Have you moved into a new area? Or perhaps you are expanding your business and launching your services in a place you don’t know very well yet. How do you make connections, particularly if you are remote?
Enter Twitter. The micro-messaging service is a great way to meet new people. You can talk to anyone from your neighbours to celebrities – even the President of the United States. This makes it a very powerful tool and incredibly useful for networking.
How to use Twitter Advanced Search
Twitter Advanced Search is a handy site to bookmark. This is not the search bar in the top right corner of the screen on desktop or that you get by using the magnifying glass symbol on mobile. Twitter Advanced Search gives you the ability to search in depth for people and conversations which are relevant to you.
You can search on a number of parameters but the one we are interested in is place. Click ‘Add location’ and Twitter will come up with where you are (or where it thinks you are – it’s not always accurate). If this isn’t the location you want to search in, press the button again and you will get a drop down menu and can put a location in.
Now under ‘words’ you can put in what you are looking for. Let’s say you are opening a sports shop in Cambridge. You might be interested in meeting?people from running clubs and sports centres as well as personal trainers, and of course, people who enjoy running and playing sports at the weekend.
Using Twitter Advanced Search you can search for ‘running club’, ‘#running’, ‘#couch25k’ or ‘#parkrun’.
You can then see tweets about these which have been sent from the area you are searching in. If the search field is too wide, you can adjust it.
Go to the search bar in the top right corner and you should see something like this: “#parkrun near:”Cambridge, England” within:15mi” Which means I am looking for tweets or accounts using the hashtag #parkrun within 15 miles of Cambridge. If I wanted to search closer to Cambridge, I adjust the distance after “within” so it says: “#parkrun near:”Cambridge, England” within:5mi” and hit ‘enter’.
As well as seeing tweets, you can click the ‘people’ tab and see accounts of people or organisations. Twitter isn’t brilliant at getting locations right so you might find that some of them don’t fit but a scroll through will give you some people to strike up conversations with.
Take part in Twitter chats
Twitter chats or tweet chats are great ways to get to know people. If you’ve never taken part in one before, these are conversations linked by a hashtag which take place at a pre-arranged time, usually every week.
Most parts of the country have a Twitter chat and the best ones are hosted by somebody who guides the conversation. There might be a weekly topic with set questions which everyone follows.
You can usually find them by putting in the placename and ‘hour’ so locally we have #ElyHour and #SIBNhour. Some chats cover whole counties like #Essexhour and #Hertshour.
The conversation can move very fast but it’s a great way to meet other people. It helps to use a tool like Tweetdeck, where you can put the hashtag in a column, to follow the conversation as it progresses.
Twitter can be a great way to build relationships with people. Using Twitter Advanced Search and Twitter chats allows you to find relevant people and conversations quickly and easily. All you have to do now is start talking to people.
- Rachel Extance is a communications consultant who helps businesses to tell their story.