How much can you say in 140 characters? A lot — and often. Just ask the millions of Twitter users worldwide.
Companies large and small are aggressively growing their Twitter presence to communicate directly with their customers, partners, investors, employees and potential candidates.
In response, professionals are creating profiles that showcase their expertise, opinions and character to attract relationships with industry gurus, in-house and agency recruiters, corporate brands, hiring managers and potential customers.
If you’ve been tweeting since the early days of Twitter, congratulations — you have cultivated a substantial digital asset for yourself. If you’re just starting out or you’ve abandoned your account, the good news is that it’s never too late to start.
The best day to begin (again) is today. Twitter is forgiving like that. Here’s how to get going and stay going!
1. Set up your account. Twitter profiles are very simple to create and update. The essential elements are:
- @name: Select a name for your account that\’s distinct and professional. If possible, use some form of your real name.
- Image: Post an image that is a clean and appropriate — a quality headshot, an artistic avatar, a logo or an image that suits your line of business. Do not use the generic Twitter image.
- Description: Write a 160-character overview of who you are and what you tweet about. Most professionals list their role or company and then mention hobbies, passions and family as space permits.
- Background: Choose a background design and image that complements your stated profile. Twitter supplies templates in the Design section of your account page and there are paid Twitter background apps available on the Internet with a wide variety of selection and price.
2. Go mobile. Be prepared to participate by downloading the mobile version of Twitter. The platform is best enjoyed and maximized on the go. Twitter is available for iPhone, Android, and Blackberry users on their respective app stores. The functionality is incredibly good on mobile and easily recognizable from the desktop version. Many find Twitter to have transformed networking at tradeshows and conferences with its simplicity of finding people, getting session feeds and tracking down event locations.
3. Give to get and learn the lingo. Twitter enables and encourageas you to interact — it has distinct terminology and functionality. The sooner you learn the lingo the sooner you can reap benefits. In your initial days and weeks of engagement, focus on mastering the technology and publishing roughly 2-5 tweets daily.
The best tweet content for job hunting is relevant to your industry and demonstrates your knowledge and skills. Use hashtags (#) before keywords to identify the subject matter or important aspects of your message that may not be used in the words in your tweet. For example, if you\’re offering tips on when to use a semicolon, you can use the hashtags #writing and #grammarand #punctuation. That way, if others are searching for tweets about writing or grammar or punctuation, they can find your tweet.
4. Focus on Your Targets. Beyond tweeting with hashtags, your next priority is to wisely select followers to grab their attention. Target hiring managers and in-house and agency recruiters that tweet about job positions, what’s happening at the company, and industry trends. Use their tweets as intelligence to be relevant, learn about them personally and professionally and assess the corporate culture.
Follow these recruiters and hiring managers, read their tweets, list or favorite them, and retweet their most relevant tweets. If they follow you back, you then have the opportunity to send them a Direct Message of 140 characters. Learn to introduce yourself and ask for what you want succinctly.
5. Know the Etiquette. In your first level of proficiency with Twitter, keep these rules in mind:
- Remember that tweets live forever and are spread at the speed of light.
- Don’t hog your knowledge — Twitter demands sharing and interaction.
- Balance the quantity and quality of your tweets.
- “Follow back” someone who follows you as appropriate.
- Participate in real time to get real results.
Good luck with your search and enjoy the benefits of social media!