As a PR student, I’ve quickly grasped the importance of tweeting from a professional standpoint. Not only does Twitter network you with a countless number PR pros, it also builds your credibility and your brand in the industry. But I, myself, did not jump on the Twitter bandwagon right away; I can remember writing tweets for a client at my internship last summer without ever have being on Twitter before. When I got my current job as a social media analyst, I thought to myself, “Hey, it might be a good idea to get a Twitter and see what the heck everyone is talking about.” After that, the rest is history.
While I do consider myself pretty knowledgeable of Twitter nowadays, I struggled for a long time to find the right balance of using it to socialize with my friends and using it to market myself to potential employers. My personal philosophy is never tweet something that you wouldn’t want your mom to see. This may seem simple enough but it amazes me the number of people who tweet rude and crude things. If that is how you are going to use your Twitter, then make your account private.
In an industry that is so dependent upon brand image and reputation, maintaining a professional Twitter can either make you or break you in PR. It’s important to tweet not only your everyday happenings, but also current, relevant news related to the industry. As a college student, some of you may struggle to find this balance; I know I certainly did. In an awesome article titled “5 Ways College Students Can Professionally Use Twitter to Grow Their Personal Brand,” five easy tips are shared that I believe are the keys to a college student’s Twitter success. I’ve posted them below along with my own input and advice.
- Follow people who will give you news, not plans – This simply suggests that since tweets are limited to 140 characters, use your Twitter for news purposes rather personal purposes. Take advantage of your Twitter timeline to stay engaged with those you are following.
- Interact with people you follow and start up a meaningful conversation – Don’t be afraid to tweet at a professional that you admire, you just met, etc. Not only does this open the door for more communication between the two of you, it also shows this person that you are social media savvy, which is always a plus in PR.
- Be a curator and spread the good news – This tip is very important. By tweeting a pertinent link, it shows your followers that you are paying attention to what is going on in the industry. An easy way to do this is to subscribe to a daily PR newsletter and pick out your favorite story each day, then tweet it!
- Look for hashtags about job searches or group chats – This is a great way to network with professionals and to gain more followers. By connecting with professional via hastags, you will open many doors of possibility to yourself.
- Have a respectable Twitter photo, bio, background, etc. – This tip seems simple enough, but make sure your Twitter does have all of these things. Other Twitter users may be offended by an inappropriate profile picture or bio. Also, be sure to have a bio so that others can learn a little something about you from the get-go.
I think all of these tips are great when it comes to teaching college students how to use Twitter effectively. You never know who may be following you or reading your tweets. That is why it is so important to always maintain a professional Twitter account. Trust me, good things will happen once you master the marvels of Twitter. I recently connected with a professional via Twitter and am now in the works of setting up a meeting with them to discuss a fall internship at their firm. This can happen to you too; all you have to do is tweet, tweet!