Illustration: Michael Rubin

The Forge Guide to Networking

6 Ways to Network on Twitter Without Being Annoying

Don’t be thirsty, for one thing

Rebecca Fishbein
Published in
5 min readOct 2, 2019

TTwitter’s useful for a lot of things: keeping up with the news, subtweeting the news, and getting attacked by trolls when your jokes about the news get posted on Gab. It is also a great way to network. Over the years, I’ve gotten work from clients who found me on Twitter, and I’ve had public relations folks and creatives pitch me on good stories after reading my feed.

Sometimes Twitter can even lead to a big break. Erin Gloria Ryan, a writer with 178,000 Twitter followers, ended up switching careers thanks to someone who appreciated her tweets. That someone happened to be Rob McElhenney, the creator of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. “He found me on Twitter and reached out cold via Twitter direct message,” writes Ryan in a Twitter DM. That initial message kicked off an ongoing conversation about collaborating; eventually, Ryan was hired to work on Sunny and a forthcoming Apple TV show that McElhenney co-created with Charlie Day.

Stories like Ryan’s may feel like long shots, but it isn’t all that uncommon for people to turn to Twitter when they’re looking to hire someone or get a better sense of a candidate. And that works both ways: Just as employers use the site to scout, you can proactively use it to find or create new opportunities.

For all its potential, though, using Twitter to connect with people is too often confused with using it to annoy them, especially since many users see the site and their work as totally separate. There’s an art to Twitter networking. Here’s how to do it right.

Be an actual human being

It’s corny but annoyingly true: If you want to catch people’s attention on Twitter, be yourself — or, at least, be your best self. Crack the jokes you want to make, don’t troll or attack people, don’t hashtag the heck out of everything you post, and tag people when you tweet nice things about their work or share articles they were quoted in.

“Be funny. Be interesting. Be informative. If you can’t say something unique, don’t say anything,” Ryan says. Don’t tweet just for the sake of tweeting or you’ll come off robotic and…



Rebecca Fishbein
Writer for

Rebecca Fishbein is a writer in Brooklyn & the author of GOOD THINGS HAPPEN TO PEOPLE YOU HATE, out 10/15. Find her on Twitter at @bfishbfish.