Developing your Reputation as a Connector on Twitter

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Remember the last time a friend introduced you to someone they thought you should meet? That’s the kind of friends we like to keep close—they know what we need and they know how to bring it to us in the most helpful way. That’s what connectors do. This week on the chat, we invited branding expert and #TwitterSmarter chat regular, Christine Gritmon, to talk about why you should be a connector on Twitter. Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Christine Gritmon
Topic: Developing your reputation as a connector on Twitter
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: Who is a connector on Twitter?

A connector is a person who seems to know everyone—they’re personally so well connected that they effortlessly introduce people within their network to each other. They act as a bridge between their friends. Our guest mentioned Christina Garnett, Julian Gamboa, and Jessica Phillips as great connectors.

As Doug emphasized a connector on Twitter is often also a connector offline. Connectors have large networks and naturally enjoy bringing people together—it’s about personality rather than just a feature of a social media platform.

Q2: Why is it important to be a connector?

It’s an important trait because it’s an easy way to provide value to other people. The more you connect with others and with each other, the more your expertise will grow.

Being a connector can also help in professional spaces. For instance, as our guest pointed out, so many people ask for recommendations from their network first—whether it’s for a new business tool or a job hire. Being a connector helps you get such opportunities easier.

Julia from NOW Marketing Group made a good point: being a connector feels good. It’s the right thing to do—offering value to others and being a good community member. When everyone helps each other without expectations, the community thrives as a whole.

Q3: How do you find other connectors on Twitter?

Connectors will find you. As long as you connect with others and share helpful insights, your network will grow and you’ll meet new connectors.

You’ll also find people on Twitter Spaces and chats, as Madalyn reminded us. Host your own rooms or participate in chats about topics that you care about. The more you get involved, the more connections you’ll make.

Q4: What are some ways to network on Twitter?

Event hashtags are great for expanding your network. People attending events want to meet new people and share ideas. From one event and one tweet, you can quickly take it further. Like Christine recommended, once you’ve connected with a person on Twitter, add them to other social networks you use most—like LinkedIn—so you have more opportunities to continue that relationship. Connecting with people on multiple platforms also helps you get to know that person on a personal level—for instance, their education and work experience may be on LinkedIn, but you’ll learn about their likes, dislikes, and favorite bands on Facebook or Instagram.

Ron shared even more ways to network on Twitter: follow people, engage with their posts actively, and use the direct message feature judiciously.

Q5: Share some best practices for building a reputation as a connector.

Engage with more people. As you become more active, the more chances you have of meeting people you can connect with each other.

When you engage with someone, don’t focus on what they can do for you. Instead, think of how you can offer value. At the same time, make sure you’re connecting with givers and not just the takers.

Another important thing to remember is to always be kind and engaging. You can never tell what a person’s going through—so always be considerate towards others.

Q6: What are some things you avoid when trying to build your reputation?

Don’t say something just for the sake of saying something. You don’t have to pop into every chat and every Spaces conversation—speak where you can add value to others. In other situations, listen.

Johnathon spoke about the importance of being authentic. People don’t like engaging with someone who doesn’t feel real—so don’t try to be someone you’re not.

Q7: Is a connector the same as an influencer?

Our guest explained it beautifully: though there’s an overlap between a connector and an influencer, the connector essentially connects people with each other, whereas an influencer directly influences action.

A fun way to think about it is to imagine a connector as leading a horse to water, and the influencer as making the horse drink that water. You can also have a listen to Christine’s conversation with Mark Schaefer on this topic.

Jelle made an excellent point: A connector exerts influence by building two-way relationships. They genuinely wish to connect with people. Clicks and purchases are secondary.

Q8: Can introverts really be connectors?

They sure can. There’s no one right way to be a connector. Whether you like to actively run around, network or be more focused on one-on-one interactions, you can be a connector in your own way.

As Prakruti emphasized, how you operate socially doesn’t have to dictate your ability to be social. There are so many awesome introverted connectors who thrive in their own style.

Well folks, that’s all from me this week. Thanks for reading through and for more great insights from our chat with Christine have a look at this Twitter Moment that Joana put together for us. If you think this summary is pretty good, you’ll love the real-time chat. Join us next Thursday at 1 pm ET for #TwitterSmarter. We also hang out on Twitter Spaces at 5 pm ET to continue our chat. Catch you there!

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About me, Narmadhaa:

I write all the things—marketing stuff to pay the bills; haiku and short stories so I feel wholesome. A social media enthusiast, I hang out with the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and am always happy to take on writing gigs.

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