Twitter is a must for college students! – For personal branding, networking, opportunities, and limitless access to information. Recent headlines say that Twitter is transforming business and impacting life in general! So, what is Twitter? Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that lets you post short text messages on your profile – up to 140 characters. You can follow people or organizations in order to read their updates (or ‘Tweets’), and others can follow you to read your Tweets as well.
To begin, create your free profile at http://twitter.com/ using your name (try to be consistent with the same form of your name that you used to create other social profiles). Fill out your user profile completely, including adding a picture of yourself. Make sure your bio reflects and represents who you are. Before you start posting, think about how you want to brand (or represent) yourself.
Basic information to get you started:
First, you can only post 140 characters, but only use abbreviations when necessary. If you want to post a link to a web site, you might want to shorten the link by using a URL shrinking service such as tinyurl.com or bit.ly. You will see posts with “RT” – this is used when someone is re-tweeting something someone has already posted. The “@” sign is used to direct a message to a particular user. For more information on how to effectively use Twitter, check out the following videos on Youtube: Twitter in Plain English: http://bit.ly/13gm0r , Twitter Tutorial - Getting Started: http://bit.ly/nZqUjU
Beyond keeping connected with family and friends, and creating a personal brand with Twitter, there are definitely other benefits and opportunities.
The current economic situation and poor job market are making it very important to get ahead of the competition through online networking, and using invaluable online tools such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others. According to some professionals, social media tools will separate you from the pack. It is estimated that 78 per cent of companies now use social media or networking sites to both find and attract people to fill graduate jobs. Four out of five hiring managers Google search a candidate’s name before they decide to bring them in for an interview. Some feel the traditional job boards like Monster.com and Careerbuilder.com are outdated and may cease to exist in the future. Employers want graduates to research jobs and prepare for interviews more thoroughly than ever – and this is possible through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other online social tools.
As an international student, it will be useful for you to follow schools, organizations, and companies that post information regarding studying abroad, scholarships, internships, jobs, travel and volunteer information and opportunities. You can also ask the people you follow for help or advice. Check out this video at Youtube “How to Find and Follow People on Twitter: http://bit.ly/LulNp ; here’s a link to help you find people or organizations to follow: http://twitter.com/#!/who_to_follow/;
And maybe the best thing about Twitter is that it’s fun! You’ll find different ways to use Twitter - connecting with people who share the same interests and ideas can create a special community for you; connecting with people who have different interests and ideas can open your world!
The next post: How to build your personal brand using LinkedIn. (Very professional, huge benefits!)