Twitter is one of the many tools that students and professionals can use to brand themselves. If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve been told over and over again how to properly Tweet, when to RT and how to engage with professionals and other students through Twitter chats.
Well, those things are all well and good…and they’re important. But, something someone said to me recently got me thinking: how often are those rules really followed? It’s like being taught best practices in the classroom, but learning that something is done completely different in the real world.
So, here are three things I’ve learned about Twitter. Hopefully, they can help you, too.
BE TRANSPARENT: OK, here’s a pet-peeve: you upload a very nice, professional picture on Twitter, you fill out an amazing bio about yourself…and then you make your Twitter private. Why?
You shouldn’t have anything to hide. If you’re being appropriate, relevant and professional, don’t make your Twitter private. In public relations, we must advise our clients to always, always, always be transparent. Why wouldn’t you do the same for yourself?
BE A RESEARCHER: Sometimes its hard to find interesting people to follow on Twitter, especially when you’re already following a ton of already interest people and want to learn something new.
Here’s something I do. I figure out who the most relevant and fun people are in an industry I’m interested in. For example – entertainment. I connected with this cool guy from MTV on Twitter and something I do to meet more cool people in the entertainment PR and social media industry is look through his followers and the people he follows.
No, this isn’t creepy. It isn’t Facebook; I’m not looking through someone’s friends to see who I can add from high school as a friend to “stalk.”
To be in PR, you need to know how to research. Research for yourself, too.
And, most importantly…
BE YOURSELF!: Just because you shouldn’t post about all those crazy parties you go to and not-so-appropriate other things you talk to your friends about, does not by any means you shouldn’t be yourself.
If you’re interested in travel – post about your adventures. If you love food – tell us about cool recipes you have tried or restaurants you have visited. If you’re a celebrity enthusiast, feel free to post about what your favorite celebrity is wearing or why their new tunes inspire you.
Tweeting about these things could make you a really awesome connection. I know my love for all things pop culture; music and celebrity have made me some very indispensable connections that I couldn’t be more thankful for.
As my favorite celebrity once said, “Be bold, be creative, be expressive, and be proud of who you are.”