Twitter can be more than an outlet to vent about a slow day at work or a confusing professor. It can be a tool to get noticed in a professional field and as a quality job or internship candidate.
By following these seven steps, you can transform your account on this social media site to build your personal brand and professional online presence.
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1. Build Your Profile
Putting together your Twitter profile involves:
a. Making use of the bio section by adding information about your interests and current or previous work experiences. Some companies encourage that you include something along the lines of “Tweets are my own” in your bio if you have space in case people misinterpret your profile as reflective of your employer.
b. Adding a photo to your account. As it is with LinkedIn, this is important; after all, interacting with an egg is far less appealing than with a smiling face. Upload a cover photo too to add some personality.
c. Sharing a website. The ‘Website’ section can be used to direct your audience to your LinkedIn profile or a portfolio page. Using a site like bit.ly to shorten this URL and track its engagement can be helpful.
The end result should look something like this:
2. Make a Move
It may be hard to believe, but most of the people you look up to that are active social media users do pay attention to their mentions and feed. So if, for example, there is a journalist whose work you admire, share their articles and tweet them praise. Taking this extra step will be appreciated and could even lead to a conversation.
3. Share Your Interests
Twitter can be a platform on which to share news relevant to your industry of interest as well as your opinion of it. Use it to demonstrate your knowledge.
4. Join a Twitter Chat
I cannot stress the value of joining Twitter chats enough. They are a great way to interact with other users with similar interests and get yourself noticed. Some of my favorites are are:
@NBCUniCareer’s Tech Talk on Tuesdays and Ask the Expert on Wednesdays at 1pm EDT (use #talk2nbcu to join)
@AdWeek’s AdWeekChat (#adweekchat) on Wednesdays at 2pm EDT.
Even if you feel you cannot provide insight or do not have a strong opinion on the chosen topic, it doesn’t hurt to tweet that you are following the conversation. Such a tweet can be especially valuable for a student or career changer looking to learn and become a part of an industry’s online community.
For example, I joined a recent AdWeekChat about working in the advertising industry. Since I had no experiences to share, I tweeted about how helpful simply following the conversation was for me and received an overwhelmingly positive response:
5. Vary your Tweets
Don’t forget to occasionally retweet or quote tweets in addition to posting your own original content. Varying content makes your profile more visually appealing and demonstrates that your usage of Twitter is multifaceted.
6. Twitter Tools
TweetDeck is my current obsession and an excellent tool for organizing your feed. Because I follow numerous news outlets on Twitter, my feed is often clogged with breaking news reports so a friend’s or work-related tweets tend to slip through the cracks.
With TweetDeck, I can create a private list of tweets from my friends as well as one for tweets related to my work as a campus ambassador for FindSpark so that I can keep an eye on these while staying up to date on the latest.
Additionally, tools like Kred or Klout can be used to measure your social media presence and influence. Keeping track of this will give you a better idea of what works for your audience.
7. Who to Follow
TweetDeck is a fantastic tool for managing a constantly updating feed but getting a full feed is another story. The accounts you follow will greatly affect how you experience Twitter. If you plan on using the platform on a professional level I recommend following:
- Companies you are interested in working for because their Tweets often reflect more personality than a standard ‘about us’ webpage and occasionally refer to job openings.
- Trade publications related to your industries of interest so you can stay up-to-date on relevant news.
- Professionals in positions you aspire to hold. These users may provide valuable insight into their daily lives.
Feel free to share your own Twitter experience in the comment section below; no need to fear the character limit here!