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How to Get a Referral on Twitter

A generous, prolific and effective user of Twitter will get referrals and recommendations on Twitter.

Relevancy, Consistency and Frequency

First assess your Target Markets and Key Referral Partner Profiles. When are they most likely to be online using Twitter? What are they most interested in learning/seeing? Match these with what you tweet about, keeping it relevant to your industry – give consistent value frequently so that you become known for both who you are and how you help people. Be there (login) – be seen (tweet) – help people (interact).


To reach more people you need to boost your follower numbers – there are a few techniques. We recommend the following:

  1. When you are starting off, search for people based on location (where you live/work), name (people you know) or interest (hobby, industry) – follow them
  2. When you find key people with lots of followers or followings who look like your Target Markets and who are potentially Key Referral Partners – follow them
  3. Look for key twitter accounts that open the door to specific target markets or potenital referral partners – such as your local Chamber, networking group, industry association, etc. Cheery pick and follow those most likely to be of use later on.
  4. Find out about Twitter events and take part. E.g. #IrishBizParty from 9pm to 11pm on Wednesday nights. Follow the people who use the hashtag. Interact.
  5. Follow up to 200, then leave it a few days and then use a site like friendorfollow.com to unfollow those who did not follow you back. It is always a good policy to have more followers that followings.

Mini Recommendations AKA Retweets

When you RT or Re-tweet something you are pushing it forward for more people to see for whatever reason – whether it’s giving someone’s tweet a boost because you think it’s a cool product or your commenting on a topic by quoting a tweet that started it. Either way, these are mini promotions of someone else’s communication. For this reason, RTing is one of the most valuable things you can do for a fellow tweeter and it’s what you hope others will do for your tweets to get you more exposure.

Givers Gain

The more you give on Twitter the more you get. It takes a while but it can be worth it. Like, Reply, and especially Re-tweet and Recommend whenever possible. Take care that you’re not JUST re-tweeting though…

Give free advice and tips

Be generous with your knowledge and experience – if you can help someone do. You are storing up kudos. When you do something for someone, they are more likely to remember you later and in a positive light. They might even feel like they owe you one.

Give referrals

If you see that @LocalHotel is looking for carpet cleaning and you know @CarpetCleaners – introduce them to each other. Or even better, if you know that @CarpetCleaners are good at what they do, recommend them to @LocalHotel. It might look like this: “I can highly #recommend @CarpetCleaners for what you need @LocalHotel”. @LocalHotel AND @CarpetCleaners now feel they owe you one and will remember you in a positive light…

Give recommendations

When someone does a good job for you, find them on Twitter (and maybe other Social Media sites), and give them a shout out. It might look like this: “Just got a beautiful website done by @Spiralli – they rock! Highly #recommend www.website.com”. Not only have you helped your supplier, you also look good giving credit to others, and in this case you are more likely to have people look at YOUR website out of curiosity – more so than if you just said “look at my site it’s great” #bonus! You are also more likely to get a recommendation back (especially in the case of LinkedIn).

Share valuable content

If you find a good new article, relevant to your industry and helpful to others, share the link. Some twitter accounts have millions of followers because of their ability to share helpful, relevant information written by others

Bring the Mountain to Muhammad – Use Search

#recommendation needed!

Search for opportunities, don’t wait for them. Use hashtags or words that represent a product or service you provide along with the hashtag #recommend or #recommendation – people often put up a post on Twitter asking for recommendations. See if you can find ones relevant to you.


Some companies search for complaints by their competitors customers and respond in humorous or compassionate ways. If a good hotel knows that another is doing their job very badly, they might be looking out for mentions of that bad hotel on the off chance that they can help someone. A real life example: a lady arrived in Killarney to check into her hotel. The hotel had double booked her and then didn’t treat her very well in dealing with the situation. She tweeted her experience and within two hours another local hotel had offered her a free night – it turned out that she was a frequent visitor to Killarney and now they have a loyal repeat customer… Early bird, meet worm!

Viral Opportunities

Let’s look at another example that can go viral. A bride has a disaster right before the wedding that results in her dress or venue or something vital going wrong and threatening the happiness of their special day. If you were a venue or dressmaker, you might jump in to help with a major freebie or drastic discount – which if handled correctly will result in that act of compassion going viral. It won’t happen very often and can’t financially but watch out for those opportunities.

Everybody Loves a Combi

Combine Twitter Networking with In-Person Networking for solidifying long term business relationships.

Twitter (or LinkedIn) -> In-person

When you meet someone on Twitter that you think might be a good referral partner and they live near you, invite them for a coffee and a chat to flesh out how you might help each other. Meeting in person makes the connection stronger and you are more likely to be remembered.

In-person -> Twitter (or LinkedIn)

After you’ve met someone or gone to a networking event, be sure to connect with them online (both Twitter and LinkedIn ideally) so that your activity later on reminds them of your existence. It’s a subtle but effective way to keep them aware of you, what you do and how you do it. Reach out occasionally with a tweet or direct message to touch base with them, see how they are doing and see if you can help them in anyway.