Simon Mainwaring – “Social media is not about the exploitation of technology but service to community”
As a Recruiter, I always want to be where the most people are as this gives me greater options to seek out talented individuals. This is why I have built a professional online brand and Twitter is at the core. My online brand is how I am perceived online and is a culmination of LinkedIn, my blog, Instagram, Google+, Medium and Twitter profiles (I only use Facebook for personal use).
But you don’t have to be a Recruiter to make the most of Twitter for professional means. Over the last 3 years, Twitter has helped me to progress in my career, voice professional opinions and network with others. I was going to title this blog Should You Have A Professional Twitter Account?, but considering that the answer is an obvious YES, I thought some tips on how to get started and really use the social platform to your professional advantage would be more helpful.
Marilyn Monroe – “I don’t mind making jokes, but I don’t want to look like one”
Let’s start with the basics.
Profile photo: Get yourself a high quality mugshot for your profile. As you’re going for a professional Twitter profile, perhaps use the same picture from your LinkedIn profile (tips on getting the right profile pic here).
Header photo: Ensure that your header photo is of high resolution and represents you, your employer or your industry. Avoid low resolution images as this looks amateur and unprofessional. You want your profile to represent the best possible you.
Handle: I would have liked @JoeBurridge, and you should always go for your name if you can (it looks professional), but if not go for something that relates to your company (e.g. @BenSmithHudl) or role/industry (e.g. @JoeFindsTalent).
Description: Always include your job title, company and what you tweet about. But after that get creative, think about optimising SEO and perhaps a little personal. Notice how I have the words ‘tech’, ‘careers’ and ‘London’ for SEO while also being personal (and sharing a much loved Star Wars quote).
Location and link: Include a location to allow others in your vicinity to find you easily, and link to help promote your professional online brand. If you don’t have a personal website, provide a link to your LinkedIn account or your company’s homepage.
Amy Jo Martin – “Social media is changing the way we communicate and the way we are perceived, both positively and negatively. Every time you post a photo, or update your status, you are contributing to your own digital footprint and personal brand”
Tweeting: Now you have an awesome Twitter profile, you better start tweeting, but what do you tweet?! Before tweeting, think about your audience and add value. In other words, will my followers find this relevant and useful? Share news articles, your professional opinion on a topic, updates from your current role and company, and the occasional personal update. Twitter is all about connecting on a more personal level, so don’t hesitate to post personal tweets in a more casual tone.
Always think to yourself, would I follow my own Twitter profile? Always go for quality instead of quantity, but you should aim for at least 3 a week (including retweets).
Hashtags: use appropriate hashtags as they’re searchable. However, a common beginner’s error is to use far too many hashtags. Over usage makes the tweet look cluttered and won’t receive as many likes or retweets. This is a good example:
Promotion and Engagement
Matt Goulart – “Social Media is about the people! Not about your business. Provide for the people and the people will provide for you.”
If you want to gain followers, retweets, likes and ultimately value from your Twitter profile, you need to promote and engage. There’s no point crafting great tweets if no one is going to read them. When you get started, don’t hesitate to tell your friends, family and colleagues that you now have a professional Twitter profile and ask for follows. Also promote your profile on other social networks.
Get in the habit of when meeting someone new, networking or meeting a new client, to ask if they have Twitter and if so offer to follow them. This is similar to how asking to connect on LinkedIn has become the norm. You will more likely get a follow back if you follow someone than by straight up asking for a follow.
Make sure you engage with other people and their tweets. Don’t just login to Twitter to check your notifications and tweet to your profile, instead get involved with a trending hashtag or seek out others in your industry and introduce yourself. If you see an interesting tweet, comment on it and start a conversation. Sometimes it takes courage to voice your opinion online, but good advice gets noticed.
I hope this was helpful. If you have any follow up questions, feel free to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!