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7 Tips on Effectively Using Twitter for Your Career

Love Tweeting? Take your account to the next level and it could help your career. [TWEET]

Tweets, Pins, Posts, Circles and Likes – Social Media is booming with activity and each platform comes with its own unique attributes. Most notably, Facebook offers a diverse multimedia service designed to connect, well, everyone. LinkedIn stills corners the market on careers, and Pinterest is making a colorful splash with imagery. But there’s one social media platform that still brings the most searches: Twitter.

Twitter is best designed to provide quick bites of information and the move on to the next subject. As a result, businesses have developed micro-blogging and advertisements to take advantage of Twitter as a promotional tool. The hashtag search function makes it more customizable than other social media sites. Twitter is not only a go-to news source, it has become a platform to advance careers and advertise skills. Its functions connect LinkedIn and Facebook, making job searching a breeze and it gives new meaning to “career marketing.”

Here are five tips for using Twitter for work and turning your 140-word Tweets into job search gold.

1. Put your skills on display.

Recycling content from RSS feeds and other sites isn’t what Twitter was designed for, and it doesn’t help your career. Think of your name as a brand – much like a company brand. You must make it valuable and desirable. You want hiring managers to seek you out. Start by teasing your skills, much the same way advertisers tease an upcoming product. Over the course of about five days, slowly release tidbits about accomplishments and other aspects of your current career. Here are some examples:

Friday’s the big day. Looking forward to delivering the multimillion dollar #marketingplan to @Walmart.

Did you know @Twitter increases #brandexposure by 85%? Our new @Walmart plan will detail scenarios for customer engagement.

@Walmart #marketing team released the new @Twitter contest for #localshoppers. Good luck!

Another way to use Twitter for work purposes and display skills is by commenting on local Tweets in your industry. Look for major, local companies and follow their posts. Chime in from time to time with your own ideas. Who knows, you may get “the call” one day.

2. Say it with pictures.

Actions speak louder than words. Those photos of your accomplishments make for great posts. Research shows that tweets with photos get 313% more engagement. Use images with your Tweets as often as you can. This includes infographics, retweets to name a few. However, stay away from entertainment and recreation. Let’s keep it professional. One great example is a beautician’s before and after shots. Ask your client for permission, and take a before pic to post on Twitter.

Hooking this lovely lady up with a new #hairstyle and #nails today. Stay tuned for the results!

Then post the after image with similar marketing language.

Image Tips:

  • Use a tripod or lean against the wall for stability and clearer shots.

  • Zoom with your body, not the camera. Digital zoom causes grainy photos.

  • Shoot photos in well-lit areas, preferably with lots of sunlight.

  • Watch for inappropriate tattoos and logos on shirts.

3. Make it personal.

They key to using Twitter for work is personality. Look for ways to mix it up a little. Customize the posts and links using your favorite colors. Take a professional photo for the profile picture and cover image. Even a logo stylized with calligraphy will make your page stand out. A few more tips to personalize your account:

  • Use your favorite colors.

  • Post photos from your personal life, but keep it professional.

  • Use first person language; stay away from shorthand.

4. Don’t bankrupt the hashtag market.

Yes, it’s difficult to resist. Hashtags are cool, fun and functional. But there is a time a place for everything. Don’t overuse hashtags. Including two or three relevant hashtags is a great way to optimize your Tweets for search engines, but anything more is overkill. Use trending news to optimize your hashtags. Use Google Trends, Hashtags.org and Hashtagify.me lists information to boost your traffic. Look for live events to Tweet. Those functions will boost traffic and show your personal side. To recap on hashtags:

  • Keep hashtags to a minimum, about two or three per post.

  • Use trending phrases or words for your hashtags.

  • Stay away from meaningless, un-searchable keywords (i.e. #LovingHamburgers).

5. Don’t be a publicity hound.

Don’t make your Twitter and other social media accounts look like regurgitated PR campaigns. This is a big no-no and can hurt your efforts for finding jobs on Twitter. Self-promotional tweets are great and can significantly reinforce your expertise, but if your Twitter looks like an election campaign, be forewarned- many will delete you at worst and ignore you at best. Remembering the 80-20 rule used by marketing and advertising experts will help balance your Tweets. No more than 20 percent of your posts should be self-promotional. At least 80 percent should be communication, events, general posts, etc. Try these out to help reinforce this rule:

  • Look at celebrity Twitter accounts. Their media teams know how to use keywords.

  • Mix it up a little; go for personal information that stimulates conversation.

  • Keep to the 80-20 rule – 80% content and 20% promotional.

6. Engage with your followers.

You’ve stimulated your audience, used images to tell a story and kept self-promotion to a minimum. Now it’s time to make use of those new followers. First, follow your followers. Keep in mind your audience knows your interests. Don’t follow inappropriate users when using Twitter for work purposes. Don’t be afraid to jump in and communicate with your fan base. They’re interested in what you have to say, or they wouldn’t have followed you in the first place. Treat recruiters similarly. You need to first engage the person casually before you can go in and demand their attention. Remember to:

  • Comment on your followers’ Tweets and give your own opinion.

  • Retweet, retweet and retweet again. A pat on your audience’s back goes a long way.

  • Think of Twitter as a conversation between two professional colleagues.

  • STAY AWAY from controversial subjects.

7. Take Twitter to the next level.

Using Twitter is fun and productive. No other platform offers the benefits of Twitter’s “say it in 140 words or less” method. It is the only social media platform, besides Google+, that allows users to search Google for Tweets, hashtags, Gifs and users. It is free advertising at its best, and makes finding a job on Twitter easy. But you can take those advantages to another level. Use Twitter to promote your Facebook posts and online profile. Connect other social media networks together via platforms like Buffer and Hootsuite. These services make a difference. For example, Hootsuite allows users to search for other users and mention them via the “@mention” feature. You can post to Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ Page and Twitter in one, easy stroke. Be sure to keep in mind:

  • Connect your social networks into one large powerhouse.

  • Learn advertising secrets from great blogs like Hubspot and Moz.

  • Treat your accounts like a brand – think value over promotion.

  • Make use of management tools like Hootsuite and Buffer.

Let TopResume help you write the next chapter of your career. Here’s how.

Write your resume like a pro.

TopResume's resume worksheet is just like the one our pros use. Download it now for free and start getting more interviews!

Write your resume like a pro.

TopResume's resume worksheet is just like the one our pros use. Download it now for free and start getting more interviews!