Applying for jobs and not getting anywhere? Many say social networking is a great way to find work but don’t realize you need to do more than just create a LinkedIn profile. Twitter just is one of many social media platforms that can be used to network with other leading industry professionals and help you promote your career. Twitter is a great tool if you want to change careers, further your career, or get your first job.
Networking with Twitter
What is Twitter?
Twitter is a micro-blogging site. You basically state in 140 characters or less what is on your mind. For example, suppose you wanted to cheer for your favorite sports team and you wrote the message “Go Dallas Cowboys!!” and anyone who follows you will see your tweet or microblog. That tweet would appear on your own Twitter site (similar to a Facebook wall).
Do I need followers?
Like on Facebook, you have friends but these friends are called followers. Remember the people who you follow don’t have to follow you back. If you follow a follower and that follower follows you back you can direct message them or send them an email directly.
What is a Hashtag?
A hashtag is a way for you to categorize your tweet on a particular topic. Suppose I wanted people to discuss the recent Dallas Cowboys game I would put a hashtag in my tweet. For example, instead of “Go Dallas Cowboys!!” I would change it to “Go Dallas #Cowboys “. The number sign # is called a hashtag. Later on, if I wanted to make a remark about the quarterback I would say “Tony Romo is doing great tonight!! #Cowboys”. This would allow me to continue my thoughts and discuss the Dallas Cowboys game with other Cowboys fans.
The @ symbol?
When you are on twitter you will notice the “@” symbol pretty much everywhere. The “@” symbol is used to send a message to the user you want to communicate with. Suppose I wanted to get the attention of the coach of Dallas Cowboys. I would tweet “Go Dallas Cowboys!!! @JasonGarrett”. When Jason Garrett logs in he would notice I mentioned him on his wall and potentially view my message.
What is a Retweet?
If John Doe was one of my followers and he read and liked my last message he could retweet it to all his followers and they would see my message. A retweet is best when it is done by someone with a lot of followers.
Get a Blog
The next step is to show what you can do and write about it. First, you will need a place to host your work and for this, you need to create a blog. Creating a blog is easy and there are many sites that will let you publish your blog for free.
Tweet about your blog
Now you have your blog up and running you need to let all on Twitter know about it. Suppose your passion is interior design and you have written a blog about the last home you helped renovate to give it that fresh new look. Your tweet can look like this:
“Top 10 Interior Design Tips to Renovate your Summer Cottage #interiordesign www.yoururl.com“
Now anyone who will search for the hashtag #interiordesign will see your work.
Who to Follow
You can follow anyone you like but I recommend following industry leaders in your field. Remember these industry leaders are trying to promote their work and will appreciate you commenting on their blogs or retweeting their work also. Try and build a relationship with these industry leaders and perhaps they may retweet your work and help you get your name out there or perhaps get you a job.
When to Tweet
It is important to consider when would people search for the topic you are writing about. If you are writing about accounting software, I don’t think many people will search it during a Friday night. But if you are in the restaurant industry tweeting on a Friday night would be a great time. Remember the twitter search is in real time meaning the last person to tweet shows up first.
Use a social media management tool.
By now I am sure you are thinking this social media thing is a lot of work. Yes, it is a lot of work but there are tools out there help. I recommend HootSuite to manage your social media campaign. It has a tool that you can schedule when your tweets go out and remember my points about when to tweet.
You need to tweet all the time. Don’t be afraid to tweet the same article more than once. Remember Twitters search engine is real-time meaning the most recent tweets appear first.
By now you should be able to see the potential on Twitter for networking. Twitter is an excellent tool regardless if you are looking for your first job, career advancement, or change your career.