How to use Twitter as a networking tool – Part 1

How to use Twitter as a networking tool – Part 1

An introduction to Twitter Twitter is a much loved micro blogging tool used by business professionals the world over. One of the reasons why it is so popular is because of its character count limit of 140 characters. This means that updates must be short, punchy and to-the-point. No long updates, no in-depth discussions, no ‘waffle’. Whilst some see this as a huge limitation – sure, if you want to dive deep into conversation then Twitter is not the tool for you – many more see it as an incredibly powerful way of communicating with other like-minded business professionals. Being limited to such a short message means that ‘Tweets’ must be well thought out. To help users find themed conversations faster, Twitter introduced the hyperlinking of hashtags (#) in mid 2009. Hashtags in Twitter categorise conversations and therefore allow users to search and categorise by hashtag(s), an example being the London 2012 Olympics could be followed via one of many hashtags including #London2012. If you’re a busy professional with limited availability then Twitter could just be the tool for you. It is easy to setup, only requiring you to enter your name, email address, password and a username, AKA Twitter handle, e.g. @careerintel. Your handle is unique to you, so anyone who adds your handle with the ‘@’ before it to a tweet will be including you publicly in that tweet, and you will be notified of this message. How can Twitter work for me as a business professional? There are many uses for Twitter, which include connecting with like-minded industry professionals, friends, family and colleagues, but other beneficial reasons could be to connect with news channel accounts, e.g. The Times or Gulf News. By following a Twitter user account you will automatically receive their updates (known as ‘Tweets’) in your news feed. This allows for a live update of Tweets throughout the day – the more users you follow, especially if they’re very active users, the more updates you will see in your feed. Whilst many of us would like to sit down and read the newspaper every morning at breakfast there often isn’t time, but with Twitter you can quickly scroll through your news feed, and if you were to follow the top news network accounts, you would be updated with the current headlines and breaking news! You can also create Twitter lists, which act like a group of users, so that you can follow specific groups of users and gain updates from a particular group of users, such as business colleagues or friends & family. From a business point-of-view, Twitter can be used in a number of ways, including as a business networking tool. An example of this could be using Twitter to connect with fellow business professionals and industry peers who are going to the same event as you in the near future. You might want to discuss the event, arrange some one-to-one meetings or just keep up-to-date with the conversation surrounding the event, so networking via Twitter could present you with some invaluable opportunities to do so. The easiest way to go about this is to check out the event’s website and social media channels. You will most likely find that they too have a Twitter account and they might even have created their own hashtag. By connecting with the event’s Twitter account, starting a conversation with them and searching Tweets containing their hashtag you can quickly gain access to relevant Tweets and Twitter users. You can then continue to track this hashtag and use it yourself during the build-up to the event, at the event and post-event. An example of using a hashtag and connecting with the Twitter account of an event would be, “Heading to the @XEvent next week. Any Media professionals attending? #XEvent2013”. How Can I Make The Most Out of My Connections? As mentioned above, Twitter is a powerful networking tool that can be used effectively at events and industry meet-ups as it allows people with a common interest (and in this case, the event) to discover each other and meet up. The aim with Twitter – from the point of view of a business professional using it as a networking tool – is to build an engaged following and build connections with like-minded professionals. In some cases it will be possible to connect with your high value connections on a one-to-one basis, such as a meet-up at an event you’re attending. You should look at Twitter as the starting point and see it as your introduction tool, so that you can turn high value connections into real-life personal connections. Whether the person be a fellow industry professional, an industry thought leader, a potential employer or even a recruiter/ headhunter, Twitter provides a mutual ground from which to build upon your connection, allowing you to nurture your relationship in a way and at a speed that you feel comfortable with. This is less pressurised than a one-to-one meeting with someone you’ve never met before at an event/ meeting where you’re limited to a very short time frame and you have to be very quick on your feet if you’re to make a great and lasting first impression. Understanding the Twitter protocols and language is just as important as understanding what it is capable of. Business and professional language via email has changed and been adapted over the years . In the early days of email, people would write them in a similar way to a formal letter, but over the years they have become much less formal. With the introduction of social networks such as Twitter, the tone of language has adapted once again. This is partly due to the nature of this social network, but also the character limit (140 characters), so ensuring that you understand the acceptable terminologies and commonly accepted practices in a professional context is key. Below are some examples of how a variety of Senior Executives are constructing their Tweets:

 

 

 

 

  Final thoughts It is important to spend some getting to know and understand Twitter and what capabilities it has for you and your professional image, objectives and goals. Twitter is a very simple tool which can be mastered within a matter of days. Therefore, simply investing just a few minutes each day will be hugely beneficial to you. Be sure to promote your Twitter account, whether you add it to your

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email signature, inform your friends and contacts on Facebook, in the office and you could even add your Twitter account name/ handle to your business cards! This way you will build a following of like-minded industry professionals, friends, family and colleagues. Write down a list of people that you would like to follow, maybe industry and thought leaders, and then search for them on Twitter – you can do this via a Google search or via the Twitter dashboard, using the search box at the top of the dashboard. In the second part to this two-part series we will look at ‘Using Twitter as a networking tool in the UAE’. We will discuss ways in which you can use Twitter to build an engaged following, connect with people of high value to you and extend your overall network in the UAE, not to mention a number of advanced uses for Twitter such as advanced searches and creating an effective professional content calendar. Start your Twitter efforts by following us on Twitter today and we’ll be sure to notify you when the second part to this article is live on our blog!

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About the author

Jamie McDermott

Involved in Business Development and Technologies at Career Intelligence. Based in the Fleet Street, London office since the start of 2014.

20 Comments

  1. KRISHNAKUMAR
    May 31, 2013 at 7:10 am

    would like to be part of this twitter stream


  2. James Herbert
    May 31, 2013 at 7:37 am

    Thank you , for the amazing work you are doing .
    Kind regard’s


  3. Daniel De Munter
    May 31, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Very good ideas. Thank You.


  4. Muqtada Hussain
    May 31, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Dear Ana.Thanks to invite me


  5. Bushra Al Fardan
    June 1, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Thank you


  6. Alwin John
    June 1, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Thanks A lot for Guidence.


  7. Mubashir syed
    June 2, 2013 at 5:23 am

    thnkx 4 sharing


  8. Mohammed Kamaleldin
    June 2, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Good


  9. mario liboon
    June 3, 2013 at 12:07 am

    i will try if working


  10. elemir khaled eldjazairy
    June 4, 2013 at 7:53 am

    ana you are a backscreen angel your guidense was beneficial and useful.thanks indeed


  11. elemir khaled eldjazairy
    June 4, 2013 at 8:01 am

    relation manger advice was very beneficial and useful.


  12. sajid
    June 5, 2013 at 7:36 am

    hi ana thanks to help me ana ur guidness is helpful thanks a lot


  13. Ziya Saiyed
    June 9, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Thank very much for inviting me Ana for becoming a part this. Hope I will gain the knowledge by this.


  14. rajakalieswari
    July 2, 2013 at 7:32 am

    for what reason you did not select my profile.what mistake u find from me.why you sent like ‘i am not shortlisted’.i want the reason behind ur selection


  15. Dastagir
    July 6, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Hi Ana thanks for the information and updating.


  16. Mahmoud
    August 10, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    Thanks
    I think it’s useful , I’ll try that.


  17. Dr Aliou Ayaba
    September 5, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Very helpful.It is true these days that the number of social networks is increasing and we ought to know the specific advantages of each of them


  18. dD
    October 10, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Great!


  19. Bill May
    October 17, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Thanks Ana, hoping to lean about this new business tool.


  20. Jamie
    February 20, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Hello,

    The best thing to do is visit http://www.careerintelligence.com/contact/ and explain your job hunting issues in the comment box. Someone will be in touch with you ASAP to assist you.

    Many thanks,

    Jamie


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