Love tweeting? Take your account to the next level with these Twitter tips and it could help your career.
Tweets, retweets, pins, posts, and likes — social media is booming with activity and each platform comes with its own unique attributes. Facebook offers a diverse multimedia service designed to connect well, everyone. LinkedIn corners the market on careers, and Pinterest is making a colorful splash with imagery. But there's another platform that plays a big role in social networking: Twitter.
Twitter is best designed to provide quick bites of information. As a result, businesses have developed micro-blogging and special advertisements to take advantage of Twitter as a promotional tool. The hashtag search function also makes it more customizable than other social media sites. Twitter is not only a go-to news source and social experience, but it has also become a platform to advance careers and advertise skills. Its functions combine those of LinkedIn and Facebook, making job searching a breeze and giving new meaning to “career marketing.”
Here are seven tips for using Twitter professionally and turning your 280-word tweets into job-search gold.
1. Put your skills on display
Recycling content from RSS feeds and other sites isn't what Twitter was designed for, and it doesn't help your career. Think of your name as a brand. Much like a company brand, your personal brand is critical to your career success and it's what makes you valuable and desirable — you want hiring managers to seek you out. Start by teasing your skills, much like the way advertisers tease an upcoming product. Over the course of about five days, slowly release tidbits about your accomplishments and other aspects of your current career. Here are some examples:
Friday's the big day. Looking forward to delivering the multimillion-dollar #marketingplan to @Walmart.
Did you know @Twitter increases #brandexposure by 85%? Our new @Walmart plan will detail scenarios for customer engagement.
@Walmart #marketing team just released the new @Twitter contest for #localshoppers. Good luck!
Another way to leverage Twitter and display skills is by commenting on tweets relevant to your industry. Look for major, local companies and follow their posts. Chime in from time to time with your own ideas. Who knows, you may get “the call” one day.
2. Say it with pictures
A picture is worth a thousand words, so photos of your accomplishments make for great posts. In fact, research shows that tweets with photos get 313% more engagement. Use images like infographics with your tweets as often as you can. However, stay away from entertainment and recreation — keep it professional. One example of using photos well is a beautician sharing before and after shots. Ask your client for permission, and take a before pic to post on Twitter.
Hooking this lovely lady up with a new #hairstyle and #nails today. Stay tuned for the results!
Then post the after image with similar marketing language.
Use a tripod or lean against the wall for stability and clearer shots.
Zoom with your body, not the camera. Digital zoom causes grainy photos.
Shoot photos in well-lit areas, preferably with lots of sunlight.
Watch for inappropriate tattoos and logos on shirts.
3. Make it personal
The key to using Twitter for work is showcasing your personality. Look for ways to mix it up a little. Customize posts and links using your favorite colors. Take a professional photo for the profile picture and cover image. Even a logo stylized with calligraphy will make your page stand out. A few more tips to personalize your account:
Post photos from your personal life (but keep it professional!)
Use first person language
Stay away from shorthand writing
4. Don't bankrupt the hashtag market
Yes, it's difficult to resist. Hashtags are cool, fun, and functional, but there is a time a place for everything. Don't overuse hashtags. Including two or three relevant ones is a great way to optimize your tweets for search engines, but anything more is overkill. Use trending news to optimize your hashtags — tools like Google Trends, Hashtags.org, and Hashtagify.me lists information that can help you boost your traffic. Live-tweeting events relevant to your profession is another way to popularize your page. As you use your hashtags, be sure to stay away from meaningless, unsearchable keywords — #LovingHamburgers isn't going to push your career anywhere.
5. Don't be a publicity hound
Don't make your Twitter look like a PR page. Self-promotional tweets are great and can significantly reinforce your expertise, but if your Twitter looks like an election campaign, many will delete you at worst and ignore you at best. Remembering the 80-20 rule used by marketing and advertising experts will help you balance your tweets. No more than 20 percent of your posts should be self-promotional. The other 80 percent should be communication, events, general posts, etc. Take a look at celebrity Twitter accounts for guidance — their media teams know how to find this balance.
6. Engage with your followers
You've stimulated your audience, used images to tell a story, and included the right amount of self-promotion. Now it's time to make use of those new followers. First, follow your followers back. Keep in mind that your audience knows your interests — don't follow inappropriate users when using Twitter for professional purposes. Next, don't be afraid to jump in and communicate with your followers. They're interested in what you have to say, or they wouldn't have followed you in the first place. Remember to:
Comment on your followers' tweets and give your own opinion.
Retweet, retweet, and retweet again. A pat on your audience's back goes a long way.
Think of Twitter as a conversation between two professional colleagues.
Stay away from controversial subjects.
Related: Social Networking: How to Connect with Potential Employers Online
7. Take Twitter to the next level
Using Twitter is both fun and productive. No other platform offers the benefits of Twitter's “say it in 280 characters or less” method. It is one of the only social media platforms that allows users to search Google for tweets, hashtags, gifs, and users. It is free advertising at its best and adds another way you can advance your job search. But you can take those advantages to another level. Make the most of your Twitter by using it to promote your Facebook and LinkedIn activity. You can also connect social media networks together with management platforms like Buffer and Hootsuite. Buffer will help you track your content's performance, and Hootsuite will let you post to Facebook, LinkedIn, a Google+ Page, and Twitter in one, easy stroke. You can even schedule posts to publish at a later date or time. Be sure to keep these tips in mind:
Connect your social networks into one large powerhouse.
Learn advertising secrets from great blogs like Hubspot and Moz.
Treat your accounts like a brand — think value over promotion.
Click on the following link for more advice on getting ahead.
Your Twitter is up to par — does your resume match? Get a free resume critique to find out.