When I was a sophomore in college, I took my first college-level journalism class. During that class, we were supposed to create a Twitter account and post on it regularly. Related: 4 Ways To Kick Up Your Job Search A Notch With Social Media I didn’t get it. Twitter, another dumb social media site, was required for a journalism class? Remember, this site was widely known for its users posting updates for every moment of their waking life. Updates like:
- Going to the store!
- Off to the gym to lift some weights. #musclemilk
- Tweeting while on the toilet! Woo!
Why I Love TwitterWhy? Because I started looking at it in a different way. Instead of focusing on what *I* have to say, I started focusing on the information I could get from other people. What can I learn? How can it help me in my day-to-day life? How can it help me improve my career? Now, I think the social media site is an awesome, helpful tool. Here are a few reasons I think Twitter is great:
It Makes It Easy To Keep Up With Current EventsIn the mornings, I’ll skim the news headlines on a handful of sites just to see what’s going on in the world. After I’ve hit the major news sites, I’ll pop over to my Twitter account to see what’s trending. Most of the time, it will just have silly things like #MyFavoriteSongWillAlwaysBe or #ThingsIWouldNeverSay, but sometimes it will have topics that I missed during my initial news skim. Depending on the topic, it could list names, events, or places that have to do with a big news story. This is a great way to keep up with current events and happenings in your industry. So, next time you’re at a networking event, you’ll have plenty to talk about!
You Can Interact With Almost AnyoneNo matter how successful or famous someone is, if they have a Twitter account, you usually have the opportunity to follow them. I love this because not only does it give you more insight into their lives, businesses, and brands, but it gives you the opportunity to interact with them and build a professional relationship. Here are some ways you can get a relationship started through Twitter:
- Retweet something they posted and give them a shout out.
- Thank them for sharing a piece of information.
- Share an article with them either by tweeting them or direct messaging them.
- Send them a direct message complimenting them on a post, then invite them to connect on LinkedIn.
- Give them a shout out on #FF (Follow Friday) and briefly let your followers know why they should follow them (example below).