Social media sites like Twitter get a bad rap. Yes, there’s a lot of ugliness. There’s also a ton of opportunity. If you’ve been focusing on the trolls, you’re missing what Twitter can do for you. Sending a 240-character tweet can accomplish more than thousands of words written to anonymous hiring personnel. You just need to learn how to network on Twitter without being a creeper.
Polish Your Page
No matter how long you’ve had Twitter, it’s time to up your game. Start posting early then post several times throughout the day. You shouldn’t be posting too many links to products; try to raise your follower’s spirits. Hopefully you’ve avoided posting content that can come back to haunt you. A good rule of thumb is to never say anything negative online about anyone, ever. That movie you bashed? Well how will you feel when you realize it was directed by the cousin of the woman interviewing you for a job. Your Twitter page should be pristine, polished, and professional. No profanity or vulgar jokes (unless you’re a stand-up who works “blue.”) Your tweets and retweets should be focused on your industry –– highlighting recent, valuable trends and developments.
Your tweets are short and sweet. Your bio should be too. Describe yourself and what you do in a few words. Show some personality without being personal (and don’t be political). If you can be gently humorous, that’s awesome. Above all, don’t turn it into a sale’s pitch.
Focus Your Follows
Do some research in your sector. You want to find someone who might notice your tweets –– ideally someone with a similar number of followers. Use Twitter’s Advanced Search tool to zero in on key phrases or people. Find out more about your prospect on LinkedIn or an online search. One of my clients wanted to pitch an article but her submissions to the publication’s site didn’t get a response. I helped her connect by having her follow a section editor –– rather than the editor-in-chief who had a seven-figure follower number.
Learn their Style
Take the time to read their tweets. Not only will you gain insight into their sector and its needs, you’ll be inspired to craft your own content. Engagement is all about original material, so take the time to create some tweets of your own. Don’t tag them in every random notion. Be respectful of the way they like to engage. Some folks only tweet occasionally.
Keep it Loose
No one likes someone who comes on too strong –– especially a stranger. Retweeting their tweets will look desperate. Mindlessly tweeting about how “awesome” their company is won’t help either. Instead, keep your retweets limited and don’t just retweet everything they tweeted yesterday. Great retweets are ones concerning awards, nominations, or major media profiles. Add a small note to the tweet you’re retweeting.
Do all this the first day you follow someone. Then stop. It’s like old-fashioned dating advice about waiting to call. After retweeting once or twice, wait a few days before retweeting again. Then tweet something positive at the person like “I love your work” or “check out this blog!” Hopefully you’ll hear back in a day or two. If not, keep occasionally retweeting.
If someone you have been following and retweeting replies to you, take a little time before responding. Consider writing out your response on a Notes app or even just a piece of notebook paper. Your response should be a compliment focused on an accomplishment –– the more specific the better. With many of us struggling to find consistent work, you need to use every tool available. Don’t miss out on an opportunity that’s only a tweet away.