As of today social media exists in parallel with our daily lives, and it is crucial to protect and foster the image you project across your accounts. Every photo and post that is shared gives information about the user. Therefore, when it comes time to search for a new job, connect with new clients, or simply re-establish your personal presence it is important to have profiles with impeccable content. It is absolutely necessary to have a professional presence online.
Twitter is one of the most used social media platforms in the world.
Twitter has superseded traditional mass media outlets to become the central destination for viral trends, news, and other information. And yes, it is also a key tool for forming your professional image if you follow these simple guidelines. We will focus on the four most important characteristics of Twitter:
- Character Limits: Messages on Twitter cannot exceed 280 characters, unless subsequent reply chains are linked to the original post which allow for the author to expand on their idea.
- Trending Topics: These are the most shared themes and posts on Twitter at the moment. You can configure your account to show these trends based on your location.
- Hashtags: A word or phrase preceded by the # symbol. This allows one to group tweets which share the same Hashtag(s).
- Insert links, images (up to 4) and videos.
Preliminary Steps: ‘Beautify’ your account
The first step is making sure your account is presentable! Select a neutral and professional username. You can play with adaptations or abbreviations of your name, your profession, and/or take inspiration from your favorite cultural figure. Usernames like @morenito69, @Iamyourcrush, or @Iamgoingtotellyou lack formality and the distinguishing factors which allow them to be taken seriously.
For your photo, a more casual and genuine profile picture is preferable. Ideally the photo would be taken by someone else (consider keeping some photos of your recent vacations handy). Photos taken for professional purposes or events also work very well (like those taken at a conference). Avoid using selfies as your profile picture whenever possible, and never use pixelated photos, those taken at night, or during a party.
The biography section has a variety of options. An extremely common and useful format for those who are looking for employment is using the biographical section as a short resume including information like educational background, field experience, or simply your skills/qualifications. Make sure to use keywords and mention the companies you have worked for as well as the college/university from which you graduated. You can also include the email at which you want to be contacted by potential employers. Finally, Twitter has a link section of your profile where you can link your website, blog, or other professional social networking services such as LinkedIn.
How to post on Twitter while maintaining your professionalism
Once your account is ready you need to begin posting and actively maintaining it through frequent updates! The posts you make will define your image and ‘personality’ on Twitter, so curating them with care is essential to success. When attempting to create a formal and professional Twitter account one should consider these content ideas:
- First things first, you! If you are looking for a job, you can share your resume or portfolio on a recurring basis. Putting your resume/portfolio in an interactive format using a tool like Genially will increase the attention your posts draw. If you’re working on a specific project or with a well known company you might consider introducing your team or something similar. Posts of your colleagues, behind-the-scenes snapshots, etc. will humanize you making future employers feel closer to you as a person.
- Employment Announcements celebrating new jobs, completed projects, and/or awards make great post materials. Show off your strengths! Nothing is better than describing your passion in the first person (your product, art, service, or passion). If you work for a client you can mention them in a post.
- Share relevant publications in your field such as blog posts or new articles. These allow you to not only stay up to date in your knowledge, but also demonstrate your passion and expertise. Share information from your favorite sources selecting the publications you find most interesting.
- Inspiration: Also, post motivational people, articles, and visuals (and even materials from other companies and professionals) in your field.
- Hints or Ideas: Share valuable and relevant information you have learned in your field; these could be explanatory pieces or lists of tips. This allows you to demonstrate your professional expertise. These posts will be more effective with the use of infographics and interactive elements which you can create using Genially.
- Share your opinion on a recent announcement or article in your field to support your claim of expertise within your profession. Be careful to not engage with trolls who can help break the professionalism you’re striving for.
- A bit of humor and sincerity: This post option varies greatly from person-to-person. Your personality on Twitter should not stray too far from that of yours in real life. Sharing pictures of your pets or comedic posts in the field helps humanize you. Additionally, you can occasionally use emojis to make your content relatable. 😊
There are hundreds of articles on the topic of increasing the reach of your tweets, some of which are quite complex. However, there are several reliable tools to start out with such as using hashtags, geolocation, and monitoring the times when your posts are most successful.
Little trick: Save your drafted tweets to share later when they have the best chance of success.
Find content within your field and explore it! It may surprise you how many professional Twitter accounts are out there. It doesn’t matter whether your work in medicine, economics, technology, design, art, education, politics, or marketing … there is a community of professionals in your field on Twitter. How to find that community? You can begin by using the search features to select for brands or your favorite professionals and browse from there.
How should you interact with other professional accounts? Use the tools you would to interact with any other Twitter post: retweeting and likes. Retweeting is often interpreted as a sign of respect and agreement with the post’s author. Sharing them can be a sign of respect, but make sure you choose the content wisely since it will appear on your profile! You can also interact with other users’ content by responding to their tweets.
Finally, A Couple of Reminders: First, the best professional network online is LinkedIn; however, Twitter is a good supplement to your professional image due to its immense popularity. Second, attractive and interactive content gains the most attention right now. With endless information and profiles available to employers, customizing your content and resume using Genailly can truly set you apart.
So let us know: What Genially format would you begin with? How do you think you would provide professional information to your audience?