Really, Twitter isn’t stupid if you are following the right people. Who are the right people you might be asking? And what is the purpose of Twitter? Allow me to explain.
Twitter is a news, marketing and public relations platform!
Twitter serves three purposes. It allows you to:
- monitor news
- build awareness of your expertise
- interact with other accounts/people
Here are tips to help you monitor news, be more organized and stay up-to-date (and you’ll begin to think Twitter isn’t stupid too).
But, Before You Do Anything…
Before you start following accounts, get your own Twitter profile in order!
Read the first 3 points in this 11 Beginner Twitter Tips
Find Relevant News
Let’s focus on how to follow and monitor credible accounts to make your time on Twitter valuable.
There are different types of accounts on Twitter – personal and professional. And they all share tons of information. I say this because you should follow both company accounts and accounts from employees who work for companies (like CFO, CEO, CMO).
Look for and follow accounts in these categories to get the most from your time on the platform:
Industry Trends – People and publications sharing information relevant to your industry.
Company News & Culture – follow target companies to see what they share and get a feel of the company culture. Who knows, they may share job postings on Twitter sometimes.
Real-Time News & Updates – When news breaks, you can be one of the first to know if you are on Twitter. When new technology hits or changes are made, you can get the low-down.
Popular Hashtags – search hashtags to help you find relevant news around the topic. And hashtags can be universally helpful on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook too! For example, if you are interested in Digital Marketing, search Twitter for #digitalmarketing. If you want to be an accountant, check out #accountant and #accounting. Some hashtags are fun, others are aligned with companies. Be on the lookout for relevant hashtags to use to filter Tweets and find interesting news and discussions.
Trending – Twitter has its own list of Trending news. On your mobile device, click on the search icon and you’ll see different topics with trending news. From your desktop, Trending news appears in a box on the right of your feed.
Lists – If you want to find other accounts to follow, check the lists created by influencers or people you respect on Twitter.
People mentioned in Retweets – In your home feed, take note of the originators of retweeted content and follow those accounts.
Authors/Content Creators – People who have written books have some authority on the topic/subject and people who blog or create content do as well. Be on the lookout for these types of people.
Geographic News – Knowing what is going on in your city or a city you are interested in moving to helps you feel knowledgable. Weather, news, traffic and economic development are all important areas to keep track of.
Before You Follow Check Activity
Many accounts have fallen dormant. You don’t want to follow accounts that aren’t active. So before you follow the account look at their Twitter posts.
WARNING: the first post you see might be a pinned post and may have an older date. Look at the Twitter feed under the first Tweet.
And you also want to see what types of tweets the account has been sharing. Make sure they are relevant and look credible. Or, at the very least, are interesting.
Follow people who share credible information that you are interested in. Be somewhat discerning when checking out their history of tweets.
- Do they other people’s work or news or are they only sharing their own content?
- Do they look credible?
- How long have they been on Twitter?
- How many followers do they have?
While the number of followers isn’t always an indicator of good quality, it at least means that other people see value in what they share.
Create Logical Lists
You will be following people with different areas of expertise who tweet about different topics. One of the best tips (and little known features) of Twitter are Lists. You can make your list public or private (only you can see who is on these lists).
No other platform allows you to easily sort/categorize the news you get in your feed like Twitter. On LinkedIn, you have to scroll until you find something interesting. But with Twitter lists, you can just scroll through the topic you are interested in reading.
For more help on creating and viewing lists, check out Demystifying Twitter
More Reasons Why Twitter Isn’t Stupid
You won’t use Twitter if you don’t have a reason to. It needs to serve some value to your career and/or job search. So start following industry thought leaders (people who have written books, articles, or delivered presentations).
There are great people sharing and doing amazing things across all industries and all continents. I truly believe Twitter isn’t stupid, it’s become noisy, uncivil and other things, but it provides one of the best real-time access to news and people.
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.