer networking changed our marketing practices?

Brittani told us how networking has changed the way she looks at marketing and her career. She’s constantly learning from her peers, hearing about new things, and exploring ways to grow, personally and professionally.

Peer-to-peer networking has completely changed our priorities, as Masooma pointed out. From being primarily broadcasting, marketing has gone to relationship building with brands focusing heavily on being genuine and approachable.

Well, folks, that’s all from me this week. Thanks so much for reading through and for more great insights from our chat with Brittani, check out this Twitter Moment that Joana put together. And if you’ve got some time to spare, come join us on the live chat. We’re on #TwitterSmarter every Thursday at 1pm ET. See you soon!

About me, Narmadhaa:

I write all the things—technical and marketing copy to fill the pocket; haiku and short stories to fill the soul. A social media enthusiast, I’m a member of the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and always happy to take on writing gigs.

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