Janet Mesh is a digital marketer and freelancer with expertise in social media marketing, content creation, blogging, and email marketing. When she's not implementing integrated marketing campaigns, you can find her hopping on a plane to a new country or indulging at a new Boston restaurant. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram @meshymind.
You probably clicked through to this blog post assuming you’ll get some tips & tricks on how to use LinkedIn to your advantage to get a new job or freelancing gig. But I’m here to bring another social media channel out of the shadows and into the spotlight — Twitter.
Yep, you read that right. Twitter.
With the popularity of Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, everyone inside and outside the world of social media questions whether Twitter can stand up to its powerhouse counterparts. It seems like every year, there’s a new article about why Twitter is dead. The user numbers speak for themselves — in the past year, Facebook reached 2 billion users, Instagram reach 700 million, and Twitter stagnated with 328 million. So based on this data, it’s true that Twitter is not the most popular social media platform.
However, in a less saturated social environment comes opportunity.
So here I am to proclaim my love for the little blue bird and luckily, I have more than 280 characters to share my story about how I landed two freelance gigs through Twitter -- as well as tips on how to leverage it to land your next job.
1. Follow industry influencers, people, and companies you want to work with
I’ve been freelancing for almost 2 years and found two of my current gigs through Twitter. Thanks to a Boston Content tweet, I landed a gig as a freelance marketing coordinator with Trello in October of this year. I had been following the Boston Content social media accounts, especially on Twitter, for more than a year. They shared a tweet that Trello was hiring this freelance position. I immediately jumped on the opportunity since I love their product and corporate culture (the company supports remote work and it’s my goal to be location independent). So I applied that night, had an interview set up within the week, and was hired by Trello shortly thereafter!
As for my other gig as an account manager for Metter Media, a social media management agency, I was following one of their employees on Twitter and saw that she shared an open contractor position. This was in the spring of 2016. I applied for the position, interviewed with the owners in person, and was offered the role shortly after the interview as well.
Twitter is a great platform for following influencers, people, and companies that you admire or what to work with one day. It’s also more than acceptable to follow a stranger on Twitter. In addition to keeping up-to-date on industry trends, you’ll may see a fateful tweet about an open position. Just make sure your profile is professional and convincing enough to be hired (see #3).
2. Create Twitter lists
Now that you’re following influencers, companies, and anyone else that you’d like to work with, you can stay up-to-date with them by creating Twitter lists. You can add any followers to your Twitter lists and create list themes like I have, such as Social Media News. One of the best aspects of Twitter is TweetDeck. It allows you to create a command center of your Twitter Lists and any users or hashtags you want to keep tabs on. To access your TweetDeck, all you have to do is sign into your Twitter account and go to https://tweetdeck.twitter.com/ in your browser. Once you have your Twitter lists created, you can then organize them in TweetDeck so you never miss a beat or tweet with your favorite followers or industry news.
3. Create a cohesive persona across social profiles
According to Career Builder, a whopping 70 percent of hiring managers use social media to screen candidates before hiring. Of that 70 percent of hiring managers, 54 percent decided not to hire a candidate based on their social media profiles. Yikes.
All's not lost though, friends. A cohesive and authentic persona across your social media profiles can help sway and even convince a hiring manager to set up a initial phone screening call. According to the same Career Builder study, “more than 4 in 10 employers (44 percent) said they found content on a social networking site that caused them to hire the candidate.”
So what does a cohesive online persona consist of? First off, you should have a professional photo (keep those Saturday night selfies to your group texts) and a clear & punchy bio. If you have a website or online portfolio, definitely link to it in your bio. Choose a cover photo that represents your personality or industry expertise. These rules don’t just apply to Twitter. Your personal brand should be consistent on LinkedIn and even on Facebook and Instagram (hiring managers know no bounds when it comes to Googling potential candidates). And of course, keep your social media profile active by sharing interesting tweets and posts, which brings me to my next point...
4. Share content that is relevant to the industry you work in
Would you hire someone to manage your company’s social media channels if the candidate hasn’t updated their own profile since 2016? Probably not.
If you’re using your social media profiles to position yourself for a new job, you’ll want to share valuable information about the industry you work in or want to work in. Position yourself as a thought leader by sharing articles and insights from the influencers you follow and put your two cents into the conversation as well.
But it’s not all business, let your personality shine by tweeting about your interests and hobbies, too. Bonus points if you own a dog... everyone loves a cute dog photo.
5. Attend events on & offline
The marketing world can seem saturated and overwhelming. But the more you put yourself out there and meet other marketers, the sooner you’ll realize that it’s actually a small and welcoming community. Boston Content, General Assembly, and The American Marketing Association host monthly marketing events in Boston. I’ve met some amazing people through their events who have helped me define and refine my career path.
However, you don’t have to wait for the in-person events to participate in industry conversations or learn new trends. Twitter Chats occur daily and are an excellent way to connect with other marketers over a specific topic. And this is where TweetDeck becomes a savior: You can create a search of the Twitter Chat hashtag, such as #BufferChat, and it constantly loads tweets making it easy to like, retweet, and respond to other participants instantly.
Best of all — you never know who you may meet online or IRL. They may be the person who helps you find your next career move!
Do you have any other hacks on how to leverage Twitter to develop your marketing career?
I’d love to hear them! Connect with me on Twitter (@meshymind) and feel free to @ me with comments or questions.