4 ways Twitter can boost your career
Like a certain president, I am guilty of loving Twitter.
It is, in fact, the first app I check in the morning and the last one I check before going to bed at night. And why not? Twitter has become an essential tool for career development and networking. Filled with practical tips, breaking news, and networking opportunities, it’s a great place to promote your own work and get ideas.
Unconvinced? Here are four ways you can use Twitter to boost your career.
Researching companies and industries
Keeping tabs on what is going on in your industry is easy with Twitter. In seconds, you can find information on anything from sports, news, politics, and what users think about a business, product, or topic. This last point can’t be understated. With just a few searches, you can find out what people are saying about anything – even within certain regions.
This ability to gauge reactions, in real-time, can be invaluable when you’re heading to a networking event, or even a job interview. Not only can you get a sense of what’s happening in any given industry or company (making you look really knowledgeable and prepared), you also have a quick overview of issues and criticisms (giving you a well-rounded view of the matter at hand).
Twitter has been my go-to for breaking news for the last few years – it is the fastest place to get real-time updates. While you need to be careful about fake account and trolls spreading misinformation, Twitter has verified accounts for credible news outlets and journalists you can trust.
If you are at a business or networking event and feel like you need an ice breaker, check Twitter to find what’s trending in the news. You can use the ‘trending’ sections to see what’s happening worldwide or narrow it down to your city. This is a huge plus if you want to make sure you are on top of community affairs.
I am a huge fan of networking and meeting others in my industry, and Twitter provides access to so many influential and connected people. The site was built for interaction, so there’s no reason to be shy; you can tweet at someone directly and jump in and out of conversations without fear of talking out of turn.
It’s important, though, to have a good Twitter photo and bio, with relevant links to a personal website or portfolio. Which brings us to…
There is almost no better way to sell yourself than with an active Twitter account. It’s a fantastic way to show off your interests and work, and get your name associated with an industry or area of expertise.
You can post links that relate to your business and work, but try to strike a balance. Too much self-promotion can come across like spam and rub people the wrong way, so make sure you’re also re-tweeting content from other users.
That said, you don’t have to be afraid to post things about yourself or what you’ve accomplished. People are following you for a reason: they want to see your work, pictures, and the links you’re posting.
Don’t forget, though, what you post online can get you in hot water. Be prudent and professional!
Whatever field you’re in, Twitter is a great place to help build your personal brand. Follow new people and don’t be afraid to reach out to those you admire. It’s amazing how generous people are with their time.
You also shouldn’t worry about how many followers you have. If you produce good content people will find you. The important thing is to have fun and meet as many interesting people as possible. Show the world what you can do with 140 characters!
Taylor Shold is the Founder of Shold Media Group, a networking group aimed at helping inspire and educate the next generation of young professionals. Follow him @tshold.