In this “Creating a Social Media Presence Series,” we will cover a number of ways you can increase your online and social media presence.
Twitter may seem like an easy profile to manage, but it is one of the hardest if you’re hoping to maintain a professional appearance. This is mostly because of the friends you have and not so much the content you generate yourself.
The premise behind a social network is that it is social. It is a tool to connect friends to one another. Unfortunately (in my opinion), social networking has now also become a cornerstone in creating a profile for yourself as a job candidate. Now, if you are currently looking for a job it is a good idea to either not associate your name with your profile so you can’t be found, or to keep your profile as professional as possible until you find a job. The first is the easier solution, but there is a chance the employer is looking for someone connected to the social network. This is not an option for those of you who are going into marketing or PR careers.
Keeping your Twitter profile clean is possible but it is a day to day job. The work doesn’t come from things you do but what your friends do. If your friends include you in an inappropriate tweet you have to immediately get rid of it. To make things easier, set up your phone to receive Twitter updates so you can react immediately if it were to happen. You can tell your friends to keep you off their tweets, but chances are you won’t be able to get through to all of them. Others can also just love busting your chops, so take no chances.
You also have to be careful about who you follow because this can be seen by others. If you can avoid it, don’t follow the Kardashians or anyone from the Jersey Shore. Instead, follow Forbes magazine or The New York Times. If you are trying to get into a specific industry then follow accounts that pertain to that industry. Everything that can be seen can be judged, so you want the onlookers to judge you as a professional. It’s up to you whether you want to show them how wrong they were once they hire you.
Your profile page shows everything you tweet and retweet. It can be a problem if you’re belligerently inappropriate with what you say, but if you have any semblance of poise you can use it to your advantage. If they can see what you tweet, then tweet well. Show that you are active in your interests by tweeting and retweeting tweets from those industry-specific accounts. Make the tweets insightful and intelligent, not just “You’re so right about that! Lift IS important for airplanes! #wrightbrothers.” Obviously not every tweet will be worthy of consideration for a Nobel Prize, but try to make the majority of them interesting to professionals.
Running a professional Twitter account is about knowing that your adversary can see your information and knowing how to use that to your advantage. The principle is applicable to both counter-intelligence and keeping your Twitter account appropriate. Use what you have to your advantage, and be ever vigilant for the rogue tweets from your friends. Those two simple rules are all you need to run a successful Twitter account.
Do you use your Twitter account for professional use? Do you find it difficult? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Shane Pope