How to Use Twitter to Get in Touch

lovelihood (flickr)

lovelihood (flickr)

Twitter is a great way to gain access to people these days. If you’re a total beginner, here’s a short guide for how to get started. But if you already have a Twitter account, here’s a way to get the conversation started with potential clients, leads, tradesmen and community leaders.

Twitter lets you talk to just about anyone in the world, which is one of the ways Twitter is so powerful as a tool for you. But this is actually not how most people use the service. A lot of people just post outward and go on with their life, shouting and not listening. But Twitter can actually be about having a conversation and connecting.

Direct Messaging

If you are logged into your account on Twitter, the top right corner of the page should have a button with a silhouette of a gray man. When you click on that, a menu drops down with the second button being “Direct messages”. When you click this button, a pop up comes forward, and that’s your Direct Message (DM) inbox. Cool right? Press “New Message”, write the Twitter name of whomever you’re trying to contact, write your message – 140 characters or less! – and press “send message”. Voila!

The caveat – Twitter only allows you to direct message those who you follow and also follow you back. So unfortunately, unless President Obama follows your Twitter account, you can’t send him a direct message. But you can still contact him.

@ Replies

Twitter has another mechanism for creating conversations in which you trade the ability to have a private conversation for the ability to talk to anyone you like. @Replies are a good way to get someone’s attention, but note that whatever you say will be public. This might not be so good if you carefully curate your Twitter feed and don’t want a lot of random shoutouts from you to potential clients cluttering it up. Or if you have private info to share, you can suggest the other person follow you back so you can send them a DM.

Remember

All of this will have to be in 140 characters or under, so if you have a lot to say, you may want to go even a step further and exchange email addresses within a DM. If you think you can synthesize your inquiry down, though, Twitter makes for a great way to get in touch.