How to Build Real Relationships On Twitter and Social Media

Social media, particularly Twitter, has leveled the playing field for business online. It is an affordable way to market your business as most social media platforms are free to use.

In fact, small businesses often have a huge advantage over big companies on social media platforms. Why? People buy from people. The start-up or SMB owner can show their passion for work. They can engage their audience and nurture relationships.

Twitter is an open social media platform that encourages you to build relationships and connect one-to-one with everyone from world-renowned entrepreneurs to journalists, prospective clients, and like-minded individuals.

A great way to get your name out there when you are a small or startup business is to attend events aimed at your target audience. The networking that goes on at these events is invaluable. An easy way to reach huge amounts of people is to take part in the event hashtag on the day.

Last week, we showed the power of participation in event hashtags when our own CEO Sean Prior went to #Inbound17

Inbound is four-day HubSpot user conference held every year in Boston. This year over 21,000 marketing and sales professionals from around the globe. Guest speakers included former first lady Michelle Obama and Rand Fishkin of Moz.

Sean was attending the event solo, with no team or booth on the ground, he was just 1 man in a crowd of 21,000. We needed to get as many HubSpotters to Sean. He was on a mission to get feedback on a new feature we are working on for Design Wizard.

Following a quick brainstorm with Samantha Kelly aka the Tweeting Goddess, we came up with a fun idea. We set Inbound attendees a Twitter challenge – to find Sean. The reward for finding Sean and doing a 5 minute UX test was a $15 Amazon voucher.

Using #whereisSean and the event hashtag #Inbound17 on Twitter we were able to capture the attention of the entire conference and send them to meet Sean.

Meanwhile, Sean posted photos of himself on the morning of each day of the conference. He also shared photo updates throughout the day. Back at Design Wizard HQ, we continued to follow the conference on twitter. We shared tweets, tips and pictures from other attendees at the event.

On Wednesday, award-winning fashion blogger and social media and marketing consultant Kassi Cheir found Sean. She posted this video on Twitter:


It was quite amazing meeting Sean at Inbound. After seeing Samantha’s tweet I knew that I had to find him but the chances were very slim considering the 21,000 people attending. When I recognised Sean and realised that he was having lunch next to me it was destiny calling so we got talking. – Kassiani Cheirogeorgou

It goes to show the value of crafting a Twitter strategy before attending an event. It made it much easier for Sean to connect with other attendees using the Twitter Social Media platform. It also helped us to grow our following and most importantly build real-life relationships.

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