This is the first in a series on social media that university students, professionals, and academics may find useful!
Twitter for Professionalization
Despite its steady popularity, some professionals still think of Tweeting as a waste of time. If you think of Twitter as just another way for people to post what they’ve eaten, express how angry they are about traffic, or share thoughts on reality shows, you aren’t really aware of all the social media site has to offer.
When utilized correctly and professionally, Twitter can connect you with other professionals in your field, open up new opportunities, and allow you to engage in important conversations. You can tweet at conferences to dialogue with presenters, coordinators, and attendees. Twitter provides an informal way to approach and get to know potential colleagues.
There is a bit of a learning curve with Twitter, but if you dive right in, you should get the hang of it quickly. Here are a tips you might want to consider to make yourself as effective as possible.
10 Tips for Your Professional Twitter Account
Create and share meaningful content. This is the #1 rule for all social media networking you do. Make people want to follow you, because of all the resources you will give them.
Be a generous Tweeter. Call attention to and comment on others’ work (many users employ a 20:1 rule for others’ content versus their own). This actually is a pragmatic approach – the more you point to others, the more they will notice you and the more content you are giving your followers.
Thank those who re-tweet you. There are a few ways to do this: 1) a mass tweet at everyone who re-tweeted you; 2) a personal tweet at each person; 3) or a quid-pro-quo thank you, like re-tweeting their content or following them. Each one of these is correct in different contexts, see what works for you.
Craft your audience. Who are you tweeting to? Consider a few professional and personal niches you want to speak to. Do your best to stay on message and follow those who will give you relevant content.
Don’t plagiarize your tweets. Manual re-tweeting (or “quoting”) is a great way to engage in a conversation, but make sure to include the original tweeter’s handle. If you don’t have anything to add to the original tweet, best to just use a plain ol’ re-tweet.
Show some personality! Don’t just make Twitter all about your vocation. Follow and share some of your interests and hobbies. Have fun with it!
Interact at events. Conferences and organizations typically have hashtags or handles you can use to engage with other professionals. Make sure you are offering your perspective, though, not just parroting what speakers are saying.
Don’t abuse hashtags. Plan on using 1-2 hashtags in each post. Avoid putting a hashtag before every proper noun – it might make your tweet difficult to read.
Engage with other tweeters’ content. Avoid passively re-tweeting and giving “favorites” to others’ tweets, links, and images. Really interact and read what these professionals are saying.
Tweet regularly. The more you tweet, the more you will get familiar with how it works and the more recognition you will build. Use a post scheduling service like Buffer to avoid inundating your followers with all of your tweets at once.
Do you have any tips or tricks for professional social media? Leave a comment, below!