I purchased my first transistor radio at the Gibson’s Store by returning empty pop bottles to the grocery store at a nickel apiece.  $19.95 was an outrageous amount of money in 1974 for a 14-year-old Kansas country kid, but it came with an earphone (now known as “buds”).

I was pretty cool, or so I thought, listening KFDI with my single earphone tucked nicely in my ear. Not only was it all the technology I could afford, it was all the technology that was available. We still made phone calls on a rotary phone on a party line. A popular jingle at that time was for Virginia Slims cigarettes, “We’ve come a long way, baby!”

Well, we’ve come a whole lot further.

If you consider networking as a part of your career advancement, then it stands to reason that enhancing your position by developing skill sets with the latest technology will further assist you.  Social media skills are a part of the changing economy and are great tools for a variety of reasons. While the uses of Twitter are as in-depth as you want to go, this blog is going to concentrate on how to build relationships with it.

Here are five easy steps to build relationships in Twitter.

  1. Go to www.twitter.com and sign up for an account (if you have a photo, please use it in your profile- it makes it much more friendly)
  2. Once you’ve signed up, go to the search tab at the top of the page
  3. Type in a friend, company, organization, or group you want to “follow”
  4. When you find them, “follow” them (a notification will be sent to them that you are following them)
  5. Keep checking their “tweets” and, when you like what they have written you can “favorite” it, “mention” it, or “retweet” it. You can even DM (direct message) a person through Twitter.

The value is that you can connect with people and discover what they like, what they’ve been doing, what kinds of things they are passionate about, and, the next time you talk to them, you already have something to talk about.

If you find you get further into the Twitter universe, you might want to learn how to schedule your tweets in advance, be more select about certain people you want to follow, and manage maybe two or three different Twitter accounts. If you reach that point, then you’ll want so sign up for Tweetdeck.

What ways have you found Twitter to be a good relationship building tool for you?