By now, we all know the benefits of using LinkedIn for your career. It’s a great place to network, find new professional associations, make contacts with industry players and find out who’s hiring. But is it the only game in town? Not at all. If you’re searching for ways to advance your career and you’re not using Twitter, it’s time to rethink your strategy.
Let us help. Here are seven tips to follow to increase your Twitter reach and improve your social media presence.
Follow relevant companies
If you’re searching for a job, this should be a no-brainer. Companies post job openings on Twitter often, and those on Twitter have a head start if they see the postings first.
Even if you’re comfortable at your current job, following companies that are important in your industry is still a good idea. You’ll stay up-to-date on industry trends and news, not to mention make valuable connections for the future.
Utilize the list function
Once you’re following all the relevant people and companies in your industry, you’ll likely realize that your Twitter feed is looking a bit cluttered. That’s OK. The solution: Twitter lists.
After you’ve categorized your contacts into various lists, click on one and you’ll see tweets only from those users. One thing to keep in mind: Lists can be private or public, so choose your friends wisely – public lists can be followed by other users!
Keep it professional
It should go without saying, but if you’re using Twitter to connect with potential employers or colleagues, you should be professional. That means using complete sentences when possible, or at the very least not using texting language!
We all know 140 characters can be a bit limiting, but making that extra effort to stay professional can make a good impression.
Use Twitter as a research tool
Is there some big breaking news in your industry? Forget CNN: They can’t be everywhere at once but anyone with a Twitter app on their smart phone can become a potential news source.
Don’t forget to verify any information you read if you want to share it with the office though – your boss likely wouldn’t appreciate you passing on incorrect information!
Give some thought to your Twitter handle
If you plan to use your Twitter account for work, your Twitter username should showcase what you do. Sure, it’s easy to choose FirstnameLastname, but have you thought about choosing one that shows what you do? For example, the username FreelanceDesigner is pretty straightforward and will leave no question as to who you are.
Already have a Twitter account? Changing your username is pretty easy – as long as someone else didn’t already take the name you want!
Use relevant hashtags
Hashtags help people who are searching for a certain keyword or topic find you easily. When you use a hashtag, it turns into a clickable link – click it and you’ll find people who are tweeting about the same topic. Not only will you be able to find others – they’ll be able to find you.
It may sound simple, and it should be. Even if you’re on Twitter only for business purposes, realize that others are, too. So many people use Twitter as a marketing tool these days that self-promotion is overabundant. While a little of that’s fine, you should also be taking steps to make your Twitter feed more interesting.
Try engaging with others in your field, and don’t post solely about business. Have a nice weekend at the lake? Mention it on Twitter and it’s likely that people will be happy to see some non-business related news.
When you’re searching for a job or seeking to advance your career, every little bit helps. Twitter had 500 million users as of June 2012. That’s a lot of people you could be connecting with – don’t miss out!