Over the past few days, I’ve been asking on Twitter what advice my Twitter friends would give for building online conversations. I was pleased, and very much not-surprised at the answers I received. Although the responses aren’t necessarily anything new, I find that Twitter, Facebook and other mediums of online conversations are still plagued with folks violating these basic concepts.

I’ve listed the responses below in the order they came in.

1. Relate to folks


2. Be genuine


3. Find or create active hashtags


4. Don’t be shy


5. Be Socially Engaging


6. Follow Your Passions


7. Help fill the needs of others


8. Focus on that which interests others


9. Reply, Retweet and Learn


10. Be real and responsive

[tweeted]http://twitter.com/Louisascapemay/statuses/65409764015865856[/tweeted] [tweeted]http://twitter.com/Louisascapemay/statuses/65410297862696960[/tweeted]

11. Initiate Conversatons


12. Focus on Relationships


13. Say Something


14. Be Bold


15. Be Transparent


If you didn’t get a response out to me already, then shoot me an @mention (or just leave a comment below) and let me know what you think the keys are to successfully making friends and building conversations.

Who knows, maybe we’ll build a conversation in the process.

For comprehensive guide to building a solid reputation online, check out Trust Agents by Chris Brogan.

Nicholas Cardot

About Nicholas Cardot

It's my personal quest to enable every person that I can to unlock that dormant potential concerning their online influence. Also, I'm a geek.


  • Benny says:

    Great list you put together. Thanks for adding mine. I do try to answer questions that someone asks if I can give an answer to it to get conversations started. I may not get an @ reply but hopefully they’ll remember my face the next time.

    • Thanks for being a part of the conversation that day, Benny. That’s a good philosophy. Just put yourself out there and those who want to will engage with you. You won’t catch any fish if you never put your line in the water.

  • Unbelievable! You may be shocked some faces from your twitter profile. It is so good to stick with your posts Nick. Added your blog to my personal bookmarks.

  • I very much like Mike’s point about focussing on relationships. Coz people are smart enough to catch you if you are trying to build a conversation with a business motive. Honestly, when I am plain and just talk in the tone of building relationships, it works greatly.


    • I’m finding that genuine relationships are so much more useful than only looking for business opportunities. I find folks who backlink, who recommend me to their friends, etc. Sometimes those real connections can be a lot more powerful than going after folks with an agenda in mind.

  • Dean Carlton says:

    Another interesting and engaging post Nick.

    How about:

    Seeking out others in your area/niche and networking/engaging with them. Do not treat them like ‘the competition’, but work together to spark new ideas and to raise each others game. Develop your own tribe to increase your combined reach and strength.

    Love this community contributed post!

    • Great thoughts, Dean. I’ve learned that when you become secure enough in what you have to offer then you grow to have no issues working with your competition. Two people who provide awesome content can only help one another.

  • I find the one about not being shy particularly valid, especially because it’s kinda common to be not too outgoing when first engaging into something “new” like Twitter (if you never got into it before then, at least). No one will tell you off if you just participate, so, go with the flow and see what you can do.

    • Exactly right. Even recently, I’ve been working hard to get involved in as many hashchats as possible and I’m finding that sometimes you just have to get out there and be a part of it. You have to step out. Nobody’s going to do it for you.

  • Hey Nicholas,

    For many, I think networks like Twitter can seem/feel overwhelming. But what of the best things you can do is quickly and readily engage in a dialogue with other people. Strangers or not, engagement back and forth is key.

    To that end, I say join a Twitter Chat (like #blogchat) where you’re bound to find a ton of people that share a common interest. Start connect, and you’ll be up and running in no time πŸ™‚

  • Kok Siong says:

    Thanks for the tips Nick! Connecting and communicate with the readers are one of the important factors to create a successful blog. I think initiate the conversation is extremely vital.

  • Brad Harmon says:

    I love Phil Hart’s #3. πŸ™‚

    If you want to start up a conversation, start asking questions – or answer some. Look for those people who are engaging others already, and make sure they’re someone you’d like to get to know. Once you start looking for them, they’re pretty easy to find.

    • I just want to hone in on the very last part of your comment. When you start looking, it really is easy to start finding folks who you’d be good to connect with. Just get out, start looking and start chatting.

  • Shree says:

    I really liked point#8 as mentioned by SETH_WAITE. People will get interested if they have something to gain from the conversation.

  • Sandy says:

    Great tips dude. Sometime on twitter you will find more spammers than followers.

  • Sonia says:

    Thanks for the mention! All these mentioned were great assets to build great online conversations. For me I always have to keep it real. My voice is what makes me: ME!

    What I write might not agree with one person, and I really don’t care, but for the ones that do like what I write, that is all that matters to me! Again, thanks Nicholas!

    • If you write what you believe, you’ll always find someone out there who disagrees with you, but that shouldn’t matter to a truly passionate person. Get out there, speak your mind, spread your message.

  • Joseph Ellis says:

    A lot of good suggestions. I don’t really have a lot of time for online discussions, but I wish I did.

  • ah hong says:

    This post is real interesting, Nick. Frankly, I am still pretty shy on Twitter and looks like I need to be more active and build the relationships with the readers. Going to retweet this post now πŸ™‚

  • ah hong says:

    This post is real interesting, Nick. Frankly, I am still pretty shy on Twitter and looks like I need to be more active and build the relationships with the readers. Going to spread this message using retweet now πŸ˜€

  • Robert says:

    Great post Nick. Ryan Critchett told me about your blog. I love how you’ve so willingly shared what other people have said. It’s nice to see a blog post with such a wide variety or perspectives and opinions, there’s not many of these knocking around the blogosphere – nice original idea there!

    Yeah, you’re right. It’s unbelievable how many people violate these basic “Twitter principles” if you will. You clearly completely “get it” with your awesome blog, large following and high levels of engagement.

    Love your stuff bro, you’ll be seeing me on here more in the future.


  • Lawrence says:

    Great way to make and build up a meaning conversation, thank you so much for putting it up together. I am planning to make a blog and this will really help me. I am looking forward to your next articles.

  • I am so happy I found this site. I didn’t plan on working today but I am glad I did.

    I am frankly confused because there are SO many social network and discussion tools. How on earth can you choose?

    Can I ask what comment system is being used here on Sitesketch?

    I have ADHD so I find it difficult to read complete reviews. I never thought it would take an entire Sunday to find the best, top rated discussion tools for my self hosted WordPress blog.

    That is why I am so HAPPY to have found you. I think I can get the answers for my discussion/comment, best WordPress tools or plugin. I hope πŸ™‚ Thanks again!

    The Ugly Virgin

  • Wesley Wise says:

    Very nice tips! You know, I heard some talk before that it should be hard to communicate through the internet because you may send a message wrong but I think that there are still ways to make people feel your genuine and sincere reactions, not only thanks to the power of social media but on how you would make the conversation and direct its flow.

  • Grant says:

    I agree to Benny,like in my case it’s hard for me to start a conversation in real life. I’m a shy person I don’t know how to start a conversation…thanks for sharing this.

  • Ethen says:

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  • jony says:

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