140 characters doesn’t seem like a lot to work with, but vast amounts of information can be found on Twitter. Thanks to the advent of bit.ly, and other web address shrinkers, those 140 characters can take you anywhere. As a young public relations practitioner I am constantly learning in this quickly changing field.
Utilizing Twitter, in a targeted way, can open doors to immense amounts of information. Opening these doors will help build relationships with other PR professionals. Almost all PR pros are social media fanatics (or if they are any good at their job they are). Therefore, Twitter is the best way to reach out to a worldwide network of PR professionals.
You can learn a lot of information by sitting back and following the vast amounts of really smart PR pros out there. However, chances are as someone interested in Public Relations, you are going to want to interact. So how do you get involved? Below I have outlined 3 simple ways I try to interact with PR Pros in the Twitterverse
1. Send a DM (Direct Message) After Every “Follow” -. Don’t just thank them for the follow, you need to engage them. Ask them about something on their Twitter background, or check out their blog and tell them a specific thing you enjoyed reading. This is a great tool b/c you can add some personality and build those ever-important relationships.
2. Send a DM (rather than thank them in a tweet) if you get Retweeted - In the DM I do thank them for the RT, but I go on to ask what they liked about the tweet, or why they retweeted. This gives me good feedback on the effectiveness of my Tweeting. It also helps me understand what people are interested in reading.
3. Retweet, Retweet, and Retweet – However, hitting the RT button and retweeting information doesn’t really help you connect to people. Do your best to personalize the retweet. I understand this can be tough with the 140 character restraints, but adding something of your own helps to engage the person you are retweeting.
This is not the magic formula, as nothing in social media is, but I have had success building relationships in only a short time. Social media is all about involvement, finding your style is what will set you apart. So get out there and start engaging.
Twitter is a constantly evolving and fascinating form of media. It gives young PR pros the ability to interact with proven professionals worldwide. Take advantage of this fast growing form of social media. It has given at least one young PR pro (ME!) some great information on current PR issues and trends.
Please feel free to share what has worked for you. I'm always interested to learn, and look forward to reading some great comments.