Want To Know How To Network? — USE TWITTER
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I am part of this global startup group on slack, called Startup Study Group (SSG). Just yesterday, one of its members asked a general question: — “How do I improve my networking skills?” I was attending a conference (TechWeekNYC) in New York City, but just happened to come across their question while briefly checking in the SSG Slack Channel since I had a few minutes to spare. His question made me think about it for some time. I asked him to DM directly, and we started a conversation while I had some free time. After we ended our brief convo, I couldn’t help but think about his overall question. Because of it, I decided I’d write a Medium post on my thoughts on networking.
Before I dive in, I just want to say — I’m no expert in this matter. However, what I can say is this: I’m genuine and I’ll tell you like it is from my personal experience.
OK — back to the topic of Networking. I thought hard and long about this, and the only thing that came to my mind was Twitter. Sure, there are a bunch of other social networks/business networks out there like Facebook and LinkedIN that you could use to ‘network.’ But to me, I don’t see the value as much in them as opposed to Twitter when it comes to networking. Yeah, both are huge and both have millions of users world-wide, but I don’t get as much out of them as opposed to Twitter. Here’s why:
Facebook is more for personal use between friends and family while LinkedIN is just a Trophy Case, plus you have to pay to send inMails and more are just junk anyway. Twitter is a platform where you have to be real since it’s open to everyone. What do I mean by real? You can’t just put up bullshit, or people will smell your bullshit. Case in point: I hate those who follow you and then when you follow them back, they DM you with “Hey great to connect. Let’s connect on LinkedIN!” — Why? So I can be added to your “connections” trophy case? CALLING BULLSHIT. (FYI — you do that to me I immediately unfollow you). No, instead with Twitter, you have a limit of 140 characters to say exactly what you need. You have to be genuine and real. Twitter is not about followers, it’s about expressing yourself on your values, opinions, and providing your inputs on subject matters that you feel most connected with.
I use Twitter to connect and network. — Phillip Yang
I use Twitter to connect and network. I don’t care about followers; instead I follow. I follow those who in my opinion, are valuable accounts who help me grow and learn more. Through Twitter, I’ve been able to connect with so many wonderful people all across the world. For example: I’m big on ad:tech even though I don’t code. It’s a subject that intrigues me and I want to stay up-to-date on. Had it not been for Twitter, I would have never been able to connect with Rob Leathern, who I feel is someone that is really keen on the subject. If it wasn’t for Twitter, I wouldn’t have found out about Startup Study Group, or connect with many of the great people who are part of the group such as: Charles Jo, Jean Lucas, webhat, Mike Seidle, kurt braget, @mdy, Croissant, and many more. Through Twitter, I’ve been able to connect with so many great companies and people. This is why I feel it’s a platform that helps you network. It not only connects you through its platform, but it helps you build relationships with people you may have never met in person.
OK OK — networking right? I’ll share a little story. Awhile back, I made a great connection through Twitter. I like to think of this person as my “Twitter Mentor” (hope he doesn’t mind!) Thanks to him, I was able to learn of an amazing conference held in NYC, and was able to attend it in person. I was fortunate enough to watch some great panel discussions with some top tier companies in Tech (Thanks Button for the great conference!). It was a great experience and I learned a great deal on what the past, present, and future of mobile entails. However, the best part of the entire event was that I was able to meet a Twitter connection in person. The “Twitter Mentor” I mentioned above was also at the conference as well. Because we’ve exchanged conversations in the past via Twitter, I couldn’t just NOT say hello. I went up to him and introduced myself, and it was great to spark a conversation in person. We had a lot to talk about because we essentially had prior discussions, even if it was only through Twitter. I NETWORKED. This is why Twitter helps with networking. You can build relationships via the network. Think of it as a “pre-pitch” that helps you prepare for your actual pitch. That’s exactly what happened. It helped me connect, gain knowledge, and essentially — be able to have a true, genuine, in person conversation. THAT’S MY NETWORKING. BTW — if you’re interested in know who this person is, he writes some good content as well here on Medium. Follow Jeremy Shure.
Word of mouth works now, much more than ever. @ reply every single person.” — Gary Vaynerchuk.
So far, I’ve connected with a lot of great folk. I’ve built relationships with them on Twitter first, and then met with a few in person. The initial relationship or “networking” that I did via Twitter helped me become more easily acquainted with some of my peers in person. Some of you might think “Oh, Twitter’s just a virtual platform. How can you ACTUALLY connect with people in real life through it?” Or, “I don’t have TIME.” — BLAH BLAH BLAH — Guess what, NO ONE really has time. BUT — you have to MAKE TIME. I’ll give you a quote by Gary Vaynerchuk “Word of mouth works now, much more than ever. @ reply every single person.” — Gary Vaynerchuk. This quote resonates with me so well. He’s absolutely right. Word of mouth is what Twitter is, and thus why I feel you can use it to network. You can build yourself a wide network of peers and friends that will only benefit you. Use Twitter to learn, to build, to make relationships, and much more. Why go through all the trouble of stressing over “how do I network?” There are platforms out there that can help you brand yourself and network, with Twitter being one of them. They’re just sitting there waiting for you. USE THEM. Value what they provide you and learn as much as you can. Utilize Twitter to what you VALUE the most. There are hundreds of millions of people on Twitter that are all unique in their own way — embrace it and use it to network. GET OUT THERE and NETWORK!