Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
NETWORKING / APR. 04, 2014
version 5, draft 5

How to Network on Twitter to Advance your Career

Career Advancement has skyrocketed to a whole new level thanks to Social Media. Gone are the days when you had to attend career workshops and seminars to meet with like-minded professionals. New rules have been established when it comes to networking with particular emphasis on social media. Today I would like us to focus on Twitter which currently has an estimated 240 million active monthly users. This social media platform boasts of a variety of users from startup CEOs to tech gurus, billionaires, entrepreneurs, managers, consultants and so forth. These users mean serious business when it comes to the discussions they engage in. And I'm sure as a professional, advancing your career means serious business as well. It is with this in mind that I want to show you how one can use Twitter to take them to new heights in their career.

Here are some few tips you should take note of:

#1 Look Professional

When it comes to social media, image is everything and Twitter is no exception. Just like a book, your Twitter profile is judged initially by its 'cover'. First and foremost, most Twitter users focus on the profile picture and the header in question. What does it portray? Does it command a serious professional orientation? Would someone, for instance, look at your profile and know that you're a doctor without second thought? The reason I insist on image is that we have many 'hot air' professionals on social media. Jokers who amplify their social media image to portray themselves as professionals when in fact, they're just having fun. As a careerist, it would be therefore wise to have a professional look that is evident from the profile picture to the background. Your description should also give any stranger the sense that you are indeed what you claim to be. 

#2 Connect with like-minded Professionals and Protégés

Now that you have your Twitter profile in check, the next step is to find individuals with similar career ambitions. You'll know them by their profile description and their tweets. Stay disciplined and follow serious professionals and protégés who will fill your timeline with informed tweets. The last thing you want is to waste time scrolling down a hundred tweets before you find the tweet that's relevant to your career. Tweets saturated with meaningful content and information regarding opportunities will surely keep you up to speed on options available for your next career advancement.

#3 Interact with the Gurus in your Profession

Once the people you follow get saturated with careerists, there's a high possibility that twitter will suggest professional gurus that you can follow and interact with. Chances are, they have a large following and thus, they have many tweets to grapple with considering their massive following. Therefore, if you want to get noticed, then you'll have to keep your tweets in check. Ask professional questions that command seriousness. The gurus will definitely feel okay to answer them without jeopardizing their Twitter reputations. Remember, they're also being watched carefully by their followers and one careless tweet would cost them the influential respect that they command in their profession.

#4 Tweet within the boundaries of your profession 

A good way to keep your tweets in check is to use hashtags relevant to your profession. Hashtags are basically topics of discussion on Twitter preceded by the hash(#) symbol. It will be easier to come up with tweets once you reference hashtags that are relevant to your profession. That way, your tweets automatically get a large audience relevant to your profession and consequently, constructive feedback and relevant inquiries and start trickling in. Plus, if you get noticed in your hashtag niche as an informed and serious professional, then chances are relevant followers will start trickling in. With time, you might even get noticed and called for an interview for a better job. Better still, you might end up being the next guru of your professional niche which means that Forbes might include you on the list of the most influential people on social media. The possibilities are endless...

Bonus Tip - Avoid Twitterbots and Spam-like Tweets:

The biggest demotivation for most Twitter newbies is having few followers. With this in mind, many ego-driven Twitter users result to posting tweets like these in a frantic effort to increase their follower numbers:

"Follow Me I #Followback" or

"I Gained 1000 followers by following @123 #Followback"

What happens with these kind of tweets is that they attract Twitter users that are irrelevant to your career. Yes they'll follow you and you'll follow them back to avoid losing them. Unfortunately, with time, your timeline gets filled with spam instead of real time informative tweets. Reason being that most 'followback' Twitter accounts are controlled by twitterbots which are basically online applications that tweet on behalf of Twitter accounts. Then again, you might also be tempted to subscribe to such bots and consequently, your Twitter handle might end up looking like a spam factory and before you know it, you look like a spam zombie and Twitter assumes that your account is fake. Consequently, your social media reputation gets soiled.

Richard Branson (@richardbranson) once said this:

"How do you introduce your brand to social media? You make your brand worth talking about and it introduces itself."

That's indeed true when it comes to your career advancement as well. You are the brand on Twitter and thus, the way you package yourself determines the level of your career advancement. You've got to portray and package yourself as that brand that knows what it wants to achieve. Because the only way that Twitter can help you advance in your career is to stick to your objectives. In the end, it's up to you to decide whether you want mere fun on social media or the career advancement of a lifetime.

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