Going out for a drink with friends, playing golf, and hanging out at a cookout are all ways that we build relationships. It is the social aspects of our relationships that make for strong business relationships too. It is those times when I get to know someone personally that makes me want to help them achieve their goals. While we may not be fast friends we have developed a deeper relationship and it is that relationship that builds trust and a desire to help. Building my network effectively is very important to me, adding the right people, building relationships with them requires that I stay in communication with them.
One of the things that I love about Twitter is my ability to have communication with local tweeters, to meet them face to face at tweet-ups in a casual manner. Because we have spent so much time getting to know each other on twitter it is as if we have already met, we start the relationship much further along than if I had just met them. I already know what they are interested in by the tweets they post and the links the tweet. I learn about their business when they tweet and list their blogs and I build credibility with my followers when I take the time to post good material on my blog, when I post good tweets. I give to my network of tweeters by recommending them and retweeting their tweets. When we finally do meet at a tweet-up we already know each other.
If you are tweeting take a little time to set up groups of local people who are tweeting. They are most likely people you are going to have the opportunity to meet and build networking relationships with. For me, Tweetdeck has been a great tool for sorting my tweeters and creating groups that I can interact with, create relationships with and add to my network.