Light Conversation & Timing Follow-ups

So you’ve installed some tools, thrown out some tweets and followed a bunch of relevant tweeps.  Now what?  Well, it’s time to start making some light conversation.

Light conversation can be defined as the type of conversation you would have waiting in line for anything.  In long lines, I can go on for a bit and might even include “what do you to for a living?” threads. In rushed lines, it can be as simple as saying thank you to the cashier.

Wednesday – Day Three

After doing some tweeting and following on Monday and Tuesday, you should have a little bit of traction.  Login to your Twitter account and go to the aptly named “@ Connect” Tab.  Your page should look something like this:

 Don’t worry about the mentions tab on the left.  That just filters out all of the follows, which we’ll need to pay close attention to moving forward.

If you’ve had a Twitter account for awhile, chances are you may have some follows and interaction that go back a bit.  If that’s you, go back a few weeks and work your way up the page.  You can go back farther, but it’s not likely that the people who followed remember why they followed you in the first place. And if they @mentioned you, they probably have forgotten the conversation entirely.  Write if off as a loss, and learn.

@ Mentions

The first thing you should do is reply to any @mentions (an @mention is anytime someone publicly tweets your handle, in my case @SmallBizTriage).  If you see any tweets that are just a bunch of @mentions with no messaging, then that is probably a #FF or #FollowFriday tweet which we will get into tomorrow & Friday. 

On my @ Connect Page today, you’ll see this one:

If you recall from yesterday’s example, I’ve been working on reaching out to non-profits.  James Lamb was one of the guys who showed up in my ManageFlitter search for non-profits in Seattle.

Here’s my basic step-by-step routine to respond to this @mention.


1) Learn more about the person, click on their name.
2) If they are relevant, follow them (if you haven’t already).  And if they are not relevant, jump straight to #5 below.
3)  If they have a website listed, do a CTRL-Click to open it up in a new tab. If they have a cool blog, subscribe to it via RSS.  Interesting Facebook Page?  Like that.  If they are an influencer and have an email newsletter, sign-up for that too.
4) Hop back to their profile, and add them to a list or two (screenshots below).  Create the list if need be.  IMPORTANT: if the list should be private, like my Competitors list, make sure you mark that tick-box when creating it. Click on the pic above to zoom-in.
5) Now you can reply.  No special rules really.  See below with how I responded to James. Note my grammar error … and how it didn’t stop the conversation from rolling.


Responding to Follows 

As we dig farther into your page, we’ll likely see a handful of follows.  Start a week or so back, and again, work your way up the list.  There’s a variety of way to respond to a follow.

I picked up 6 follows last night.  So I CTRL-Clicked on each of the little faces to open them up in new tabs to make these next steps a bit easier.  See below for how I responded to each one.


Bronzer Salon … they are a former client actually, so I can genuinely be happy for their new customers tweet.  I want to customize this tweet so I go with the Buffer Button and do this:

Post Now, then I close that tab, and move on to Robert India … his profile reads: 

@eroticrobert Hot, horny and ready to write!! 18+ only please! Dublin

Highly irrelevant.  Find another dud with @LisaLovesTroy … no business, no cause, no purpose other than a strangely public love of some entity named “Troy”.

So I close that tab and move onto the next tab, Brian O’Connell.  He runs a non-profit called React Services.  His website looks real. In this case I don’t have anything timely to say to him, so I find tweet that relates to someone else I’m connected to, Favorite it & Buffer it.  This tweet was too long, so I trimmed it down, and @mentioned Andrew Chapman, a guy I know who writes about China.  In less than a minute, I’ve scratched his back to warm up future conversation, highlighted a recent tweet, and shared value by connecting him to Andrew.  Before I close out the window, I add him to my Non-Profit list.

Now on to Bill Kolbenschlag. To be blunt, this guy may be a competitor, however, we are not located in the same city, so I’m not going to stress out about it.  In this case, he looks familiar, so another check to my @ Connect page on Twitter I see that he’s already thanked me for adding him to my “Small Biz Leaders” list … and he also followed me.  No further action required there until something relevant and timely comes up.

 So I close that tab, and move on to Jennifer Quinn.  At first look her Twitter profile tells me nothing – no location, no business, no topic of interest, except that she “loves Twitter more than” anyone she knows 😉  So I dig into her link to her bio page and strike gold.  She’s on the Board of Directors of a non-profit in Boise, ID which is one of my targets, and a planned stop-over on my Anti-Social Road Show next summer.  Relevant, but not urgent … so I do the following:

1) Followed her
2) Added her to my “Non-Profits” List
3) Sent her a personalized tweet via the left sidebar and using Buffer again.

Click on the image to the right to zoom in. I personalized it and focused it on potential mutual relevance.  When I do reach out again to Jenny, my odds of cutting through the static is higher because of this small tweet.

Well that’s it for today.


Twitter is primarily a tool for conversation.  

Be Specific. Be Relevant. Be Timely. Be Human.

Stay tuned for my next post on Day 4, where I’ll show you the funky rhythm of Twitter conversations, and how to maintain (and accelerate) the growth of your presence there.

Questions? Leave them in the comment thread below, or just shoot me a call / email.