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For those of you aiming to use Twitter and other social media tools for job search. Hear ye. Hear ye.
Twitter is a great place to meet new friends during job search. Yes, it’s true.
However, this isn’t the question most people ask. Here is what most ask instead:
How do I build a following (to support my successful job search)?
Even though you don’t need a huge following to use Twitter successfully for job search. For example, if you have 100 followers and 10 of them are your target companies, that’s not too shabby.
But for many, Twitter is a way to build influence with a lot more than 100. So, to help you achieve your objectives, here are 10 reasons why people follow on Twitter. During job search or any other time in life.
Relevance – Your short bio is read and within seconds someone decides your fate. A decision they may never revisit. What are you saying your purpose is in the world? Or at least suggesting it will be on Twitter? And are you actually doing what you suggest?
Your Smiling Face – Just like your photo on Linkedin, this first impression matters. Many are hesitant to follow those with icons or images as their avatar. Combine that with a weak or no bio at all? Not good.
Personalization – If every one of your tweets is impersonal. If you are only sharing links. Or quotes from famous dead people. This is a signal that you are either a robot or someone who has left Twitter for dead. If you see Twitter as a communication tool instead of a broadcast tool, you will attract more followers.
Influence – If you wanted to spend a lot of time on this, you could. You can look up someone’s Klout Score or check Twitter Grader. But it’s unlikely someone’s going to do that. So they will look at your number of followers. And how many people have taken the little time necessary to add them to a Twitter list.
The Numbers – The friend/follower ratio matters. If you are followed by everyone and following no one, you are either a superstar celebrity or just lazy. Many won’t follow if the odds of you following back are too low. Unless your relevance and influence are high. Similarly, if you are following the world and few have reciprocated, something must be wrong with you. Or your profile.
Content – When people are unsure they go to your body of work. Your tweets, your re-tweets. To see what you’ve said. Are your updates related to the antics of your pet fish or focused properly on the purpose listed on your bio? What are you saying?
Consistency – If you are not actually using Twitter, don’t expect to build a big following. While there are some examples of users with a following who’ve never actually tweeted, it is fleeting at best. If I see that you tweet once or twice a week at best or haven’t sent a tweet for three months, I will assume you are not a prime follow target.
Provocation – If you tweet interesting and original ideas that make me think, I will assume there’s more where that came from. Do it a lot and I will suggest that others follow you as well. Here comes the snowball effect.
Re-Tweets – We all like to have our thoughts and ideas re-tweeted. Makes us feel valuable. And suggests that you see us as relevant to your followers. So it’s fair to assume that you are are relevant to us. Thus, our following you makes sense.
@Messages – Used as a tactic, you can send someone an @message. A question, suggestion or comment. And if someone doesn’t know you, it’s pretty easy to look you up. Once they do, your bio and photo have a chance to sell.
And yes, there are many auto-follow programs out there built to help us find relevant users. As well as Twitter directories that will group you and allow you to attach keywords to your profile. To help people find you during job search.
There are also auto un-follow programs out there. And if “hasn’t tweeted in X weeks” or “X% or more of their tweets contain links” shows up on your profile, your hard earned follow may be lost. Especially if X = “4 or more” or “95 or more”, respectively.
So check your profile and Twitter stream to see how you are doing. And how likely it is that the crowd will begin following you during job search. Or leaving you in the dust.
What do you think makes for an irresistible Twitter profile? Why do you follow or un-follow?
Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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Categories: Learning And Using Social Media