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July 10, 2012

6 Steps to Connecting With Potential Customers on Twitter

Twitter is a wonderful way to stay connected with a wide variety of people, even people you don’t know in the real world. I first learned about Michael Jackson’s death via Twitter. All of the latest plugins I use for WordPress came from Twitter. I’ve attended conferences and had other attendees and even speakers recognize me from Twitter. I can eavesdrop on some interesting conversations by people I would never get to meet in the real world.

But with so many people on Twitter, and the ease of following them, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with noise. If you’re trying to use Twitter for business, this noise seems even louder.

So how do you connect with the right people on Twitter? And even more importantly, how do you turn those connections into business?

1. Use to find your target customers. Use keywords, hashtags, location or their industry to help find them. Look on their websites for their Twitter addresses. Be creative

2. Follow people who look like they could be a potential customer.

3. Choose six to ten people and follow them more closely. Check out their blog, LinkedIn profile and any other public web presence they have. Add them to a group or list to follow their Tweets more closely. If they publish it online, read it.

4. Over the next few weeks, promote them. Retweet interesting things they say. Use the @reply to comment on their Tweets or to answer their questions. Promote their blog posts or events. Comment on blog posts. Let your universe know who they are.

5. Use the #followfriday hashtag to promote these people. But don’t just put them in a list with a bunch of other people. Include a solo Tweet with your thoughts about why they’re interesting. Instead try: @janedoe is the queen of widgets #followfriday her if you want to know about widgets.

6. Once you’re on their radar, start a personal conversation. Use @replies, then DMs (direct messages) then move onto email or better yet, the phone.

Going from step one to step six can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. After all, no matter what anyone tells you, social networking isn’t something you can automate or outsource. You need to put in the time to build relationships.

If this seems like too much work, consider this: isn’t it far more productive to focus on a small number of potential customers and truly get to know them rather than having a huge list of hundreds (or thousands) of anonymous people who you don’t know and don’t care about?

If you’d like to learn more about marketing with Twitter and other social media sites, I’d like to invite you to claim your Free Instant Access to recording The Six Most Common Mistakes Baby Boomers Make With Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter… and how to avoid them when you visit

From Andrea J. Stenberg, the Baby Boomer Entrepreneur.