LinkedIn is traditionally seen as the social platform meant for professional interactivity and networking- but what about Twitter? Can you possibly convey your personal yet professional branding identity in 140 characters or less?
Enter Twitter chats, a period of time where users converge and answer questions surrounding a specific hashtag. By participating in these chats and providing your thoughts on whatever topic the chat covers, you demonstrate critical thinking skills and an understanding of where your field on interest is heading in the future.
For first time Twitter-chatters, the experience can be overwhelming- there are so many tweets and conversations are rapidly exchanged at one time that it is hard to keep up! As the UD Careers Blog Squad prepares to lead the upcoming #UDChat, we want to help you make the most of the Twitter chat experience with these five tips:
- Think Before You Tweet. The basic format of a Twitter chat goes as follows: the moderator poses a question to the audience, and everyone participating in the chat tweets their answer. Think about what you want to say before you press “Tweet” to ensure your content is both original and intelligent. The Twitter chat answers that lead to the most reach and engagement are the ones that are well crafted while adding different perspectives to the conversation.
- Dive into the conversation. If you see another answer in the chat that you agree with or would like to elaborate on, engage with that person by mentioning them in your next tweet and start a conversation tangential to the chat’s flow. Interacting with other chat participants sets you up to learn more about another people’s stance on the industry and develop a chance to network further in the future (see Tip 5).
- Use the hashtag or risk getting lost in the shuffle. It can be easy to forget to put the chat’s hashtag at the end of each tweet so it aggregates with the other tweets in the conversation. Try your best to utilize the hashtag in every tweet you send out. If the hashtag isn’t there, not all Twitter chat users will gain exposure to your content, thus minimizing the tweet’s potential to reinforce your professional brand.
- Get on a social media managing platform. Social media managing platforms organize the chaos of a Twitter feed, making it simpler to follow various chat conversations and interact with multiple participants at once. By breaking up your feed into categories such as Mentions, New Followers, and even a feed for simply following a chat’s hashtag, users can understand the flow of a conversation and insert their message into a chat more clearly. Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are both great examples of platforms to check out prior to the start of the next Twitter chat.
- The connections don’t end once the chat does- follow up! If you effectively engaged with some specific chat participants, make sure to keep the connection going once your Twitter chat time is up. Feel free to follow them on Twitter or connect with them on LinkedIn. You never know when a connection could lead to an informational interview, a broader understanding of your field of interest, or even a future job opportunity.
At face value, Twitter chats have the potential to become an intimidating overflow of information and hashtags clogging up your feed. But if used and managed correctly, they also have the potential to showcase your professional identity through unique answers, meaningful conversations, and critical networking connections. Good luck, UD students, and get ready to convey your professional brand in 140 characters or less!
By: Paxton Mittleman