Dear Social Media Mama,
A colleague just told me about a freelance editing lead that was posted in a writer’s forum in Twitter. I realized I haven’t used Twitter for this purpose before or to even answer someone.
I looked at how to respond to someone in the Help section on Twitter and I think I understand how I reply to him. I reply to him in on Twitter page, using the @reply function, right?
But what I still need to know is what is the protocol here. Do I send the person a complete resume and cover letter, which it doesn’t seem like you can do in Twitter or do you send a short message briefly saying who you are and send him a link to either my linkedin page or website? Or something else totally different?
Basically, you can contact people in two ways on Twitter itself:
1. @ing (“atting”) them – If they are not following you, this is your only way to hope to get their attention directly. You put an @ sign in front of their Twitter handle and put that at the START of your tweet in response to them. First make sure you are following them in order for them to privately message (DM) you in response. Then @ them that you’d like to submit something in response to their announcement and would like to know how to contact them.
2. DMing them – If they are following you, then go immediately into their MESSAGE link on their Twitter page. Message your email addrss to them (do NOT put your email address publicly in an @ message). Let them know what you are responding to and ask how to proceed.
3. Request a follow – Some people will also @ someone saying “I’m trying to contact you. Please follow me.” This is not usually the most efficient way of contacting someone via Twitter, but it is an option.
Two other ways to reach a fellow Twitterer:
1. Ask for a referral – Ask your Twitter followers to please let @soandso know that you are trying to reach them.
2. Go to the source – Click on their URL link on their Twitter profile page and look for their direct email address.
There is no one right way to reach someone directly who has put out a request or asked a question, but normally if they put a message out there looking for response, they’ll be actively checking for @’s so that is probably your best bet unless they have given specific instructions otherwise.
Extra tip: If someone makes a request and gives instructions on how to contact them, follow them to the letter. Often people consider how well someone follows directions as much as they pay attention to the content of a response.