Twitter has been very good to me. I’ve gotten two out of my three full-time jobs because of it. My first experience was written about in Inc. here. Twitter is pretty amazing, but it can also be a bit intimating or difficult to navigate. That’s why I’d like to share how to use Twitter to build your network and help your career growth.
[bctt tweet="I Can Show You the World, Just Open Your Twitter Account, by @SarahSalbu" username="StartupInst"]
This article won’t tell you how to get a million followers; what I will share is how to make meaningful connections that will help you with new opportunities or simply improve your performance at your current job.
Why do I love Twitter? My ode to Twitter is that it puts a network of people and organizations accessible right at your fingertips. With Linkedin and Facebook, while they're both great, there are barriers to cross until one can connect with people. With Twitter those barriers don’t exist.
[bctt tweet="Twitter puts a network of people and organizations right at your fingertips—@SarahSalbu" username="StartupInst"]
For example, I was recently listening to a Business Radio Program with career advice which I found really helpful and interesting. After the show ended, I tweeted at the host about how much I enjoyed it and she tweeted back to me. We were states away from each other and had never met —yet, I was able to get on her radar and open an authentic line of communication with her.
Three Steps to Building your Network on Twitter
1. Proactive Interactions
Don’t be afraid of reaching out to others on Twitter. Keep in mind, that’s the beauty of Twitter. As long as you're genuine in your interactions, have at it and tweet away![bctt tweet="As long as you're genuine, don’t be afraid to reach out to others on Twitter, says @SarahSalbu" username="StartupInst"]
When I’m at an event, I'll follow the event hashtag and during presentations or keynotes I’ll periodically refresh the feed to see who's commenting on the discussion. I recently did this during a Boston New Tech event and was invited to kick off a one-on-one conversations with one of the founders of the presenting startups. Twitter made it possible to break out beyond where I was sitting in the back of the room and it was a fun and genuine connection to share value.
If you aren’t at an event, be sure to reach out to people you’ve heard on the radio or read about in an article. If you have a thought or comment on what they have shared, feel free to let them know. If I read an article that I find particularly helpful, I’ll tweet at the journalist and let them know. Not all of my interactions are focused on professional or work topics. I also tweet at my friends and comedians. I still haven’t gotten a tweet back from Conan or Jimmy —but I’m hopeful!
My recommendation is to set a goal to reach out to one person each week, either while at an event or after engaging with someone’s content.[bctt tweet="Reach out to one person each week, at an event or after engaging with their content—@SarahSalbu " username="StartupInst"]
2. Sharing your Perspective
The key to building your Twitter network is to get into a good habit of posting articles, pictures or sharing comments that are interesting to you and have the potential of being of interest to the online community you are apart of.
Before posting about an article or topic, ask yourself, if you were looking in on your feed – would you find it interesting? That’s the barometer I follow. I think about, “is this sharing value with my digital neighbors, will they enjoy or appreciate what I’m sharing?” If the answer is yes, share away!
[bctt tweet="Before sharing, ask yourself, 'Will my followers enjoy and appreciate it?', says @SarahSalbu" username="StartupInst"]
3. Following for Research
Twitter is great for finding and keeping track of influencers and companies you're interested in. If you read an article about an interesting person or company, do a quick search to see if they're on Twitter and follow them. If you’re at an event and you see people posting to the event hashtag, check out their profile and follow. This will help expand your reach in connecting with people who are relevant to you. Then when you log in and check your feed you’ll (hopefully) be inundated with content that is of interest to you.
[bctt tweet="Twitter is great for keeping track of influencers and companies you're interested in—@SarahSalbu" username="StartupInst"]
One example of why it’s good to follow others —I was following Matt Siegal from the Matty in the Morning Show (Boston folks will know who he is), and he posted that he was considering hosting a bachelor-style show on his radio program. I happened to catch the tweet because I was following him, I tweeted at him and as a result, I was actually part of the Bachelor show and was able to visit the studio and be on air. It was such a fun and random experience and it was all because I was regularly following people and organizations who interest me.
I’m very thankful to Twitter and the people I have met and the opportunities that have followed from those connections. If you want to take a page out of my book, remain open-minded, engaged and set a cadence for checking in and nurturing your account and people you follow and you’ll be surprised at what doors will open! I’m looking forward to what happens next because of Twitter.
[bctt tweet="Remain open-minded, engaged and set a cadence for nurturing your Twitter account —@SarahSalbu" username="StartupInst"]
Feel free to keep up with my adventures by following me: @SarahSalbu.